Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 23, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Dean Buonomano of the University of California at Los Angeles explains why our brains are often biologically unequipped to accurately perceive the modern world. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 23, 2012

The universities attended by James Holmes, who faces charges in the killings in Aurora, Colo., offered some information about Holmes on Friday, but little that would explain what happened.

  • Timothy P. White, chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, held a news conference Friday in which he said that Holmes enrolled as an undergraduate in 2006 and graduated in 2010 as an honors student in neuroscience, earning merit scholarships along the way. White said that there was no evidence of any contact between Holmes and law enforcement while he was enrolled at Riverside.
  • The University of Colorado at Denver issued a brief statement that Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from a graduate program in neurosciences.
  • On Sunday, the University of Colorado said it was investigating whether Holmes used his graduate student position to have materials shipped to the university for his use setting up booby traps in his apartment, the Associated Press reported.

 

July 20, 2012

Students from underserved populations can benefit from dual enrollment, in which high school students take college courses for credit, according to new research from the Community College Research Center. While early college programs are common among more privileged students, the study looked at its impact on student success and retention among lower-income students in California. Dual enrollment students were more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges and stay enrolled, the study found.

July 20, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Prabhjot Singh of Columbia University’s Earth Institute examines how practices introduced in the developing world could improve the efficiency of the healthcare system in the developed world. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

July 20, 2012

Faculty members and students this week held a protest at Coppin State University, objecting to what they say are 25 layoffs or non-renewals of staff members this year, The Baltimore Sun reported. Leaders of the protest said that they never were told why layoffs were needed, and are concerned about the elimination of positions at a time that President Reginald Avery has been adding slots to his cabinet. Avery and other university officials declined to comment on the protests.

July 20, 2012

Steve Garban, former chair of the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees, has resigned from his trustee position, the Associated Press reported. Garban has been criticized for twice failing to share with the full board information about the investigations into Jerry Sandusky, and many have called for him to resign.

 

July 20, 2012

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday killed a major contract that had been criticized as a conflict of interest, The Chicago Tribune reported. The contract was to an architectural firm partly owned by the husband of the administrator who oversees campus construction planning. Christopher Kennedy, chair of the Illinois board, said, "We don't want any more ethical issues associated with the university. We get public money and we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard."

July 20, 2012

Nearly one quarter of first-year female college students try smoking tobacco with a hookah for the first time during their freshman year, according to new research in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. The researchers who did the study said that they worried that many of those attracted to the hookah (or water pipe) may be unaware that many of the dangers associated with cigarette smoking are also associated with smoking tobacco with a hookah.

 

July 19, 2012

The Aspen Institute today published a data set tracking the performance of 120 community colleges it picked as finalists for the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The metrics are unique, according to the institute, and measure colleges on student retention, degrees awarded, graduation and transfer rates, and minority and low-income student success. The institute hopes the data can be used to better learn what works best in the sector.

July 19, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Brad Bushman of Ohio State University reveals the connection between first person shooter video games and real-world marksmanship. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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