The Los Angeles Community College District is moving to end ties to one contractor and to one construction company involved in a much criticized multi-billion dollar facilities program, The Los Angeles Times reported. Both companies were among those whose work has come under scrutiny in a recent series of articles in the Times about the facilities program. The contractor was involved in the creation of one building that, on its opening, was missing exit signs and fire extinguishers, and that was found to have light fixtures that were not properly attached to ceilings.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Forty-five faculty members at Belmont University have signed an open letter stating that they oppose torture and the death penalty, and back constitutional freedoms, The City Paper of Nashville reported. The letter does not name one of the newest faculty members at Belmont, Alberto Gonzales, but is believed to have been prompted by his appointment. Gonzales was attorney general under President George W. Bush and his views on those issues have been widely criticized by many (while being praised by others).
In today’s Academic Minute, Tallys Yunes of the University of Miami reveals how computers have greatly simplified the complex process of scheduling umpire crews for Major League Baseball. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
Money from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, part of the 2009 stimulus legislation, helped states shore up higher education and avoid layoffs and tuition increases but did not avert them entirely, according to a study released Tuesday by the New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project.
The foundation conducted case studies on eight states to see how they used their portions of the $48.6 billion program, $39.6 billion of which was intended for education spending. Some practices differed from state to state -- Wyoming required institutions to use the majority of the money for facility improvements, while North Carolina and Nevada used the funds for salaries and benefits, for example -- but overall, they found that most states required at least a portion of the money be spent on salaries and benefits. Since these are ongoing expenses, that might not bode well for the future now that the money has run out. "Looking forward into 2012, institutions in the states selected for this case study are facing uncertain futures," the author, Jennifer Cohen, wrote. "While many of them believe their budget situations have stabilized, they are still functioning under strict
The American Council on Education announced Monday that it and the other "presidential" higher education associations have created a new Commission on Higher Education Attainment. Among the issues the panel will address:
- The changing nature of students seeking a degree or credential.
- The ability of higher education to attract, retain and graduate the increasing number of adults seeking a degree or credential.
- The current capacity of higher education to accommodate the large number of students who will need to enroll if we are to increase the number of graduates.
- The opportunities to increase efficiency and enhance productivity in meaningful ways.
E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, will serve as chair. There are also three vice chairs: Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University; Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York; and George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College.
Currently, there are no faculty members on the panel. Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said that the members named thus far will be holding an organizational meeting and may well decide to add other members. He said it was "quite possible" that faculty members would be named at a later date.
In today’s Academic Minute, Charles Rupprecht of Emory University discusses the likelihood of rabies exposure and outlines efforts to control the disease in wild animal populations. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
Investigations are starting and fans are embarrassed after a massive brawl broke out Saturday night between athletes and some of the fans who had watched a football game between Southern University at Baton Rouge and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, WAFB News reported. The network has footage of some of the fighting, which led authorities to use pepper spray on those on the field.
Nationally business schools have already reported a decline in M.B.A. applications. Now, an analysis from Bloomberg Businessweek shows that 21 of the top 30 programs saw declines in applications. Stanford University saw an 8 percent drop. Among those that didn't see drops were the business schools at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan.
Saudi officials have announced that King Abdullah has approved the creation of seven colleges, Arab News reported. The new institutions will include two medical colleges, three business-related colleges, a computer science college, and a college of arts and sciences.
Hungarian students have held demonstrations, and are planning more, in response to government proposals on higher education, The Budapest Times reported. Students are angry about plans to add tuition charges to more academic programs, and to change student loan programs in ways that would make it hard for graduates to work outside the country.