Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The National Institutes of Health on Wednesday announced the creation of a panel to study the future of the work force in biomedical research. The panel, which will be co-chaired by Princeton University's president, Shirley M. Tilghman, and is dominated by academic researchers and administrators, is expected to report to a standing committee that advises the NIH's director, Francis S. Collins. In addition to Tilghman, the panel's members are:

  • Salley Rockey, NIH deputy director for extramural research, co-chair
  • Sandra Degen, vice president for research, University of Cincinnati
  • Laura Forese, chief operating officer, chief medical officer, and senior vice president, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Freeman Hrabowski, president, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
  • James Jackson, professor of psychology and director, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Leemor Joshua-Tor, professor and dean, Watson School of Biological Sciences
  • Richard Lifton, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Yale School of Medicine
  • Garry Neil, corporate vice president, Corporate Office of Science and Technology, Johnson & Johnson
  • Naomi Rosenberg, dean, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Bruce A. Weinberg, professor, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University
  • Keith Yamamoto, executive vice dean, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco
Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Protesting students have occupied the administration building at Rutgers University, The New York Times reported. The students are demanding a tuition freeze, more student input in decisions and better wages for workers at the university.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Raymund Paredes, higher education commissioner in Texas, said Wednesday that Governor Rick Perry's idea of college degrees that would cost only $10,000 (for four years of study, books included) was "entirely feasible," The Texas Tribune reported. Paredes stressed that the idea was not to apply the idea to every academic program, or to replace existing programs with the new inexpensive model. Many experts have been dubious of the possibility of creating quality programs at the price that the governor has set as a target.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Some college students who lack documentation to stay in the United States and who have been targets for deportation are winning reprieves following intervention from Democratic lawmakers, who are pushing for the suspension of deportations in such cases, The New York Times reported. Democratic lawmakers -- who were blocked by Republicans last year from enacting legislation that would have created a path to citizenship for such students -- are now urging the Obama administration to focus enforcement of immigration laws elsewhere, and not on college students. An Associated Press article examines the case of a community college student in Connecticut whose deportation to Mexico was halted.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, the University of West Georgia's Jeannette Diaz-Laplante examines efforts to include mental health care in the continuing recovery efforts in Haiti. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Southern California is today announcing a $110 million donation that will be used to provide scholarships to encourage top students to enroll there, the Los Angeles Times reported. Each scholarship will be worth around $47,000, and some will be set aside for graduates of high schools near the university's campus.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of British Columbia announced Tuesday that it will not join the National Collegiate Athletic Association but instead will maintain its membership with Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The university considered moving to the NCAA’s Division II -- which opened up membership to Canadian institutions in 2008 as part of larger efforts to differentiate itself from Divisions I and III -- partially “because of concerns that the CIS was limiting the opportunities available to student athletes.” Though university officials say that “the CIS has not yet resolved these issues,” they say their institution is staying in the CIS to “drive change.” Stephen J. Toope, university president, said in a statement: “I believe that significant reforms within CIS, which must also include enhancing scholarship opportunities, will offer Canadian student athletes the kind of competitive opportunities they need and deserve. [The University of British Columbia’s] consultation process has contributed greatly to preparing the ground for the changes that are required for CIS to become the effective competitive arena that will offer student athletes here at [the University of British Columbia] and across Canada a better future.”

Simon Fraser University, a neighboring institution in British Columbia, announced in 2009 that it was making moves to become the first Canadian institution to join the NCAA, specifically Division II. Simon Fraser is currently in the process of being reviewed for accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University because the NCAA is mandating that all Canadian institutions seeking membership be accredited in the United States.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

These days, when the Education Department and Census Bureau release various compilations of education statistics, data usually show the relative success of female vs. male students. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau provided the latest factoid in "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010." Among the population of people aged 25 or older who are working, women are now more likely than men (37 percent vs. 35 percent) to have a bachelor's degree.

The report also contains numerous other figures on a range of issues. Summary data back the contention of many experts that educational attainment in the United States could grow significantly by helping people finish degree programs that they have started and abandoned. Consider the following results:

Educational Attainment of Adults 25 and Older, 2010

No high school diploma 15%
High school diploma 29%
Attended some college, but no degree 17%
Associate degree 9%
Bachelor's degree 15%
Some time in graduate school, but no advanced degree 4%
Advanced degree 11%
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Pennsylvania has announced that it found no wrongdoing in the use by the fraternity Zeta Psi of a camel at one of its parties, NBC Philadelphia reported. Photographs of the camel, surrounded by women with drinks, led some to question whether the camel was mistreated. But the university found no abuse.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Donald Trump, who is flirting with running for president, has expanded his demands for records about President Obama's past. Now he not only isn't satisfied with evidence of the president's Hawaii birth, but he wants school and college transcripts. Trump told the Associated Press that he didn't think Obama had the grades to earn admission to Columbia University or Harvard Law School. "I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?" Trump said in an interview with the AP. "I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records." Some pundits are accusing Trump of "playing the race card," by implying that Obama benefited from affirmative action to win admission. While Obama's college transcripts aren't public record, it is known that he graduated magna cum laude from law school -- and a spokeswoman for the law school confirmed that the honor is awarded strictly on the basis of top grades.

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