Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 9, 2013

Some Yeshiva University alumni and supporters are calling on the university to block a planned award by a law school student group to President Carter. The student-run Journal of Conflict Resolution plans to give Carter its "Advocate for Peace Award" on Wednesday. A statement from alumni urging that the award be called off says: "Jimmy Carter is anathema to the aspirations of the Jewish people and the survival of the State of Israel. Honoring him at a bedrock of the American Jewish community does not bring wisdom to life or combine a fine education with the teachings of Torah. Honoring Jimmy Carter makes the statement that, notwithstanding the empty claims by the administration that the journal’s choice does not necessarily represent the views of the institution, this individual is someone deserving of recognition. Awarding this honor to someone with Carter’s anti-Israel record that includes whitewashing the genocidal aims of Hamas, mainstreaming the notion that Israel is a racist state, and validating a nuclear Iran is quite simply abhorrent."

Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva, issued a statement Monday that also criticized Carter, but said that the award did not imply an endorsement by the university. "While he has been properly lauded for his role in the Camp David Accords of 1978, I strongly disagree with many of President Carter’s statements and actions in recent years which have mischaracterized the Middle East conflict and have served to alienate those of us who care about Israel. President Carter’s presence at Cardozo in no way represents a university position on his views, nor does it indicate the slightest change in our steadfastly pro-Israel stance," Joel wrote. "That said, Yeshiva University both celebrates and takes seriously its obligation as a university to thrive as a free marketplace of ideas, while remaining committed to its unique mission as a proud Jewish university."

 

 

 

April 9, 2013

Pittsburgh has been the site of some of the most contentious debates in recent years on payments by colleges to localities in lieu of taxes on their property -- and tensions are heating up again. The city recently moved to remove the tax-exempt status of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that, in response, colleges throughout the area have said that they will no longer negotiate with the city on payments they make to support local governments. "Making progress on these long-standing issues is difficult even in the best of circumstances,” said a letter from college leaders to the city. “It would be counter-productive to try to push forward in the adversarial environment that exists today.”

April 9, 2013

Professors at Transylvania University, in Kentucky, have sent a letter to President Owen Williams objecting to what they call "a climate of distrust and demoralization which affects daily operations of the college and the future aspirations of the faculty, administration and board," The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The letter follows the rejection by Williams of two candidates for tenure who had been approved by the relevant faculty committees. Williams said that he had deferred, not rejected, the tenure bids and that the faculty members had only to publish in a peer-reviewed journal to win tenure. But faculty leaders said that this was a new requirement, not one that was in place when the faculty members prepared for their tenure reviews, or when panels considered their candidacies.

 

April 9, 2013

The obituaries of Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday, noted that the late British prime minister had enormous influence on her country -- with many divided about whether that influence was for the good. An article in Times Higher Education quoted supporters of Thatcher saying that she had promoted accountability and efficiency in ways that have had a positive impact. But the article also noted criticism from others that her budget policies started an erosion of the quality of Britain's universities.

April 8, 2013

Officials of Northern Kentucky University on Friday revealed why Scott Eaton was fired last month as athletics director: a series of affairs. NKY.com reported that over a period of years, he had four affairs with women who were university employees and one with a student. Two of the employees worked in jobs that fell under his authority.

April 8, 2013

The University of Arizona has announced an 11 percent cut in tuition for in-state residents and an 8 percent cut for out-of-state residents -- even as most other students at the university will be paying 3 percent more next year. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the press release said that the cuts were "part of the college's larger plan to help students manage law school costs." But the newspaper noted what was left out of the press release: Enrollment of first-year students dropped 14 percent last fall, and applications are down 35 percent since 2005.

 

April 8, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Alex Hastings of Georgia Southern University reveals how work on the Panama Canal has helped paleontologists gain a better understanding of crocodile evolution. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 8, 2013

Boston University has been caught up in a messy fight over a collection of papers, videotapes and film reels of the independent filmmaker Mark Rappaport, The Boston Globe reported. Rappaport gave the materials to Ray Carney, a film professor at BU, in 2005. But Rappaport said he believed that he was turning over the materials for storage while he was going to be out of the country. But Carney has treated the agreement as a gift of the materials to him. With many film luminaries signing a petition demanding that Carney return the materials, some faculty members at BU fear that the reputation of their film program is being hurt by the dispute.

April 8, 2013

Valencia College has a national reputation as a leading community college, but President Sandy Shugart and some trustees have appeared to be having tense relations of late. The Orlando Sentinel reported on e-mails from Guillermo Hansen, one of the trustees who have been critical of Shugart. Hansen complained in an e-mail about his daughter not being interviewed for a job at the college. In addition he complained about the college not moving to advertise publications that might reach Latino students. Hansen is the owner and editor of a bilingual publication for Latinos. Hansen said that he was raising legitimate issues of importance to the college and its students.

 

April 8, 2013

Legislation in North Carolina would remove the state income tax break for parents if their children register to vote with a residence other than the home of their parents, WRAL News reported. The bill was apparently designed to discourage students from voting in the college towns in which many of them live.

 

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