Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Yale University and the University of Cusco, in Peru, on Friday announced a final agreement to create a research center in Cusco to house a collection of artifacts from Machu Picchu that has been housed at Yale since they were excavated in 1912. Peru's government has for several years been pushing for the artifacts' return, arguing that they never should have been removed from the country. Under the agreement, the research center will include a museum to display some of the artifacts and appropriate facilities for scholars to conduct research. In addition, the center will loan a small number of the artifacts for display at Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History. Yale reached a general agreement with Peru on the artifacts last year, but that pact depended on the development of the agreement announced Friday.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Last week, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa was debating the use of a racial slur and the campus reaction to it -- and over the weekend racial incidents at other campuses became known:

  • At Georgetown College, in Kentucky, local police were summoned to the campus after a series of incidents, including the use of a racial slur, an offensive statement made in a classroom setting, and graffiti and symbols that appeared on parts of the campus, LEX18 News reported. Officials have condemned the incidents, but not provided details on what was said. A national fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Order, announced Saturday that it had suspended its Georgetown College chapter, pending investigations into whether its was involved in the use of racial slurs directed at a minority student, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
  • At the University of Missouri at Columbia, authorities discovered a racial slur on a sculpture outside a dormitory, and a suspect has been arrested, KMOX News reported. The incident came a year after students at Missouri were angered by a scattering of cotton balls -- seen by many as a reference to slavery -- in front of the Black Culture Center.
Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Dyron Daughrity of Pepperdine University reveals the religious and cultural origins of Valentine’s Day. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

An economics professor at Loyola University Maryland, Thomas DiLorenzo, was criticized at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing where he testified last week because he previously gave a lecture at a meeting of the League of the South, a group that calls for the secession of Southern states from the United States, The Baltimore Sun reported. Representative William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) raised questions (in a hearing about the Federal Reserve) about DiLorenzo's testimony because "you work for a Southern nationalist organization that espouses very radical notions about American history and the federal government." DiLorenzo said that the talk was years ago, and did not mean that he backed the group. He told the Sun: "I don't endorse what they say and do any more than I endorse what Congress says and does because I spoke at a hearing on Wednesday."

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Philip H. Brown quit a tenured job teaching economics at Colby College last month amid allegations that he had set up a camera to shoot photographs of female students in the bathroom during a student trip he led to China, The Kennebec Journal reported. Brown could not be reached for comment. Colby officials said that Brown resigned after being told that the college was prepared to fire him over the incident.

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00am

Last year, when students at the University of Iowa wanted to screen "Disco Dolls in Hot Skin (in 3D!)," a 1970s pornographic film, the university barred the showing at a campus movie theater. But this year, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported, the university is not objecting to a screening this weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day. What prompted the change of heart? University officials said that a review of the law suggested that, as a public institution, Iowa couldn't ban the film without violating First Amendment rights.

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, John Baick of Western New England College takes a look at photographs of Abraham Lincoln and what those photos tell us about his experience as a wartime president. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00am

Ave Maria University, a Roman Catholic institution in Florida known for its strict adherence to traditional church teachings, announced Thursday that the founding chancellor and CEO, Thomas S. Monaghan, was leaving daily oversight of the university in July and would be replaced by Jim Towey, the former president of Saint Vincent College. Both Monaghan at Ave Maria and Towey at Saint Vincent have had significant clashes with faculty members over a range of issues.

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00am

Business schools have changed their programs and need to consider further changes as a result of globalization, according to a report issued Thursday by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The report outlines ideas for the kinds of changes business schools need to consider while reviewing some of the notable changes already made.

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00am

College leaders heartened by Wednesday's announcement from House Republican leaders that proposed budget cuts would spare many higher education programs had their hearts sink Thursday. Those very same House leaders -- responding to criticism from Tea Party pressure within their own party -- announced Thursday that they would cut much deeper from the budget for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, requiring them to find another $26 billion in reductions. As House appropriators strive to meet the Pledge to America goal of slicing $100 billion in non-military discretionary spending in the year that ends September 30, it is hard to fathom that those additional cuts will not do damage to some student financial aid and other college-related programs that seemed to have been spared in the earlier review. "Our intent is to make deep but manageable cuts in nearly every area of government, leaving no stone unturned and allowing no agency or program to be held sacred," said Representative Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the panel's chairman. Details are expected soon.

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