Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Two law schools that have done without federal funds so they could keep military recruiters off campus are preparing, with the end of military discrimination against gay people, to welcome recruiters back to campus, the Associated Press reported. The two are Vermont Law School and William Mitchell College of Law. Many law schools tried for years to fight a federal law barring federal funds from going to colleges or universities that didn't permit military recruiters. These law schools said that their anti-bias rules made it impossible for them to welcome military recruiters. But that argument was rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006. Since then, all other law schools have permitted the recruiters.

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Baltimore International College, a nonprofit college that focuses on culinary and hospitality education and was recently informed that it was losing its accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is merging into a for-profit institution based in Virginia, The Baltimore Sun reported. Stratford University has many similar programs and is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. So if the merger is approved by Maryland officials, Baltimore International's students would continue to be attending an accredited college, and thus be eligible for federal student aid.

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:00am

Academic institutions produced more startup companies as they commercialized their researchers' work in 2010 than they did in 2009, although some other forms of licensing activity decreased slightly, according to the preliminary results of an annual survey of the Association of University Technology Managers. The number of new U.S. patent applications filed by the institutions in the AUTM survey soared to 12,281 in in 2010, from 8,364 in 2009; the number of patents issued also rose, and licensed technologies and inventions at the surveyed institutions produced 651 startup companies in 2010, up from 596 in 2009. But the number of commercial products created stayed flat (657 vs. 658 in 2009) and the number of licenses executed dipped.

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:00am

The American Association of University Professors has written to the University of Virginia to urge it to more forcefully resist requests for certain e-mail and other records from professors involved in the study of climate change, and from other scientists. While the university has resisted some requests, its recent agreement to one such inquiry has the AAUP concerned that professors' privacy and right to engage in controversial research is being damaged. A university spokeswoman said that the institution would respond to the AAUP, but has not done so yet.

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:00am

Eight Native American students on Thursday sued the University of North Dakota and state officials over a new state law requiring the institution to maintain its "Fighting Sioux" name for athletic teams, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The university defended the name -- opposed by many Native Americans and the National Collegiate Athletic Association -- for years, but was on the verge of ending the name's use when legislators intervened. The lawsuit charges that the state is violating the students' rights by interfering in a decision that should not be made by political leaders. Further, the suit charges that the use of the name is harmful to Native American students.

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Purchase College's Matthew Immergut reveals that charisma is not an attribute that can be possessed, but a sociological relationship to be cultivated. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:00am

Cooking is the leading cause of university housing fires, accounting for 88 percent of them, according to an analysis released Thursday by the U.S. Fire Administration. An average of 3,800 university housing fires occur each year, causing 25 injuries and $9 million in damage on average annually.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 3:00am

Hundreds of Chicago State University students received state financial aid even though they lacked the grades needed to remain enrolled, The Chicago Tribune reported. The Tribune reported last month about Chicago State failing to enforce its rules about suspending those who fail to meet minimal grade requirements, but the information about state financial aid emerged Wednesday at a state hearing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 3:00am

Executives of Spencerian College, a for-profit institution among several being investigated by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, have not only been donating money to his Republican opponent, but have been urging employees to back the Republican, Todd P'Pool, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. One former admissions officer described a session in which employees were asked to raise their hands to indicate that they would donate to P'Pool. Under Kentucky law, it is a felony for an employer to "coerce or direct any employee to vote for any political party or candidate." Grover Potts Jr., a lawyer for the Sullivan University System, of which Spencerian is a part, said that officials may have recommended votes for P'Pool, but that nothing was coercive.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Swaziland is shut, lacking the funds to operate, BBC reported. The country faces extreme shortages of funds, and it is unclear when the institution might resume classes.

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