Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

Police officers ended a four-day building takeover at California State University at Sacramento early Saturday morning, telling students that they would be arrested if they did not leave, which they did, The Sacramento Bee reported. The students were protesting budget cuts to higher education in the state. Kevin Wehr, president of the faculty union at Sacramento State, said that the administration made "a horrible mistake" in calling in the police. "I believe [the students] are fighting for their education, and that is a righteous cause," he said.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Bonnie Yankaskas, an epidemiologist, have settled a dispute over the extent to which she was responsible for a security breach in a computer database used for her studies on breast cancer, The News & Observer reported. The university -- in an action that dismayed many researchers at Chapel Hill and elsewhere -- held Yankaskas responsible, and demoted her from full to associate professor. She and her supporters argued that she was being made a scapegoat. Under the settlement, she is returning to full professor and her full professor's salary, but will retire at the end of the year.

The joint statement on the settlement is as follows: "The university acknowledges that Dr. Yankaskas is an eminent researcher and a long-standing faculty member, and that she has made many contributions to the advancement of science and the improvement of health care for women concerned about or experiencing breast cancer.... The university also acknowledges that there was a communication breakdown, which hindered Dr. Yankaskas from learning that CMR had a vulnerable server. Dr. Yankaskas acknowledges that, as principal investigator of CMR, she had the responsibility for the scientific, fiscal and ethical conduct of the project, and responsibility to hire and supervise the CMR information technology staff who, with assistance as requested from School of Medicine and University information technology professionals, operate and maintain the CMR computer systems on which secure data are maintained."

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

The Jumbotron competition may be over. The latest must-have item for a big-time college football program is a statue, or statues, The Orlando Sentinel reported. The University of Florida, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and Auburn University have all recently unveiled statues of football greats (coaches and players). The article noted that these honors are not just coming at the end of careers, as might have been the case in the past.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of San Francisco is being criticized for its decision to evict the Upward Bound program that has operated on its campus since 1966, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The program provides college preparation services for low-income college students, and many advocates for the disadvantaged in the area are saying that the university is abandoning its Jesuit values by kicking out the program. University officials say that it's nothing against the program, but they need its space (and the space of other groups being asked to leave) for other purposes.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, John Beckem of Empire State College explains how audio files are being used to improve communication between professors and distance learners. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates last week arrested Nasser bin Ghaith, an economics professor at the Sorbonne's Abu Dhabi branch campus, shortly after he called for democratic reforms in the U.A.E., Bloomberg reported. The arrest appears to be part of a crackdown on democracy activists and may raise concerns for Western universities operating in the country, which have been assured of the rights of academic freedom for their faculty members.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Pepperdine University's Dyron Daughrity explores the cultural diversity of Christians around the world. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

A divided Board of Regents of the University of Colorado System voted narrowly Thursday to close down the journalism school at its flagship campus at Boulder, The Daily Camera reported. The regents voted 5 to 4 to shutter the school, approving a plan to replace it with a "journalism plus" approach in which students could earn a bachelor's degree in journalism if accompanied by another major. Board members who opposed the school's elimination argued that its problems could be fixed.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Russell Davis, president of Gloucester County College, has resigned amid an investigation into possible financial irregularities that had the college turning over numerous records to country prosecutors, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Davis had been president at the college since September 2008.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

The April 2011 edition of The Pulse podcast features an interview with Ray Henderson, president of Blackboard Learn, talking about future directions for Blackboard's teaching and learning division and the key differences for faculty between Angel and Blackboard 9.1. Find out more about The Pulse here.

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