Nine people in China are on trial for selling fake degrees to universities in the United States, China Daily reported. The charges state that those on trail sold more than 30 people fake degrees, for a total of 3.4 million yuan ($540,000). The alleged victims include senior executives of some businesses.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A drag show planned for tonight at the University of San Diego has prompted debate at the Roman Catholic institution. Alumni who are angry about the drag show have created a website called Alumni for a Catholic USD protesting "the promotion of values that are directly contrary to our Catholic faith and traditions." Some are threatening to stop donating to the university. Thousands have signed a petition against the event. Mary Lyons, the president of the university, has defended the right of campus groups to put on the show. And now a new alumni group has been formed to support the university's leaders for not barring the drag show. A USD for Everyone's website says: "Many of us are alums who have worked together at USD to ensure that our alma mater was an inclusive community. Our jobs didn’t end as students. As alums, we have the responsibility to ensure USD remains a place for everyone."
Staff members at Christopher Newport University removed copies of the student newspaper last week because of an article about a possible meth lab on in a dormitory, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Officials were reportedly worried about having the article visible when prospective students and their families were on campus. Paul Trible, the president of the university, condemned the removal of the papers. "This action was taken by young employees who love CNU and were concerned that a newspaper article would create a bad impression for visiting prospective students," Trible said. "Their actions were inappropriate and they will be disciplined in accordance with university procedures."
Chalk up another victory for the Iowa Electronic Markets. The University of Iowa tool, which Inside Higher Ed profiled last fall ahead of the Iowa caucuses, allows people to invest small amounts of cash in support of candidates for political offices or positions on various other matters, and the markets have a good track record of predicting outcomes. The market for the Republican presidential race had lots of variation last summer, but since September 2011, the investors' choice has been Mitt Romney, who on Tuesday became the presumptive nominee when Rick Santorum suspended his campaign.
The University of California at Los Angeles told 894 waitlisted students they had been admitted last weekend, only to backtrack hours later, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The college sent an e-mail about financial aid to accepted and waitlisted students. But one line that was only supposed to be on the message to accepted students also appeared in the form letter to those on the waitlist: "Once again congratulations on your admission to UCLA, we hope that this information will assist you in making your decision to join the Bruin Family in the fall," the message read. UCLA officials informed those students Monday that they were still on the waitlist, and offered an apology.
This has happened before. Vassar College mistakenly told some early decision applicants this winter that they had gotten in, only to write back telling them they were actually rejected. And, The Times reported, the University of California campuses in San Diego and Santa Barbara have accidentally told students they were accepted in past years.
Nine students at Boston University are likely to face criminal charges and possible suspension after a bizarre discovery by police early Monday morning, The Boston Globe reported. After receiving a complaint about noise in a fraternity house, authorities found five BU students in the basement. They were tied up and duct-taped to each other, and were wearing only underwear. Police said that the students had welts on their backs and had been covered in honey and hot sauce. Students in the house belong to Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, which is not affiliated with BU. The national fraternity has suspended the BU chapter.
Excelencia in Education on Tuesday released data showing Latino college completion rates, by state. "The state-level data on Latino college completion show that today’s investment, or lack thereof, in Latino academic preparation and degree attainment can have a compounding effect on state populations, economies, and communities in the near future,” said Deborah Santiago, the organization's co-founder and vice president for policy and research.
Just a week after its women’s basketball players were crowned at the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, Baylor University could be bracing for bad news from the NCAA. ESPN.com reported Monday that an investigation has found more than 1,200 instances of impermissible recruiting contacts on the part of Baylor’s men’s and women’s basketball coaches. The university has reportedly already self-imposed a number of sanctions, including scholarship reductions and recruiting limitations for both teams. The NCAA could impose additional sanctions when its infractions report is made public as early as this week, ESPN wrote.
Over a 29-month period, Baylor’s basketball programs reportedly sent recruits 738 impermissible text messages and made 528 impermissible phone calls, most of which came from the men’s staff in 2007 and 2008. But the investigation also uncovered 405 impermissible calls and texts made across nine different sports during 2011. Both the university and its men's basketball coach, Scott Drew, face major violations charges of "failure to monitor" the sports programs, ESPN wrote.
Baylor's men's basketball team made it to the championship quarterfinals this year, and its football team boasted the Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Monday that the association “can’t get into details” regarding the case because it is still under review. “However,” he continued, “each member agrees to abide by the rules established by the association and our membership expects those who do not follow the rules will be held accountable.”
Students at Guilford College are pushing for a fee increase ($100 over two years) at a time when many college students are objecting to such increases. The News-Record reported that students want the increase to increase the student aid budget. The move comes as Guilford (along with other private colleges in North Carolina) face a loss of state funds for aid for North Carolina students. The college's board will vote on the proposal in June. Kent Chabotar, president of the college, said that he was surprised by the proposal. "The last thing you’d think would be that they’d want to increase the fees even more on their own authority." But he added that push to help fellow students was "a classic Guilford move."