Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 5, 2013

Feeling creative?

Click here to propose a caption for April's edition of Inside Higher Ed's Cartoon Caption Contest. The three entries that our experts' panel likes best will be put to a vote by our readers, and the winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall.

You can also click here to vote on the three captions nominated by our judges as finalists for our March cartoon. 

And congratulations to the winner of our February contest: Alan F. Edwards Jr., director of policy studies for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Find out more about him and his submission by visiting this link.


April 4, 2013

City University of Seattle, a 40-year-old nonprofit institution that serves mostly adults, will become part of the National University System, under an arrangement announced by National officials Wednesday. City University operates significant teacher education and business programs, and provides a significant amount of its instruction online. Under the new arrangement, which has already won approval of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, it will remain an independent institution but be part of National's growing system of nonprofit institutions, which also includes John F. Kennedy University (as of 2008), WestMed College, and National University itself, which is headquartered in San Diego but has campuses throughout California and surrounding states.

National is one of a small number of growing systems of nonprofit institutions that have been adding colleges with related missions and that are seeking additional resources to either survive or thrive. The TCS Education System, for instance, took over Pacific Oaks College in 2010.

April 4, 2013

The former president of one of North Dakota's public universities has urged the region's accreditor to investigate recent actions by the state's public higher education system and its new chancellor, The Grand Forks Herald reported. In a complaint to the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Ellen Chaffee, president emerita of Valley City State University and a consultant on college governance, expressed her "grave" concerns over the direction the State Board of Higher Education has taken since Hamid Shirvani became chancellor last summer. She cited a range of alleged violations of the commission's standards on governance and a destructive personal style on Shirvani's part. A spokeswoman for the North Dakota system told the newspaper that Chaffee's complaint appeared to be based on rumor and misinformation.

April 4, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Darby Proctor of Emory University shares research indicating a innate sense of fairness in chimpanzees. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

April 4, 2013

The University of Maryland at College Park will establish a close relationship with the Corcoran College of Art and Design and the Corcoran Gallery of Art under a draft agreement announced Wednesday. The Corcoran institutions, in Washington near the White House, have been financially struggling for years. Final terms remain to be determined, but are expected to preserve the Corcoran's independence while giving Maryland a role in the Corcoran board, The Washington Post reported. The final plans are expected to include joint academic programs, shared faculty and a plan for putting the Corcoran in a financially stable situation. Some students protested Wednesday, saying that the Corcoran should remain completely independent.


April 4, 2013

Students at Riverside City College were stunned this week to learn that their student body president, Doug Robert Figueroa, is a registered sex offender, The Press-Enterprise reported. Anonymous fliers were placed on bulletin boards on campus informing people that he had admitted in court that in 2005 he had kidnapped a child under the age of 14 and committed "lewd and lascivious acts" on him. A prison term was suspended at sentencing and he instead was placed on probation for 10 years. Students told the newspaper that they were shocked, and some said that they wished they had known prior to the election.

Via e-mail Figueroa told the newspaper: "Many students have been aware of my status and we believe in rehabilitation.... I dedicate my life to change the stigmas on these types of offenses. Don't get me wrong, there are some offenders that truly need to be on high supervision."

He also published a letter in the student newspaper, Viewspoints. "Do not let life’s mishaps define who you have to be. I have made mistakes in my life, but I have learned from them, accepted the consequences of them, made a difference in my life and will continue to make a difference for the lives of those in my community. Don’t get me wrong, it has not and will not be easy and there will always be those that find humor in bringing you down, but we all must choose to be resilient so we can overcome anything," he wrote. "In holding a public student office, I understand that there will always be those that are malicious and try to prevent good from happening, whether you are president of a community college student body or the greatest nation on Earth. But I am a strong person, a strong leader and through the support of many friends and colleagues, I will continue fighting for the good of every student at Riverside City College."


April 4, 2013

The Faculty Senate at Cleveland State University voted no confidence in the administration Wednesday, citing professors' frustration over planned changes in courses' credit hours, The Plain Dealer reported. Faculty leaders object to the administration's plan to convert most four-credit courses to three-credit courses. The administration says that this will bring Cleveland State in line with other public institutions in the state. But faculty members say that the plan will end up costing low-income students much more for textbooks (since they will need to take more courses to graduate) and will make it difficult for part-timers to make progress toward graduation.


April 3, 2013

The White Student Union, an unofficial, small group at Towson University, has been capturing headlines recently with claims (untrue, the university says) of a surge in crime against white students. In response, about 200 students marched through the campus Tuesday in an event designed to show that the views of the White Student Union do not represent the student body or the university, The Baltimore Sun reported.


April 3, 2013

President Clinton and Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Mark Wrighton on Tuesday outlined plans for the Clinton Global Initiative University 2013 meeting, which will be held this month at the university, attracting a large group of student leaders.

While the event will feature discussion on numerous issues, Clinton discussed several higher education issues in the call Tuesday, expressing concerns about debt levels. “We can’t continue to see the cost of education go up … every decade … when wages are flat,” he said. “The student loan reform [passed in 2010] will help, but a lot of people have student debt that goes beyond the federal student loan program… I think the only sustainable answer is to find a less expensive delivery system.” The answer, Clinton said, may be online education, but “the next big step in this whole deal is for someone to certify what you need to know and then figure out some way of validating the merits of these on line courses.”

Prescription drug abuse, Clinton said, was a particular problem at colleges and universities. “Every institution of higher education should make sure that 100 percent of students understand that you can’t mix prescription pills with alcohol… It’s important that this message [also] go out to students in high schools [and] working people,” he said. “All these young people in their 20s and 30s [are] dying because of these abuses that would be very easily corrected.”

Gendered violence, Clinton said, was an issue that generated substantial interest from university and college students, both from a broader, global-justice based perspective or on a personal level. “It’s a huge problem around the world; the subjugation of women and girls as opposed to the education and empowerment of women and girls is one of the choices the world has to make,” Clinton said. “The students are very interested, particularly if they can figure out some way they can make a difference, even if it’s just sending $5 to the right organization.”


April 3, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security has selected seven colleges for a "Campus Resilience Pilot Program," designed to explore new ways to help colleges prevent emergencies and respond to those that occur. The colleges are:

  • Drexel University.
  • Eastern Connecticut State University.
  • Green River Community College.
  • Navajo Technical College.
  • Texas A&M University.
  • Tougaloo College.
  • University of San Francisco.


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