Higher Education Quick Takes
Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at Wright State University have voted, 92-29, to unionize. They voted to join the existing unit at Wright State, organized by the American Association of University Professors, that represents tenure-track faculty members.
- Matthew K. Gold, assistant professor of English at New York City College of Technology, has been promoted to associate professor there.
- Joseph J. Grilli, vice president of training institutes, external affairs and planning at Luzerne County Community College, in Pennsylvania, has been chosen as director of corporate and institutional recruitment at Misericordia University, also in Pennsylvania.
- Beatriz Betancourt Hardy, director of the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary, has been appointed as dean of libraries at Salisbury University, in Maryland.
- Brian W. Jack, associate professor and vice chair of family medicine at Boston University, in Massachusetts, has been promoted to chair and professor of family medicine.
- Keith A. Orris, senior vice president at Lancaster General Health, in Pennsylvania, has been named senior vice president for corporate relations and economic development at Drexel University, also in Pennsylvania.
- Paula Witherell, public relations director at Hilbert College, in New York, has been selected as assistant to the president for communications/deputy chief of staff at Buffalo State of the State University of New York.
Nicholas Lemann will announce today that he is stepping down as the journalism dean at Columbia University, The New York Times reported. As dean, Lemann has been a prominent voice in discussions of the reform of journalism education, and has attracted new resources and faculty slots to his program. While he has been popular with many students, Columbia's journalism school (like many others) has seen fairly steady criticism from students over their difficult job prospects. Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia's president, plans to personally lead the search for a new dean.
King's College, in Pennsylvania, recently announced layoffs that will eliminate 11 full-time non-faculty positions, with the goal of eliminating a deficit, Citizen's Voice reported. Officials said that tuition discounting through financial aid exceeded what the college could afford, forcing the cuts. (This language corrects an earlier version.)
Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland were this morning named winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems." Haroche is a physicist at the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure, both in Paris. Wineland conducts his research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Colorado, both in Boulder, Colo.
Research released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that student performance on tests may be related not only to knowledge gained, but time between significant tasks. The new research -- by Ian Fillmore and Devin G. Pope of the University of Chicago -- examined student performance on Advanced Placement exams. The AP final exams are not always on the same schedule, so students who take more than one AP exam have varying amounts of time between the tests. The study found "strong evidence" that having shorter time periods between exams resulted in lower scores on the second exam. Students who take two exams with 10 days between them are 8 percent more likely to pass both exams than those who take the exams one day apart. An abstract of the study may be found here.
The marching band at Florida A&M University -- long a source of pride but more recently the subject of intense scrutiny because of a hazing death last year -- had serious academic problems, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Nearly 50 members of the 350 people in the band last year had grade-point averages below 2.0, the minimum required for participation in organizations such as the band. Twelve of those students had G.P.A.s of 1.0 or lower.
Jerry Sandusky, who will be sentenced today for 45 counts of childhood sexual abuse, maintained his innocence in a recording obtained by the student radio station at Pennsylvania State University, The Centre Daily Times reported. In the recording -- whose authenticity was confirmed by Sandusky's lawyers -- the former football coach blamed his accusers for his current situation. "I’m responding to the worst loss of my life. First, I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose?" he asked. He said that the only person he ever had sex with was his wife. And he said that one false accusation led to others. "A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won," Sandusky said.