Higher Education Quick Takes
A black student at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort has set off a campus debate by displaying the Confederate flag in his dormitory window, the Associated Press reported. The student removed the flag at the request of university officials, but is now considering a return of the flag. While many see the flag as a symbol of white supremacy, Bryon Thomas disagrees. "When I look at this flag, I don't see racism. I see respect, Southern pride," he said. But Thomas added that "I know it's kind of weird because I'm black."
Barbara D. Savage, a professor of history and American social thought at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named winner of the 2012 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Savage was honored for her 2008 book Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion (Harvard University Press). The award is given jointly by the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The Justice Department has started a probe of the multibillion-dollar collegiate licensing industry, USA Today reported. The IMG College Licensing Company -- the dominant player in the field -- confirmed that it is cooperating with an investigation into how colleges market their logos and names for the sale of clothing and other items. Details of the inquiry were not available, but some have charged that IMG and colleges have tried to limit the number of manufacturers in the field.
Pennsylvania State University, still reeling from the recent sex-abuse scandal, announced Thursday that it will give $1.5 million to groups with which the university will form partnerships to fight the sexual abuse of children. The money will come from Penn State's share of Big Ten bowl revenue.
The U.S. Education Department today published final rules to update the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, making relatively few substantive changes from proposed regulations that drew significant comment and quite a bit of criticism from some college groups. The rules give colleges and universities more latitude to share student-level information with state agencies and others, without student consent.
Florida A&M University has dismissed four students for their roles in the death of a marching band member widely believed to have been hazed, the Associated Press reported. The university has said that it has a "zero tolerance" policy toward hazing, but others have charged that hazing in the band has been well-known for some time.
The National Science Foundation on Thursday released "Rebuilding the Mosaic," outlining the agency's plans for providing support in the social sciences. The report places a strong emphasis on research that is "interdisciplinary, data-intensive and collaborative." Among the subject areas identified for a special focus:
- Population change.
- Sources of disparities.
- Communication, language and linguistics.
- Technology, new media and social networks.
The report is the result of a year-long review.
Savannah State University has agreed to pay Robby Wells, its former football coach, $240,000 to settle his suit claiming that he was forced out by the historically black institution because he is white, the Associated Press reported. The university paid an additional $110,000 to his lawyers. Savannah State officials continue to deny that they discriminated against Wells.
Citing recent protests, the California State University System called off a board committee meeting scheduled for next week, saying that it could not be sure of the safety of the gathering. The committee was expected to discuss issues of presidential compensation -- and one of the complaints of protesting students (and some faculty members and politicians as well) is that the system is spending too much on pay for its executives.
The California Institute of Technology may have found "the perfect time" to sell a bond that matures over 100 years, and the university was able to obtain a record low interest rate, The Wall Street Journal reported. The record-low yield was 4.744 percent.