Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 29, 2012

The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which enforces six anti-discrimination statutes including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, is monitoring more cases than ever before, according to a new report. From 2009-12, the report says, OCR received 24 percent more complaints (28,971, of which it closed 28,577) than in any previous four-year period, and conducted more than 100 compliance reviews. More than half dealt with disability issues, about a quarter with Title IX, 14 percent with sex discrimination and 6 percent with age discrimination. The states with the most reviews were Ohio (nine), California (eight) and New York (seven). 

In 2012, OCR resolved 93 percent of 8,051 complaints within 180 days of receipt, compared to 91 percent of 5,964 total complaints in 2008. During that time, OCR says, it streamlined operations, increased capacity and expanded support and assistance, “while receiving and resolving more cases than ever before, and doing it faster.”
 

November 29, 2012

Pennsylvania State University on Wednesday revealed the compensation of Graham Spanier, who was ousted as president last year. The university reported total taxable income for Spanier of $3,255,762. This includes $700,000 annual salary, $82,557 of taxable benefits and nonrecurring compensation of $2,473,205 that Spanier was contractually entitled to under the terms of his 2010 employment agreement. Details may be found here. Spanier was indicted this month on charges of concealing information about suspected child abuse involving Jerry Sandusky, obstructing the criminal investigation of Sandusky, perjury before a grand jury and endangering the welfare of children.

 

 

November 29, 2012

Republicans in the House of Representatives nominated congressmen for leadership positions Wednesday, including several for key posts related in some way to higher education. Representative Lamar Smith of Texas will be the new chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, will stay the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. And although he has reached the six-year term limit, House Republicans tapped Representative Paul Ryan, the former vice presidential candidate and the author of a budget considered likely to cut higher education, to continue as chairman of the Budget Committee.

Committee leadership for the Democrat-controlled Senate have not yet been announced for the next Congress, which takes office in January.

November 29, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, John Mark Froiland of the University of Northern Colorado explains why parental expectations are an important part of academic success. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

November 28, 2012

The University of Tulsa on Tuesday suspended its new athletics director, Ross M. Parmley, amid a federal investigation into whether he is linked to a man under federal indictment for running an illegal gambling operation, The Oklahoman reported. Parmley has admitted to federal authorities that he bet on college and professional games for years before quitting gambling in 2010. At that time, he worked for Tulsa's athletics department, but had yet to become its director.

 

November 28, 2012

A survey by the College Board has found that most school counselors do not feel that they have been sufficiently trained in competencies that would allow them to provide the best guidance to students on the college admissions process. Further, a majority of counselors believe that they could do better (in some cases with better training) at such key functions as helping students complete college preparatory courses, increasing college application rates and improving high school graduation rates.

 

November 28, 2012

California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, used his power as a member of the University of California Board of Regents to vote against the $486,800 salary for the new chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, the Associated Press reported. The salary for Nicholas Dirks was approved on an 11-3 vote. Brown said that he supported Dirks, but this was the wrong time to increase the pay for Berkeley's chancellor by $50,000. "I believe a $50,000 increase from the incumbent — even though the incumbent did not get a pay increase for several years — does not fit within the spirit of servant leadership that I think will be required over the next several years," Brown said.

November 28, 2012

Irving Gottesman is being named today as the winner of the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. The award is worth $100,000. Gottesman's research explores the basis of schizophrenia and the way mental disorders are classified. He is the retired Irving and Dorothy Bernstein professor of adult psychiatry at University of Minnesota, and also is Sherrell J. Aston professor of psychology emeritus at University of Virginia.
 

November 28, 2012

Several hundred students at Alabama State University held a series of rallies Tuesday to protest the ouster of the new president, Joseph Silver, who was placed on leave on Monday, Alabama.com reported. Silver has said that he was trying to remove some administrators and to fix problems at the university, while board leaders have been vague about why he was placed on leave. Students said that they trusted Silver and believed he was identifying serious issues. "They want Dr. Silver to sweep it under the rug," said one student. "But he was trying to clean it up. He was trying to take out the trash."

November 28, 2012

The almost total transformation of the Big East Conference over the last decade continued apace Tuesday, with news that Tulane University would become the league's newest full member and reports that East Carolina University would join the conference in football only. The Big East has struggled since 2005 to sustain itself as a viable big-time-sports entity as its members continue to be plucked away by richer and stronger leagues, with Rutgers University (which last week joined the University of Maryland at College Park in announcing moves to the Big Ten Conference) the latest defection.

In adding Tulane and East Carolina, the Big East has continued to take its misfortunes out on Conference USA, from which it will have taken a total of 11 members since 2005. The additions of Tulane and East Carolina would give the Big East 13 football-playing members as of 2014. That might seem like an unwieldy number, but that's because the Big East leaders are apparently awaiting another falling domino, with the expected departure of the University of Connecticut to replace Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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