Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 11, 2013

France is known for numerous laws that protect workers. But adjuncts who teach at American programs at France have few of these rights, The New York Times reported. As a result, many report that their pay is based only on time in class and that they have few if any rights when they are ill or otherwise unable to work.

 

February 11, 2013

Following Colorado's vote to legalize marijuana use, THC University was formed to offer courses (without accreditation) for those seeking to learn to grow marijuana. Programs are being offered in "Budtender certification," "Indoor grower certification" and "Master indoor grower certification." Classes are also offered in basic growing.  The Denver Post reported that the university held its first class Saturday and that it was sold out at 20 students. The class met at the Auraria Campus, which is shared by several Colorado colleges and universities (of the accredited type). Because Auraria bans pot, the first class used tomato plants to demonstrate growing techniques.

 

February 11, 2013

Numerous press reports over the weekend said that President Obama would focus on education -- likely the cost of higher education and the importance of job training -- in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. But those reports generally had little detail and higher education lobbyists said that they also lacked details. The Obama administration has highlighted the issue of college costs,and may return to that issue, but the federal role there may be limited -- especially with state legislatures either directly or indirectly guiding tuition policy at public institutions. The president has also several times proposed major job-training initiatives involving community colleges, but had had limited luck winning funds from Congress.

 

February 11, 2013

The family of the late Joe Paterno on Sunday issued a report denouncing the Freeh report, the outside investigation commissioned by Pennsylvania State University into the institution's responsibility for the sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky of numerous young boys. The Paterno family's report says that the Freeh report was based on "raw speculation and unsupported opinion – not facts and evidence," and the family statement says that there is in fact no evidence that Joe Paterno did anything wrong. Penn State and the National Collegiate Athletic Association shouldn't have relied on this report to draw conclusions on the scandal, the Paterno family says.

Penn State on Sunday issued a statement that did not directly attack the Paterno family's study, but that defended the value of its outside investigation. "As a result of the investigation, 119 recommendations were made to Penn State in areas such as safety and governance. To date, the university has implemented a majority of those recommendations, which are helping to make the university stronger and more accountable. The university intends to implement substantially all of the Freeh recommendations by the end of 2013. It is understandable and appreciated that people will draw their own conclusions and opinions from the facts uncovered in the Freeh report," said the university statement.

 

February 11, 2013

Five U.S. senators and 41 members of the House of Representatives have student loan debt -- and the total owed is more than $1.8 million, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. The center used financial disclosure reports for its study. A similar study from disclosure reports filed in 2008 found that only 3 senators and 27 House members at that time reported student loan debt. Most of the current debt is for the lawmakers' own educations, but some of the debt is in the form of loans for the parents of students, or co-signing the loans of children.

 

 

February 11, 2013

Annette Schavan resigned as Germany's education minister on Saturday, days after Heinrich Heine University revoked her doctorate, the Associated Press reported. The university found that portions of her dissertation had been plagiarized, a charge that Schavan has denied.

 

February 11, 2013

A tornado hit several buildings at the University of Southern Mississippi Sunday, causing significant damage but no injuries. The Sun Herald ran photographs of some of the buildings, and other parts of the campus hit by the tornado.

February 8, 2013

In a rare infractions case involving a Division III non-revenue sport, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Thursday that it has cited Occidental College for failing to monitor its women’s volleyball program, after a former head coach provided impermissible benefits to athletes and recruits, including travel on a booster’s private plane, rental cars, other travel and lodging. The coach also gave apparel to prospects and allowed recruits to travel with the volleyball team and sit on the bench, the public infractions report noted, in conflict with NCAA rules.

Additionally, the report notes, the former head football coach contacted 467 current football players to ask them to transfer to Occidental.

Occidental now faces several penalties, including the following: public reprimand and censure; two years’ probation; a two-year show cause order for the head volleyball coach, meaning any program that wants to hire him must seek approval from the NCAA; a 2013 postseason ban for the women’s volleyball team; vacation of all volleyball records from 2009-11, the years during which the transgressions occurred (self-imposed by the university); and prohibition from all off-campus recruiting for the volleyball team and for the football coach at his current university. In addition, the volleyball program played fewer tournaments and games in 2011-12, punishments that were also self-imposed.
 

February 8, 2013

Holy Family University eliminated 25 non-faculty positions last month, roughly 5 percent of its work force, Philadelphia Business Journal reported. The Philadelphia-area Roman Catholic institution has seen its enrollment dip from 3,224 to 3,094 in the last two years, its officials told the newspaper, saying that the layoffs would result in a shift of resources to "certain areas to enable us to continue to grow and prosper, one administrator said.

February 8, 2013

The University of Iowa accidentally e-mailed to each of about 2,000 students associated with the Center for Diversity and Enrichment the grade-point averages of all of those students, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. An attachment with the students' names and grades was inadvertently included with an unrelated e-mail message. The university has apologized, and notified the students.

 

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