Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 12, 2012

The University of Oregon, like many public universities that lack the state support they would like, is stepping up efforts to recruit out-of-state students who are charged much more than Oregon residents. The Register-Guard reported that these efforts have been so successful -- particularly in attracting students from Southern California who are relatively wealthy -- that lawmakers and some Oregon students are worried that low-income students from the state could be shut out. Oregonians also complain that the Californians aren't as serious about academics, with many quoting the motto "Cs get degrees."

 

November 12, 2012

The University of Virginia board, which this summer ousted President Teresa Sullivan (and then reversed itself amid the resulting outcry), is extending her contract. The university announced Friday that Sullivan's five-year contract, through 2015, had been extended to 2016. Helen E. Dragas, the board chair who was the leader of the effort to get rid of Sullivan, gave the following statement: "The president and her administration have been vigorously addressing many of the vexing questions that face the university and all of higher education – including issues of sustainable funding, academic quality, and new delivery methods. Despite what you may read or hear elsewhere, this board and this administration are working hard on exactly the things that demand our attention. We can’t afford to expend our energies and our time elsewhere. And we are all working together."

 

November 9, 2012

Many scientists were outraged when a video surfaced in October of Representative Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican who chairs the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, saying that evolution and embryology were "lies straight from the pit of hell." Broun was running for re-election unopposed, so it seemed there was little they could do.

But a write-in campaign for Charles Darwin attracted nearly 4,000 votes, and other write-in votes went to "Bill Nye, the Science Guy," Big Bird and "Anyone but Broun," The Athens Banner-Herald reported. The Darwin campaign was organized by Jim Leebens-Mack, the University of Georgia plant biologist, who said that he hopes the votes will encourage someone to challenge Broun in the next election. Leebens-Mack spread word about the Darwin idea on a Facebook page.

 

November 9, 2012

The California State University System is proposing a series of new fees designed to encourage students to graduate on time so that more space is available for other students, The Los Angeles Times reported. The proposal would add fees for "super seniors, those who have already earned 160 semester unit credits; for students who want to repeat a course; and for students who enroll in 18 credits or more in a semester.

 

November 9, 2012

Students at Westminster College, in Utah, held a protest Wednesday in which they taped their mouths shut to protest the recent removal by the administration of the student body president, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The administration acted after the student body president attended a college event while drunk. The protest organizers said that since the student government opted not to impeach the president, the administration should have respected that decision.

 

November 9, 2012

Yale University Provost and President-elect Peter SaloveyJust 10 weeks after its longtime president, Richard Levin, announced that he would step down at the end of the academic year, Yale University announced Thursday that Peter Salovey (right), the university's provost and a professor of psychology, would become its 23rd president. The expedited search (the norm for presidential searches is between six months and a year) was even faster than that of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which made headlines earlier this year for appointing its provost after only three months.

Back then, search consultants said they were seeing more demand for quick searches, since it helps remove uncertainty in leadership.

November 9, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Quincy Gibson of the University of North Florida reveals the connection between manmade noises and aggressive behavior in dolphins. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

November 9, 2012

Career Education Corp. on Thursday announced that it would close 23 of 90 campuses and lay off 900 employees to cope with declining revenue and enrollment. The for-profit chain has been hit hard by what a company official called "new market realities," and has seen its total and new student numbers dip by roughly 22 percent compared to last year. It also reported an operating loss of $110 million for the year through October. The company is taking the "difficult step" of downsizing as part of a plan for a strategic turnaround as a "simplified and more nimble organization," said Steven H. Lesnik, its president and CEO, in a written statement. Career Education Corp. is also facing scrutiny from its accreditors.

November 9, 2012

Nicholas B. Dirks, executive vice president and dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University, was on Thursday named as the next chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. Dirks is the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History at Columbia and the author of three books on India.

 

November 8, 2012

Several hundred students at the University of Mississippi who were frustrated by President Obama's re-election held a protest early Wednesday morning. The Clarion-Ledger reported that while the event was incorrectly described as a "riot," it did involve burning of an Obama campaign poster and the shouting of racial epithets. Chancellor Dan Jones issued a statement expressing disappointment in the “immature and uncivil approach” of some students.

 

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