Higher Education Quick Takes
Officials in Sri Lanka are offering land and tax breaks to recruit about 10 foreign universities to set up campuses there, The Asian Tribune reported. Officials expect campuses to be set up by a Thai university, Asian Institute of Technology, an Indian university, Manipal University, and others.
The University of Tokyo is considering a shift in its academic year, from the current system of starting in the spring to instead starting in the fall, The Mainichi Daily News reported. The move is being considered in part to better align the university with those of many other nations, potentially encouraging more collaboration. If the University of Tokyo makes the shift from the traditional schedule of Japanese universities, many others are expected to follow.
The American Bar Association has imposed a public censure on the law school of Villanova University over its past practice of reporting inaccurate grades and LSAT scores of incoming students in an apparent bid to improve its standing in the rankings, The ABA Journal reported. The sanctions could have been worse, up to removing Villanova from the list of ABA-approved law schools. But the ABA settled for a public censure because the law school determined who was involved in the deception, and none of those people are still employed there.
The University of Texas Investment Management Company, which manages one of the largest university endowments, is increasing its use of derivatives as a hedge against an economic crisis that could seriously hit the fund, Bloomberg reported. Officials are worried about such possibilities as a massive European default or a collapse of the dollar.
North Dakota may finally be ready to cave on the "Fighting Sioux" name and imagery for athletic teams of the University of North Dakota. A new state law required the university to maintain the name, regardless of sanctions from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. But NCAA officials have now made clear they won't budge, and North Dakota doesn't want the sanctions, such as being unable to host postseason competition. North Dakota's Board of Higher Education voted Monday to retire the name, and state legislation is expected to follow later this year, the Associated Press reported.
A three-year fund-raising campaign has produced a permanent scholarship fund of $67.7 million at the Foundation for California Community Colleges. That is enough money to support 3,400 students a year.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy met Monday with leaders of Connecticut's private colleges, and heard their complaints of over-regulation by the state, The Hartford Courant reported. College leaders complained that some regulation takes too long (disputed by some state officials) and that it is inconsistent. Four colleges in the state -- Connecticut and Trinity Colleges, and Wesleyan and Yale Universities -- are exempt from state requirements that new programs at private colleges be approved. Malloy said he was sympathetic to the complaints, but couldn't argue for eliminating all regulation. "We over-regulate, I have to agree with you," he said. But he added: "I'm not saying there shouldn't be some basic review. I'm not a no-review guy."
Three states in India have banned the opening of a film, "Aarakshan," which is in part about India's system of university quotas for members of some disadvantaged groups, The New York Times reported. The system in India is highly controversial, but is enforced by court orders. The name of the film means "reservation," which is how Indians refer to the set-asides for members of certain castes or ethnic groups. The film's website is here, and the trailer follows: