Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 3:00am

The New York Public Library will today name Anthony W. Marx, currently president of Amherst College, as its next president, The New York Times reported. The New York Public Library is a major force in scholarship through its extensive research collections, and also has neighborhood branches throughout the city offering books, other materials, and educational programs.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 3:00am

For 21 percent of Americans, saving for college for a child or children was the top savings priority in the last year, second only to saving for retirement (22 percent) as the first priority, according to a poll conducted by Sallie Mae and Gallup. Generally, the poll found stable rates of saving for college, which Sallie Mae said was a positive sign given the economic pressures placed on many families in the last year. Of those who are not saving for college at all, 18 percent said that they do not know how, and 28 percent said that they were not sure of the best savings options.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 3:00am

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both of the University of Manchester, in Britain, were named Tuesday morning as winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. They were honored "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 3:00am

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has sent the University of Virginia another demand for documents about the research of Michael Mann, a former professor who has studied climate change, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. In August, a state judge blocked an earlier request by the attorney general. The university and many faculty groups have accused Cuccinelli of intruding into scholarly disputes in a way that could hinder academic freedom, although he says he is engaged in legitimate oversight of activities at a state university. Mann issued a statement saying: "I find it extremely disturbing that Mr. Cuccinelli seeks to continue to abuse his power as the attorney general of Virginia in this way, pursuing what appears to be an endless smear campaign against the University of Virginia, me and other climate scientists."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 3:00am

Editors of The Eastern Echo, the student newspaper at Eastern Michigan University, are apologizing for and explaining a cartoon that ran last week. The cartoon, found here as cartoon #14, although the number will change as more cartoons are added, shows a couple wearing Klan-style hoods, standing near a tree with a noose hanging from a branch. The text: "Honey, this is the tree where we met." An editorial added Saturday states: "We apologize for the lack of sensitivity some felt we showed for publishing the piece. The cartoon points out the hypocrisy of hate-filled people. Its intent was to ask how can someone show affection for one person while at the same time hating someone else enough to commit such a heinous act as hanging." The Detroit News reported that the university responded to criticism of the cartoon by issuing a statement that said: "Students are responsible for planning, writing and editing the entire newspaper.... The university does not exercise any editorial control over the content of the newspaper. The university does not condone or support any actions that are racially offensive or insensitive."

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 3:00am

Immigration issues took center stage Saturday in a debate of the gubernatorial candidates in California. The chief issue was the recent allegation that Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate, who has called for tougher enforcement of immigration laws, was responsible for having hired a housekeeper without legal documentation to work in the United States. But the issue of immigrant students also came up. A California State University at Fresno student, who is undocumented, asked the candidates about legislation -- supported by Democrat Jerry Brown and opposed by Whitman -- to create a path to citizenship for students like her. Brown then pointed out that Whitman not only opposes the legislation, but has called for undocumented students to be kicked out of the state's public universities, the Los Angeles Times reported. "She wants to kick you out of this school because you are not documented and that is wrong, morally and humanly," Brown said. Whitman defended her stance, saying "I don't think it's fair to bar and eliminate the ability of California citizens to attend higher university and favor undocumenteds."

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 3:00am

Northeastern University, which eliminated football last year, is experiencing increases in the number of applicants and the number of donors since the decision, The Boston Globe reported. While officials there don't claim that the increases are because of the decision on football, they say that the trends debunk the theory that by eliminating football, colleges will undercut alumni or student support.

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 3:00am

A new report from the National Academies outlines the reasons why efforts to improve the science and technology work force in the United States cannot succeed without progress at educating more minority students in these fields. For the United States to reach the national goal of having 10 percent of all 24-year-olds holding a degree in science or engineering disciplines, the number of underrepresented minority students in these fields would need to at least quadruple, the report says. The report highlights steps colleges and universities could take -- based on the successes of some institutions -- in attracting and graduating more minority students in science.

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 3:00am

Gay students at the University of Rhode Island have ended an eight-day library sit-in following an agreement with the university, The Providence Journal reported. The students said that the university was failing to assure a safe environment for them. Under the agreement, the university will add sensitivity programs to promote tolerance, give gay students "a voice" on several university committees, move up the schedule for adding a chief diversity officer and for a new staff member for the gay center on campus, and turn an existing building into the gay center's new home.

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 3:00am

Cecilia Chang, already facing charges of embezzling about $1 million from St. John's University, in New York, is now facing additional charges, of forcing scholarship students to work as personal servants, The New York Times reported. Chang was charged with forced labor and bribery, in response to allegations that she told the students, most of them foreign students, that working 20 hours a week under her supervision was required for their scholarships. The duties included menial tasks at her home and such tasks as driving the dean's son to the airport. A lawyer for Chang said that the students' work was a normal part of work-study programs.

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