Louisiana's Board of Regents, as expected, on Tuesday approved a proposal that would consolidate the University of New Orleans and historically black Southern University at New Orleans into a single institution (with separate campuses) within the University of Louisiana System, The Times-Picayune reported. The vote was 9 to 6 after an intense discussion dominated by passionate pleas from students and other supporters of Southern, who said the creation of the University of Greater New Orleans would undermine the historically black campus's tradition of serving low-income and minority students. But the national consultants who advised the regents and recommended the consolidation as one of two options said the plan would sustain the current Southern campus as an urban access institution. The newspaper cited complaints from some local officials that Governor Bobby Jindal, who had championed the study of the consolidation, had endorsed the plan Monday before the regents voted.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The March 2011 edition of The Pulse features an interview with Steve Anderson, director of the Media Arts + Practice Ph.D. Program and assistant professor of interactive media at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He discusses the prospects of a more rational future for fair use in publishing and teaching.
The Indiana Department of Labor on Tuesday found that the University of Notre Dame knowingly assigned a student to life-threatening situations when he was told to climb a scissor lift during a wind storm last year that sent the lift toppling, killing the student, The Wall Street Journal reported. The university was fined $77,500 for six safety violations. Notre Dame is finishing its own investigation of the incident, and has pledged to release the results.
The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into a professor's complaint that the University of California at Santa Cruz allowed a hostile environment for Jewish students on the campus. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Santa Cruz lecturer, filed a 2009 complaint about the university's sponsorship of events that she believed had a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel slant. In a March 7 letter to Rossman-Benjamin, Arthur Zeidman, who heads the civil rights office's San Francisco office, said it would investigate whether Santa Cruz failed to fulfill its requirements under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- a move applauded by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, which is championing her cause. In a prepared statement, Santa Cruz's general counsel, Carole Rossi, said: "We will, of course, fully cooperate with such an investigation. And as OCR noted in its communication with the campus, that office's decision to review an individual's allegations in no way implies that the agency has determined that the allegations have merit."
Quebec's education minister on Monday fined McGill University $2 million for exceeding government-set limits on the tuition that institutions in the province can charge for programs that are not deemed to be unique, the Montreal Gazette reported. Minister Line Beauchamp fined McGill for charging $29,000 a year for its M.B.A. program, about 10 times what other universities in Quebec charge for that degree. McGill officials declined comment to the newspaper, but they had argued that the university's program is comparable in quality to American business programs that charge significantly more.
Every year there are new complaints about the college admissions process being too complicated and confusing to families. But surveys of students and parents released by the College Board Monday indicated that most in both groups said that the process was relatively clear -- for public and private colleges alike. National surveys like this one tend to be less weighted than much media coverage toward the small minority of students who apply to many competitive colleges, which may explain the differences. On a score of 1-10, with 1 being "very clear" and 10 being "very confusing," parents and students both gave median scores of 3 for knowing how admissions decisions are made. Medians were lower (meaning that respondents said things were more clear) for such issues as knowing whom to call with questions, being able to find needed information on colleges' websites, and completing applications.
After intense debate and a close vote, one half of Maryland's legislature on Monday approved legislation that would let undocumented students attend public colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates, The Washington Post reported. The measure is a compromise version of the original legislation, the newspaper reported; it would let Maryland residents who are in the country illegally pay in-state tuition only at community colleges originally, and do so upon transfer to public universities only after earning an associate degree. Republicans said the measure sent the wrong message about lawbreaking and vowed to oppose its passage in the state House of Delegates.
Leaders save all the really tough decisions until right before they head out the door. The retiring president of Tufts University, Lawrence Bacow, announced in an op-ed in the student newspaper Monday that he was bringing the curtain down on the decades-old tradition of the "Naked Quad Run," citing physical and alcohol-related dangers that befall student participants in the annual event. Bacow said that when he became president a decade ago, he decided to try to "manage" rather than end the event, but that he had concluded over time that that was no longer possible. "Given that we can no longer manage the run, we cannot allow this 'tradition' to continue," he wrote. "Even if I did not act now, NQR would end some day. The only question is whether a student has to die first. We cannot allow this to happen, and the Naked Quad Run will not continue."
Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University is selling 10 spaces in its medical school class to Saudi Arabia for $75,000 each per year, the Chronicle Herald of Halifax reported Saturday. The school's dean told the newspaper that the premium pricing would help the university offset a loss of funding from the government and the aftermath of an "accreditation problem."