Higher Education Quick Takes
Florida A&M University has called off all performances by its marching band, amid reports that one of its members who died over the weekend in Orlando was the victim of hazing, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Law enforcement officials said that they believed the death was hazing-related. Officials at Florida A&M said that they had received seven reports of hazing over the last decade.
In today’s Academic Minute, Daniel Benjamin of Cornell University questions the role happiness plays in the decision making process. Find out more about the Academic Minute here. (For those of you addicted to the Academic Minute, we'll be publishing podcasts in the series Thursday and Friday, too, despite the holiday.)
Karen Pletz, former president of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, was found dead early Tuesday in Florida, The Kansas City Star reported. The cause of death has not been released, but there were no signs of foul play. Pletz was a widely respected civic leader in Kansas City credited with promoting growth at the university. Her firing in 2009 stunned her many supporters. Last year, a federal grand jury indicted her on charges that she had embezzled more than $1.5 million from the university, engaged in money laundering, and falsified tax returns. She had denied wrongdoing.
Newt Gingrich, who is experiencing a surge in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, said Monday that -- as president -- he would teach a free online course, NBC reported. He said that the course would be distributed in a manner similar to the online offerings of Kaplan or the University of Phoenix. The subject matter would be his policies. Gingrich holds a Ph.D. in history.
Twenty current or former students of a wealthy Long Island high school have now been charged in an SAT cheating scandal, the Associated Press reported. Thirteen of the charges were filed by the local district attorney on Tuesday. Some of those charged allegedly paid others to take the SAT on their behalf. Prosecutors said that they believed that 40 students and former students were involved, but that the statute of limitations prevented charges from being brought against all of them.
Career Education Corporation on Monday disclosed that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has asked the for-profit higher education provider to demonstrate the adequacy of "administrative practices and controls relative to the company's reporting of placement rates." A recent review by an outside law firm found that some of the company's 49 health education and art and design schools did not have sufficient documentation to back up job placements, and that 13 failed to meet the accreditor's placement rate requirement. Career Education's president and CEO, Gary E. McCullough, resigned shortly after that news broke.
The company will present to the accreditor next month on the discrepancy, and "continues to take corrective action," according to the disclosure to investors. The accreditor released a statement about the matter this month, saying: "We are currently conducting an internal review of our processes for evaluating placement rates, including a review of data collected from site visits and audits of Career Education Corporation from the last few years, to determine why those problems were not detected.”
Clark University announced Monday that it will make the SAT or ACT optional for undergraduate admissions. Officials said that the decision followed a study by the faculty and the admissions office, which concluded that the university could make admissions decisions based on such factors as high school grades, rigor of the high school courses taken and extracurricular activities.
Indiana University on Monday formally returned a 15th century painting called "The Flagellation of Christ" to a Berlin museum from which it was stolen in the aftermath of World War II, the Associated Press reported. The painting was stolen by a British soldier and subsequently purchased from a gallery by Indiana's museum, with officials unaware that it was stolen.
Several higher education associations have asked the Department of Defense to withdraw a new memorandum of understanding outlining the guidelines colleges and universities must follow if they wish to award educational assistance to military service members, citing requirements that the groups say are "incompatible" with many colleges' academic policies and practices. Specifically, the letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta says that many institutions would choose not to sign the "memorandum of understanding" for the agency's Military Assistance Program because provisions related to the awarding of academic credit, residency requirements and other matters "are at odds with traditional assumptions about federal versus institutional control over academic affairs."