Higher Education Quick Takes
Some University of Oklahoma students are objecting to the choice of the journalist Fareed Zakaria as this year's commencement speaker, The Oklahoman reported. Zakaria's journalism at Time and CNN has led to numerous campus speaking invitations. But students note that he was suspended from his journalism jobs last year (and then reinstated) after he was found to have used portions of a New Yorker article for one of his Time pieces. Doug McKnight, a senior, said he would skip commencement, because "I don't think I can go hear him talk to me about integrity and professionalism."
Food service and custodial workers plan a three-day strike this week at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Chicago Tribune reported. The workers, members of the Service Employees International Union Local 73, are frustrated by what they see as a lack of progress in negotiating a contract. The union predicted significant disruptions to food service this week, while the university vowed that it would provide hot meals and would minimize disruption by reassigning non-striking workers.
A federal judge has denied a retrial to Teresa Wagner, the conservative scholar whose political bias claims against the University of Iowa were rejected last year by a jury, The Des Moines Register reported. Wagner said she was denied a job at the law school at Iowa because of her politics, and the jury rejected one claim and deadlocked over another. A judge on Friday rejected her request for a new trial and also dismissed the claim on which the jury couldn't reach a verdict. The university denied the claims.the articles i found don't say why judge ruled as he did -- so I may add more -- could even be short story -- if I can ge decision -sj
Towson University announced Friday that it would eliminate its men's soccer and baseball teams, while reinstating men's tennis. The shifts are designed to help the university reduce its athletic deficit and comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The Baltimore Business Journal reported that although 61 percent of Towson undergraduates are women, only about 52 percent of athletic slots go to women (some estimates of the women's share are higher, although still below the 61 percent figure). In 2012, the athletics department had a deficit of $1.36 million.
Four faculty members and one graduate student at the pharmacy college of Ohio State University have been accused either of research misconduct or misuse of grant funds, The Columbus Dispatch. In addition, one faculty member and one former faculty member are currently suing the pharmacy college. The dean of the college told the Dispatch that the institution is placing greater emphasis on research ethics, and is starting a course on the subject, and that the class will be required for students and "strongly urged" for faculty members.
When the board of Chicago State University announced last month that President Wayne Watson would be leaving his position, the board said that he had achieved key advances but that it was time for new leadership. On Friday, the board announced that Watson has violated a university policy and that the board is considering an appropriate punishment, The Chicago Tribune reported. The board did not specify the violation. Watson is saying that he is being forced out of office for not hiring friends of board leaders. Faculty leaders had opposed his hiring in the first place, and have been frustrated by his presidency.
An avalanche is coming to higher education, according to a new report by Sir Michael Barber, the chief education adviser at Pearson. The report, titled "An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead,” is being released today by the Institute for Public Policy Research, a British think tank.
Barber and his two co-authors (who also work for Pearson) argue that governments across the world need to rethink how they regulate and fund higher education institutions amid a wave of new education providers, including massive open online classes. In a telephone interview from Ghana, Barber said university leaders need to think about what makes their institutions special and who they serve. “I think that kind of middle universities that have nothing special about them and don’t exhibit bold imaginative leadership will suffer,” Barber said.
State universities in the United Arab Emirates should be barred from teaching most subjects in English and should be encouraged to add more Arabic language and literature courses, said members of the Federal National Council, The National reported. Hamad Al Rahoomi, a council member, said: "We want teaching to be in Arabic. We have doctors graduating from our universities who cannot fill out an application form in Arabic. The situation in government universities is going from bad to worse. We also need to enhance Arabic in private universities."
Grand Valley State University has agreed to pay $40,000 to a student who sued for the right to have a guinea pig with her on campus, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The student said she needed the animal for support to deal with depression and other health issues. The university said that it agreed to let her keep an animal in her room, but wanted her to agree not to take it to class or to food service areas. The university specified that the settlement did not indicate any admission of wrongdoing. But the university also agreed to work to develop a policy for students who may need animals to live with them in campus housing.