Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

A state judge in Florida ruled Thursday that the Legislature and not a new higher education board has the right to set tuition rates for the state's public universities, the Associated Press reported. The board was created in part to limit the political intrusion into decisions such as setting tuition rates. Appeals are expected.

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The American Economic Association's board plans to discuss whether the organization should have an ethics code dealing with conflicts of interest, The New York Times reported. While many association leaders believe the group will not take action, the idea is that economists who participate in public life through op-eds, testimony and so forth should disclose ties they have to banks or various other financial entities. Critics of the association have said it should take a stand and develop policies comparable to those that require medical professors to disclose ties to pharmaceutical companies.

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

Just before leaving office as New York State's attorney general and becoming the state's governor, Andrew M. Cuomo announced the creation of a national center that will help students and their families better understand their student loan options, The New York Times reported. The center is being created with funds from settlements reached by various colleges and lenders with New York State -- all arising from Cuomo's inquiry into the relationships between lenders and colleges. New York State Higher Education Services Corporation will manage the new center, and the New York Public Interest Research Group will start a publicity campaign to let students know about the center.

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

Stephens College will earn $1 million as a result of its employees losing more than the 250 pounds required in the unusual challenge from an anonymous donor, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The college's employees collectively lost 302 pounds.

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The Association of American Law Schools is facing the prospect of a protest at its annual meeting in San Francisco this week because of a call by a labor group to boycott the Hilton hotel where parts of the meeting will be held. The association moved many sessions out of the hotel in response to the concerns, but leaders of the group note that there is no strike (just a boycott call) and that the organization signed a contract with the hotel nine years ago. Leaders of the association sent a letter to all law deans in December outlining efforts to move many sessions out of the hotel but also voicing concern that some speakers scheduled for the meeting had reported feeling "badgered and harassed" by demands that they move their sessions.

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

Some eyebrows are being raised in Florida over new data showing that some community college graduates -- generally in programs oriented toward science careers -- are earning more upon graduation than those who finish four-year degrees elsewhere, The Miami Herald reported. Those who graduate with an associate in science degree at a community college are reporting an average starting salary of $47,708. That's higher than the average for bachelor's degrees at either the state's public universities ($36,552) or private colleges and universities ($44,558).

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 3:00am

Italy's parliament gave final approval in December to a controversial set of reforms for the nation's universities, The Wall Street Journal reported. The reforms would involve evaluating the quality of university research and of university efforts to train students for available jobs -- and funding formulas would change to reward institutions that do well and to cut funds to the others. Total government support for higher education is expected to be drop significantly over the next year, and many students and faculty members who have been taking to the streets in protests say that the changes will only exacerbate overcrowding and other problems created by years of inadequate budgets.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 3:00am

The U.S. Education Department has published annual data that examine not only the standard two-year "cohort default rate" for student loan borrowers, but also the rate at which student loan borrowers default over the lifetime of their loans. As is true of other analyses of default rates, the statistics show that students at for-profit colleges are more likely to default on their federal loans than are students from other types of colleges.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 3:00am

Italian students held protests throughout the country Wednesday to object to major higher education reforms being promoted by the government of Prime Minister Silvio Belusconi, AFP reported. In Naples, students blocked train tracks, while buildings were occupied elsewhere and police in Palermo had to use tear gas to disperse crowds. The reform plan is expected, among other things, to result in the mergers of some universities and the hiring of non-academics as deans at some institutions.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 3:00am

  • Patrick Griffin, Congressional scholar in residence at American University, has been named associate director for public policy at the university's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.
  • Diana Hess, professor of education at University of Wisconsin at Madison, has been chosen as senior vice president at the Spencer Foundation, in Illinois.
  • Stephanie Kelly, associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Indianapolis, has been promoted to dean of the College of Health Sciences there.
  • David C. Sarrett, interim dean of the School of Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been named dean on a permanent basis.
  • Kent Stucky, associate vice president for university development at Loyola University Chicago, has been appointed as vice president for alumni and development at Trine University, in Indiana.
  • The appointments above are drawn from The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of upcoming events in higher education. To submit job changes or calendar items, please click here.

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