Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:00am

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday held a hearing to discuss several proposed bills relating to educational benefits for veterans and military service members. One piece of legislation would expand tuition reimbursement for students who attend out-of-state public institutions under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Another would require colleges to provide more information and counseling to veterans who are prospective students, while also bulking up reporting requirements for student complaints.

Also Thursday, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators proposed new legislation that would prohibit some for-profit colleges from being eligible for military tuition aid. The bill, introduced by Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, would require that institutions be eligible to receive federal financial aid under Department of Education requirements in order to collect student aid from the G.I. Bill and the military tuition assistance program.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

The Alabama Board of Education bought out the contract of Freida Hill, chancellor of the state's community college system, on Wednesday, The Birmingham News reported. Hill and board members agreed not to make disparaging remarks about one another. Hill has been in the office for two years. An evaluation of her performance noted that some board members were critical of her performance, but that others defended her. Hill came into office following a scandal that involved convictions of a former chancellor, a former college president and state legislators.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:35am

An anonymous website over the weekend posted confidential information about McGill University donors, including the size of past gifts, how much the university hoped to obtain from future gifts, personal phone numbers and more, The Montreal Gazette reported. Authorities are investigating how the information was obtained, and the university was able to get the hosts for the site to take it down. The university sent an e-mail message to all donors, pledging to find out what happened and to prevent future such leaks.

 

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:37am

Utah State University Press -- for several years a target of budget cut plans at its home institution -- is merging into the University Press of Colorado. The Utah State press will continue to publish books as an imprint of the Colorado publisher. The Colorado press has been supported by eight colleges and universities in Colorado and will now receive some support from Utah State as well. But Utah State officials said that their overall spending would decrease once the merger is complete.

 

 

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Nicholas Leadbeater of the University of Connecticut explains why the development of electric cars is limited by the availability of rare earth metals. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

The DePauw University visiting journalism professor who used a student's arrest records to teach a lesson about public documents won't be sanctioned, the professor, Mark Tatge, said in a statement Wednesday. Students had complained after Tatge gave his class information on an athlete's arrest on suspicion of resisting arrest, public drunkenness and being a minor in possession of alcohol. The information was all publicly available. In a statement released to Inside Higher Ed on Wednesday, Tatge said he had "learned some things" from the process but maintained that his lesson was legitimate and not mean-spirited.

"I in no way meant to call attention to or to embarrass anyone," he wrote. "My goal here was merely to teach students about public records and make them better critical thinkers by using actual records filed in a public, open Indiana court."

He was also critical of the university's handling of the situation. "I feel the university did a poor job of communicating the intentions and procedures behind its review process to the media," he wrote. "I am committed to working with officials here in hope this kind of situation can be avoided in the future so another DePauw professor does not witness this same kind of communication breakdown."

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

Five private colleges in West Virginia and Virginia are sharing some faculty slots, courtesy of a grant from the Teagle Foundation, The Charleston Gazette reported. Bethany, Davis & Elkins, Emory & Henry and West Virginia Wesleyan Colleges and the University of Charleston will share a single position for a professor to use distance education to teach remedial mathematics at all the campuses, with in-person assistance available at each college. Further, West Virginia Wesleyan and the University of Charleston will share an American history professor. Officials described the arrangements as a way to offer good instruction, while recognizing the financial pressures on small private colleges.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

A Michigan judge on Wednesday ordered Camille Marino to remove from her blogs and social media sites references to a Wayne State University professor she has regularly criticized for doing research with animals, The Detroit News reported. She was ordered to remove any threatening statements, as well as information about where the professor lives. Marino was arrested for violating the terms of a personal protection order obtained by the professor, Donal O'Leary, who studies the cardiovascular system. Some of his research involves dogs. Marino's lawyers said that they believe all of her blog posts were protected by the First Amendment.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Terence Burnham of Chapman University reveals how economic negotiations are often influenced by testosterone. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 4:38am

Two Texas universities reported Tuesday that, working with community colleges, they can offer degrees that cost only $10,000 over four years, The Texas Tribune reported. Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, set that goal, whose feasibility was questioned by many educators. But Texas A&M at San Antonio is about to offer a bachelor's in information technology with an emphasis on cyber security that will cost about $9,700. And Texas A&M at Commerce will soon offer a bachelor's of applied science in organizational leadership for under $10,000.

 

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