Higher Education Quick Takes
The number of associate degrees earned by adult students is growing faster than those earned by traditional-age students, according to the new data from the National Student Clearinghouse's research center. The report, which is based on data from 3,300 institutions, found that the number of two-year degrees awarded by public institutions to students who were at least 25 years old increased by 22 percent in the three years after 2008, when the recession began, compared to a 17 percent increase for younger students.
Germany's education minister, Annette Schavan, is under scrutiny following an investigation by the University of Düsseldorf that suggested she plagiarized her Ph.D. dissertation, Spiegel Online reported. "Not only because of a pattern recurring throughout the work, but also because of specific features found in a significant plurality of sections (in the work), it can be stated that there was a clear intention to deceive," said a report on the investigation.
A significant number of passages in Schavan's dissertation "show the characteristics of a plagiaristic approach," the report added. Schavan, who until now has not commented specifically on the charges, told Südwest Presse: "It is rather striking that a confidential report written by a university professor is given to the press before the person concerned even knows of its existence. I completely reject the charges."
Merging campus civic engagement and economic development can create "engaged learning economies," which are a boon to both colleges and local communities, according to a new report from Campus Compact, a national coalition of 1,200 college and university presidents. The report describes 25 examples where this has worked, including efforts by Widener University to work with local groups to help improve the economy of low-income Chester, Pa., which is home to the university.
The University of Texas is planning today to officially join edX, which offers massive open online courses or MOOCs. Because the Texas announcement involves an entire system, it represents a major expansion of edX, which was founded by two universities (Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and was later joined by one other (the University of California at Berkeley). Coursera, another major MOOC provider, has been adding universities at a rapid pace. The Texas system plans to focus on general education and introductory-level courses for its MOOC offerings. Bloomberg reported that the University of Texas is paying $5 million to join edX.
The New Hampshire Attorney General's office said Friday that allegations from this summer that Dartmouth College trustees steered the college's investments toward their own firms did not merit further investigation and that the office had found no evidence of wrongdoing. An anonymous letter to the office earlier this year alleged that at least 10 Dartmouth alumni who sat on its board of trustees and investment board had made investments that were good for them but bad for the institution's long-term financial health. "Based on the unsupported nature of the allegations in the Complaint, the content of the Responses, and our review of the college's most recent financial statement," the office wrote in a letter to the college's general counsel Friday, "we find no basis to conclude Dartmouth's Trustees have violated state law by engaging in related party transactions involving the investment of a portion of Dartmouth's endowment."
“The Attorney General’s finding that these anonymous and baseless allegations are without merit speaks to the rigor of Dartmouth’s policy and practice," the college said in a statement. "As we have said previously, Dartmouth meets or exceeds all the requirements of New Hampshire law with regard to its endowment investments and for investments with firms managed by trustees or Investment Committee members.”
The Wall Street Journal explores a little-known challenge facing top college football coaches: Because their homes are frequently the largest in their localities, the mansions can be hard to sell when the coaches move to another university. Adding to the difficulty is that the homes frequently have features -- such as putting greens, wet bars and large swimming pools -- that would only appeal to some potential buyers.
Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley were this morning named winners of the 2012 Nobel Memorial Award in Economics "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design." Roth is a professor of economics and business administration at Harvard University. Shapley is professor emeritus of economics at the University of California at Los Angeles.
The Faculty Council of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Louis University has voted no confidence, 35-2, in the university's president, the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Faculty leaders are angry over a recent proposed post-tenure review policy that they say would have effectively gutted tenure protections. Many faculty members say that the administration has stopped consulting with them on key issues. The university "has now become a place of tyranny," said Timothy Lomperis, a political science professor. The administration declined to comment on the faculty vote.