Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 30, 2012

Virginia Commonwealth University held a town hall meeting Thursday amid student concerns that the women's volleyball coach was fired for being gay, NBC 12 News reported. Students noted that the coach is popular, that the last season was a success and that reasons offered by the university for his ouster have been vague. Further, critics have noted that there have been two personnel changes in the athletic department since a new athletic director arrived -- the coach's dismissal and the demotion of another gay employee. University officials have denied wrongdoing, but said that they are investigating the allegations.

 

November 30, 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on the STEM Jobs Act, a Republican-backed bill that would create up to 55,000 new visas for foreign graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The bill would also eliminate the diversity visa lottery, which allocates spots to immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

This is a second attempt: a motion to suspend House rules in order to consider the STEM Jobs Act failed 257-158 in September. (Such a motion requires a two-thirds majority.) Although there is bipartisan support for increasing the number of visas available to foreign scientists who have been educated at U.S. universities, Democrats have opposed eliminating diversity visas. The White House announced its opposition to the Stem Jobs Act earlier this week. NAFSA: The Association of International Educators is also opposed to passage of the bill, which, the association says, "perpetuates a divisive, us-versus-them approach to immigration reform.”

“NAFSA supports the goal of creating a direct path to green cards for graduates of U.S. institutions of higher education, including but not limited to the STEM fields. Talented, innovative people are found in all fields, and all who are prepared to become productive members of our society and to contribute to our economy should be welcome. We do not support creating a new path for international students by eliminating another immigration program,” the association said in a statement on Thursday.

November 30, 2012

Leila Ahmed, the Victor S. Thomas professor of divinity at Harvard University, has been named winner of the 2013 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence from the Middle East to America, published last year by Yale University Press. The award, worth $100,000, is sponsored by the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville.

 

November 30, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Diana Deutsch of the University of California at San Diego discusses the genetic and cultural factors that give some people perfect pitch. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

November 30, 2012

Dartmouth College on Thursday named Philip J. Hanlon as its next president. Hanlon, a Dartmouth alumnus, is currently provost and professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan.

November 30, 2012

Representative George Miller, a California Democrat and the senior member of his party on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has requested information from private student lenders about how they interact with borrowers, and has also asked the Government Accountability Office to examine problems with federal loan servicers. Republicans on the committee have also expressed concern about servicing problems in the past. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a report critical of some private lending practices in July.

November 29, 2012

Reports have been circulating in China that the government may impose new rules on agents who recruit students for colleges in the United States and other countries, Voice of America reported. Increasing numbers of American colleges have been hiring agents, but the use of those paid in part on commission remains highly controversial. Chinese media outlets have recently been reporting on unscrupulous agents who have taken advantage of students.

 

November 29, 2012

Pasi Sahlberg, who directs Finland's Center for International Mobility and Cooperation, is today being named winner of the  2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education for his 2011 book, Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? Sahlberg is also adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki and University of Oulu. The award is worth $100,000.
 

November 29, 2012

The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which enforces six anti-discrimination statutes including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, is monitoring more cases than ever before, according to a new report. From 2009-12, the report says, OCR received 24 percent more complaints (28,971, of which it closed 28,577) than in any previous four-year period, and conducted more than 100 compliance reviews. More than half dealt with disability issues, about a quarter with Title IX, 14 percent with sex discrimination and 6 percent with age discrimination. The states with the most reviews were Ohio (nine), California (eight) and New York (seven). 

In 2012, OCR resolved 93 percent of 8,051 complaints within 180 days of receipt, compared to 91 percent of 5,964 total complaints in 2008. During that time, OCR says, it streamlined operations, increased capacity and expanded support and assistance, “while receiving and resolving more cases than ever before, and doing it faster.”
 

November 29, 2012

Pennsylvania State University on Wednesday revealed the compensation of Graham Spanier, who was ousted as president last year. The university reported total taxable income for Spanier of $3,255,762. This includes $700,000 annual salary, $82,557 of taxable benefits and nonrecurring compensation of $2,473,205 that Spanier was contractually entitled to under the terms of his 2010 employment agreement. Details may be found here. Spanier was indicted this month on charges of concealing information about suspected child abuse involving Jerry Sandusky, obstructing the criminal investigation of Sandusky, perjury before a grand jury and endangering the welfare of children.

 

 

Pages

Back to Top