Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 3:00am

There are relatively few differences in the success rates of women and men who apply for grants from the National Institutes of Health, according to a new study in Academic Medicine. But on grants after a first successful application, men are more likely than women to apply and to receive funding.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Faculty members at the University of Oxford have voted "no confidence" in the higher education policies of Britain's government, Times Higher Education reported.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, the University of Texas at Austin's Raymond Orbach explains research focused on creating a means to efficiently store green energy for on-demand use. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Eight members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference are leaving that group to form their own conference. The eight colleges are all residential liberal arts institutions in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They cited a desire to save time and money on travel by having a conference of closer geographic focus than the SCAC, which includes institutions in Texas, Colorado and Indiana. The members forming a new (not yet named) conference are: Berry, Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Hendrix, Millsaps and Rhodes Colleges; Oglethorpe University and the University of the South.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Bethany University, an Assemblies of God institution in California, announced late Tuesday that its board approved the institution's sale to a group of investors. A statement from the university did not identify the investors, and was vague on the future structure of the institution. The investors, the statement said, "will form a new nonprofit entity to assume operational control of Bethany University. The new corporation agrees to assume all debt and operational liabilities and responsibilities for Bethany University."

Rev. Lew Shelton, who has been president of the university for the last three years, will be leaving that position in July. He did not respond to questions about Tuesday's announcement.

A major controversy in accrediting of late has been the purchase or proposed purchase of regionally accredited nonprofit colleges by for-profit ventures. Ralph A. Wolff, president of the Senior College Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Bethany's accreditor, said that he had seen reports about a for-profit purchase of Bethany, but that he had been told the university would remain nonprofit.

Via e-mail, he said: "We understand that the group mentioned in this press release is intending to maintain the nonprofit status of the university, but will need to verify this and the other arrangements as we work through the transition and related transactions. It is likely that the arrangements being sought will require our review and prior approval, which would provide us with far greater detail than this press release."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Maksud I. Sadikov, rector of the Islamic University of the North Caucasus, was shot to death Tuesday, The New York Times reported. Sadikov has been a leading voice against violence in southern Russia.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

President Obama will focus on job training programs during a visit today to Northern Virginia Community College. One idea he will propose is a series of certifications for various manufacturing jobs so someone studying a skill at one community college could indicate common competencies when seeking jobs in other areas, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

New research out of Ohio State University suggests a silver lining to the cloud of loan debt faced by many students. For young adults aged 18 to 27, the more credit card and student loan debt they hold, the higher their self-esteem. Only once the young adults hit 28 do they start to realize that debt may have a downside. "Debt can be a positive resource for young adults, but it comes with some significant dangers." said Rachel Dwyer, an assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State and lead author of the study. "Young people seem to view debt mostly in just positive terms rather than as a potential burden." The study is being published in the journal Social Science Research.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Nevada is the latest state in which legislation to permit concealed weapons on campuses has died. The Nevada Senate passed the bill -- over the objections of faculty leaders. But The Las Vegas Sun reported that the bill died when a divided Assembly Judiciary Committee failed to take it up.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Yale University is very proud of the popularity of Open Yale Courses, a program in which online videos are available of selected courses. But the university was less than pleased -- and has its lawyers objecting -- to a book published by a university in China that is based on the lectures in some courses, including material copied from translations prepared by a nonprofit group. An article in The Yale Alumni Magazine details the university's concerns.

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