Colleges in the National Collegiate Athletic Association have appealed to force the association to reconsider three rules changes adopted by the association's representative governance system last spring, the association reported. One of the rules -- which would have allowed colleges to make earlier telephone contact with athletes being recruited in sports other than football and men’s basketball -- is suspended while an NCAA panel reconsiders the rule because more than 100 colleges expressed opposition to it. The two other regulations that members are seeking to override -- but that did not earn enough votes to be suspended in the meantime -- (1) prevent an institution from hosting, sponsoring or conducting any nonscholastic basketball practice or game featuring men’s basketball prospects on its campus or at an off-campus facility it uses regularly, and (2) bar institutions in the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) from providing lodging (for example, a hotel or motel) to players before a regular-season home football game. Under the override process, NCAA panels will reconsider the legislation, and if they uphold it, the measures could eventually go to a full vote of the relevant NCAA divisions.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Rumana Monzur, the graduate student at the University of British Columbia, returned to Vancouver on Tuesday, hoping for treatment that might allow her to see again, The Globe and Mail reported. Monzur's husband is charged in Bangladesh with blinding her while she was home to visit her family. Monzur's case has attracted considerable attention, and University of British Columbia colleagues are raising money to help her.
Tens of billions of dollars in cuts to some Medicare reimbursements and hospital payments are now on the table as part of the deficit-reduction talks between the White House and Congressional Republicans, and cuts in at least one area would affect the $9.5 billion Medicare pays to teaching hospitals each year, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Whether the cuts will become law depends on the outcome of the negotiations, but the American Council on Graduate Medical Education, as well as a coalition of hospital lobbyists that includes the Association of American Medical Colleges, has raised the alarm.
In an open letter, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which accredits residency programs, laid out its concerns about the changes. Medicare payments comprise the majority of funding for training medical residents and fellows, the council wrote. Losing the Medicare payments would mean that the small, often rural health-care providers that make up about half of group's 681 accredited programs might have to stop offering residencies. Larger providers might turn to industry sponsorship or ask residents to pay tuition. "Abrupt and dramatic reductions in Medicare [graduate medical education] funding will have a significant and adverse impact on both the number of residents educated and trained, and the quality of that education," the group wrote. "This will challenge the profession's responsibility as a public trust to produce the next generation of physicians to serve the needs of the American public through the provision of excellent, innovative, safe and affordable care."
Yale University on Tuesday announced the completion of a five-year campaign that raised $3.881 billion, exceeding its goal of $3.5 billion. The campaign may be the most successful to date in higher education, but Columbia University is on track to meet its $4 billion campaign goal and has raised its target to $5 billion.
The law school and business school of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities are considering a plan that would have them give up state funds and gain more control over their spending, The Star Tribune reported. A number of professional schools of leading public universities have made such a move or considered it -- but the idea can be controversial.
The Middle East Studies Association is calling on Yale University to agree to an independent investigation of whether the Bush administration played any role in the university's decision not to offer a position to Juan Cole, a Middle East expert at the University of Michigan whose blog attracts a wide readership with his critiques of U.S. foreign policy. The candidacy of Cole for the position at Yale led to a flurry of lobbying by conservatives against his appointment. The Middle East Studies Association, in a letter to Yale officials released Tuesday, noted a recent report in The New York Times that some in the Bush administration were trying to discredit Cole at the time he was up for the Yale position. The letter argues that these reports require an investigation of whether they played any role in what happened to his candidacy. Yale officials were not available for comment.
Harvard University's medical school and Massachusetts General Hospital have punished three professors -- including Joseph Biederman, for many years an influential child psychiatrist -- for conflicts of interest, The Boston Globe reported. Biederman and his colleagues -- Thomas Spencer and Timothy Wilens -- revealed the action in a letter to colleagues. The Harvard investigation was prompted by a Senate probe that questioned whether Biederman and others were reporting consulting fees they received from pharmaceutical companies at a time they were publishing articles about the use of various drugs. The letter from the three professors said that they had made "honest" mistakes but that they “now recognize that we should have devoted more time and attention to the detailed requirements of these policies and to their underlying objectives.’’
A Virginia jury on Thursday ruled that 16 former students who sued Virginia Western Community College are entitled to more than $50,000 each, backing their claim that the college misled them about the accreditation of its nursing program, The Roanoke Times reported. The students were enrolled when the college had conditional accreditation from the National League for Nursing, but evidence presented at the trial suggested that the college did not revise materials such as its website when that group withdrew accreditation. The state is considering an appeal -- and more student suits are pending.
The University of Notre Dame has agreed to a series of policy changes to resolve an inquiry by the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights into the university's handling of sexual assault charges. The OCR statement referenced a number of concrete changes that will assure those bring complaints of clear information about their options and a range of support, while also requiring prompt investigations by the university. Notre Dame's statement, in contrast, referred to "several minor modifications" it agreed to make in its policies. The Education Department inquiry followed a series of complaints about Notre Dame's handling of such allegations. In one case revealed by The Chicago Tribune, a new student at St. Mary's College (Notre Dame's neighbor) killed herself shortly after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexual battery -- a charge that her family believes the university did not investigate adquately. The parents of Lizzy Seeberg, the St. Mary's students, told the Tribune on Friday: "Perhaps it will be her legacy that our daughters and granddaughters, our sisters and nieces, may one day soon walk their college campuses with the safety and freedom that they should expect and that the people should demand."