Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

June 9, 2014

In the latest "This Week" audio newscast, the Lumina Foundation's Zakiya Smith and Ralph Kuncl of the University of Redlands discuss divisions among public and private college leaders about limits of federal accountability in higher education, the wisdom of trying to rise in the U.S. News college rankings, and more.

June 9, 2014

The Obama administration and some in Congress have fought to kill at nuclear fusion reactor program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, preferring to support other, similar work. But MIT continues to receive federal support for the program. An article in The Boston Globe profiles the lobbying campaign MIT used to overcome long odds of holding on to the program.

 

June 9, 2014

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research points to the financial advantages of letting donors designate where in a large university their money might be used. The study used two groups at Texas A&M University at College Station in which one was sent an appeal for the annual fund, and the other was sent a similar appeal, but with the chance to designate some of their gift to the college they attended within Texas A&M. The researchers found no significant difference in the rates at which donors made any gift. But those with the option to designate, if they gave, made larger contributions. The study was by Catherine Eckel and Jonathan Meer of Texas A&M, and David Herberich of the University of Chicago. An abstract of the study may be found here.

 

 

June 9, 2014

The Ohio Department of Public Safety is giving bomb-sniffing dogs to three universities this week as part of an effort to expand campus security capabilities, the Associated Press reported. The dogs are trained not only for bomb detection but for help in managing security at large-scale events. Bowling Green State, Ohio State and Youngstown State Universities are receiving the dogs.

 

June 9, 2014

Two websites -- here and here -- have been set up to raise money for Mary-Faith Cerasoli, a homeless adjunct who has been on and off a hunger strike to draw attention to issues facing those off the tenure track. Cerasoli has serious health issues that have many of her supporters worried about her well being, and that prompted the fund-raising drives.

 

June 9, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Luis Zayas, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, shares some numbers about the growing number of suicides of female Hispanic teens, and dissects the factors contributing to this troubling trend. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

June 6, 2014

The University College London’s student union barred a self-described “Nietzsche Club” from holding meetings on campus because of concerns that the group, which advertised discussions of the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Julius Evola and which printed the phrase “Equality is a false God” on its posters, was formed to promote fascism or might have ties to fascist organizations, The Daily Beast reported.  

The motion to ban the group stipulates that the philosophers the Nietzsche Club proposed to study were “on the extreme-right, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, anti-Marxist, anti-worker and have had connections, direct or indirect, with Italian fascism and German Nazism." (The Daily Beast article noted that while Mussolini and Hitler were known to be admirers of Nietzsche, many political scientists argue that links between fascism and Nietzsche result from misreadings of his work. Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party while Evola wrote the book, Fascism Viewed From the Right.)

A student union official told The Daily Beast that the ban, approved by the student union in March, has been temporarily suspended pending legal review. Members of the Nietzsche Club did not return the publication’s requests for comment.

June 6, 2014

At least three universities with big-time football programs plan to stop selling jerseys with individual players' numbers on them, ESPN reported, as college athletics faces increasing scrutiny over whether players are getting a fair share of the revenues teams generate. A trial begins next week in an antitrust lawsuit that challenges National Collegiate Athletic Association policies limiting players' rights to be compensated for commercial use of their likenesses, and two video game companies just settled a related suit for $40 million. With those and other threats looming, Northwestern and Texas A&M Universities and the University of Arizona will sell more generic jerseys that do not appear to promote individual players, according to ESPN.

 

June 6, 2014

The governing board of the Technical College System of Georgia on Thursday voted to approve the proposed merger between Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College. The system has used mergers in an attempt to save money and be more efficient. The Moultrie and Southwest consolidation is due to be completed next year. It will reduce the number of colleges in the system to 22, down from 33 in 2009, when the mergers began. System officials said students experience little change in the day-to-day operations of their campuses during mergers. 

June 6, 2014

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetry Fund, withdrew as graduation speaker at Smith College this year as some students protested the organization she leads. But she is scheduled to get an honorary degree on Monday -- but not from Smith. She will receive one from Université de Montréal. A spokesman there said that the event was planned before the Smith controversy, and that no one has objected.

 

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