Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Adam & Eve, which describes itself as "America's most trusted source for adult products," on Friday announced that it was providing funds to the University of Minnesota Medical School to establish an endowed chair -- believed to be the first of its kind -- in sexual health education. The chair will be named for Joycelyn Elders, who was surgeon general during the Clinton administration until her frank discussion of sex cost her the position.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the building of an unaccredited university in Virginia Thursday and told its officials that the government intended to stop the institution from enrolling foreign students, NBC News's Washington affiliate reported. The television station's website said a note on a door at the University of Northern Virginia said that the institution must temporarily cease enrolling foreign students. The institution enrolls many students from India, and the U.S. government has cracked down in recent months on institutions suspected of helping students earn visas through the pursuit of a questionable education.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Like many university presidents, Daniel Woolf, of Queen's University, in Canada, prepares periodic private memos for his board about challenges facing the university. This week, Woolf's private memo was leaked and posted on Facebook, leading to much discussion of his frank analysis (and comparisons to other universities), Maclean's reported. “At Queen’s, where the financial situation is particularly acute, the quality that once defined the institution is clearly being compromised,” he wrote. "It would have been unthinkable 20 years ago that the quality reputation of undergraduate education at Queen’s would be challenged by Waterloo and McMaster …to say nothing of Guelph – but it is clearly happening.”

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Michigan Board of Regents has voted, over administrators' objections, to allow research assistants to unionize. But the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and a University of Michigan graduate student research assistant, have filed a complaint with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission trying to block the move to let the research assistants engage in collective bargaining, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Under the Obama administration, the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights is gaining a reputation for tougher and speedier enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. But an investigation by The New York Times documents many cases that have languished for years, from well before the current administration. The lead example: OCR has yet to complete an inquiry into a complaint filed in 1998 about opportunities for female athletes at the University of Southern California.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on one case that has been resolved. Santa Clara University has settled a complaint about its treatment of female athletes by agreeing to build an on-campus softball field by 2016. The team currently plays at another campus.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

A state audit has criticized the University of California at Los Angeles for spending money from a student activities fund on a student center, and also has raised questions about why campuses in the University of California system with higher minority enrollments have lower per capita budgets, The Los Angeles Times reported. Mark G. Yudof, president of the university system, said officials would strive to explain funding patterns, but he added that "there is absolutely no basis — statistically, historically, or ethically" for linking those patterns to issues of race. A critical look at the university's spending, based on the audit results, is on the Changing Universities blog.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Brent Plate of Hamilton College explores the point at which art
becomes blasphemy. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

A state investigation has concluded that the tuition increases proposed by Michigan State and Wayne State Universities do not exceed the 7.1 percent cap set by state leaders, so the institutions do not face the loss of millions in state funds, The Detroit News reported. A legislative agency had said this month that the two universities' proposed increases would exceed the cap, which lawmakers set to try to limit the extent to which institutions sought to make up for state budget cuts by charging more to students and families. Officials at Michigan State and Wayne State said that the state's method of accounting misstated their increases, and letters sent to the universities' presidents by the state budget director pegged the increases at 6.9 percent. Michigan State will receive its $18.3 million "tuition incentive grant," and Wayne State $12.8 million.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The new edition of The Pulse podcast features a conversation with Donald Doane, CEO of ConnectYard Inc., which integrates social media features with learning management systems. Find out more about The Pulse here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Kentucky's attorney general, Jack Conway, on Wednesday sued Daymar College, charging the for-profit institution with overcharging students for textbooks, misleading students about financial aid and failing to offer accurate information about the ability of students to transfer credit to other institutions, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Conway has been leading an inquiry into the practices of for-profit colleges in the state. A Daymar spokesman said the college denies allegations, and plans to defend itself in court.

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