Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 3, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security has selected seven colleges for a "Campus Resilience Pilot Program," designed to explore new ways to help colleges prevent emergencies and respond to those that occur. The colleges are:

  • Drexel University.
  • Eastern Connecticut State University.
  • Green River Community College.
  • Navajo Technical College.
  • Texas A&M University.
  • Tougaloo College.
  • University of San Francisco.
April 3, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Kelly Benoit-Bird of Oregon State University explains why safety marine prey species do not always find safety in numbers. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

April 3, 2013

On his television show Monday, the Rev. Pat Robertson responded to a viewer question about why miracles seemed more likely in Africa than in the United States. His answer? "Those people overseas didn't go to Ivy League schools." Robertson went on to say that at our "most advanced schools, we have been inundated with skepticism and secularism," while those in Africa are taught to believe in miracles.




April 2, 2013

Vanity Fair and "60 Minutes" have released a poll of the public on alma maters. Among the findings:

  • Only 32 percent of adults can name the president or dean of their alma mater.
  • Asked about the SAT, 39 percent called the test "a necessary evil," while 23 percent called it a "successful equalizer."
  • Only 34 percent could name Illinois as the state where you can find Northwestern University. (Washington State was picked by 17 percent, Michigan by 11 percent and Oregon by 6 percent).
  • Asked what they wished they had done more of in college, 48 percent said studying, 40 percent said networking, 4 percent said sex and 1 percent said drugs.


April 2, 2013

Oberlin College marked April 1 by letting kittens take over its website. The site should be back to normal today, but the college has archived the kittens of Meowberlin College here.

April 2, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Lisa Aziz-Zadeh of the University of Southern California explains how the brain behaves differently while observing someone we dislike. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

April 2, 2013

Many colleges in Florida — and potentially other states, including California and Texas — could lose eligibility for their students to receive federal financial aid under a new interpretation of the Education Department's "state authorization" rule. While the rule will not be enforced for distance education, it still requires colleges to be licensed in their own state. The Education Department is currently interpreting the rule in a way that disqualifies state licensure by means of accreditation — a process that allows colleges to bypass the ordinary licensure process and be granted state approval based on their accreditation status.

The Education Department sent letters to several Florida colleges in recent weeks, warning them that licensure by means of accreditation is not sufficient to comply with the state authorization rule. The states and the Education Department have until July 1 to resolve the dispute. At that time, all colleges must be in compliance with the department's program integrity rules, including state authorization.


April 2, 2013

Huajun Zhao, an associate researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been charged with economic espionage, accused of stealing research data and materials for a cancer-fighting compound, The Milwaukee Journal reported. Zhao was arrested Saturday and remains held without bail. The charges are based on video of Zhao in a professor's laboratory and searches of his computer hard drive, where he had materials related to the research in question. Zhao also had plane tickets to China for use today. His lawyer told the Journal: "In this earliest stage of a complex case involving a talented professional accused of a serious crime, we look forward to rolling up our sleeves on Dr. Zhao's behalf."

April 2, 2013

President Obama will today announce a $100 million initiative to invent and improve technologies to understand the brain, The New York Times reported. Officials are comparing the effort's ambition and potential impact to that of the Human Genome Project. Part of the plan is to require study of the ethical implications of the new technologies and new research that could be enabled.


April 1, 2013

It's April 1 and that means some campus journalists have been busy coming up with fake news to entertain their campuses today. At New York University, where President John Sexton has been under fire for international expansion and bonuses for administrators, The Washington Square News reported that Sexton would be taking over "The Tonight Show" from Jay Leno. Naturally, fake Sexton doesn't think the show can manage with but one location. From the article: "Sexton’s plans to change the form of 'The Tonight Show' have also been met with criticism. The host plans to turn the show into a global franchise at enormous cost to shareholders, starting with 'The Tonight Show Abu Dhabi,' premiering this September. Early projections indicate the program will draw in literally a dozen viewers, making it one of NBC’s top-rated programs."

The GW Hatchet at George Washington University decided to focus on this year's (real) news that the university lost its rank in U.S. News & World Report after a scandal over incorrect information submitted to the magazine. Everything turned out just fine, according to the joke issue, because the university's lack of a ranking attracted hipster applicants. From the article: "In interviews with accepted students – who took spring campus tours sporting non-prescription glasses, checkered scarves and beer-stained Wavves T-shirts – most said they were drawn to GW’s newfound anonymity after it was kicked off the U.S. News & World Report’s top colleges list last fall. 'GW isn’t on any big rankings list. The problem with schools like the University of Texas or Texas A&M, as great as they are, is that you’ve heard of them,' Amaro Hudson, a prospective student from Austin, Texas, said."

And at the University of Pennsylvania (which ran its joke issue last week), The Daily Pennsylvanian made fun of crackdowns on Greek life, and the shock expressed by campus officials about fraternity life. From the article: "The university has withdrawn recognition from 15 fraternities after discovering that at least half, but probably all, of the fraternities on campus participate in alcohol consumption, unprotected sex, hazing, loud music playing and other activities that are completely typical of fraternities everywhere. According to Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Scott Reikofski, some of the 'frat' members were even caught smoking marijuana, which university officials noted is commonly referred to as 'pot,' 'weed' or 'reefer.'"



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