Higher Education Quick Takes
The University of Utah will have its debut in the Pac-12 in a home game on Thursday evening, Sept. 1. Fearing transportation difficulties, the university has canceled classes that afternoon and evening. Some faculty members, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, aren't happy. "I don’t like the message it sends," said Jay Jordan, an assistant professor of English. "We are going to use the academic schedule to accommodate football."
New state policies have excluded from the University of Georgia immigrants who lack legal documentation to live in the United States. So five University of Georgia professors are starting "Freedom University," a weekly seminar in which they will offer instruction for high school graduates who are barred from the university because of the new policy, the Associated Press reported. "This is not a substitute for letting these students into U.Ga., Georgia State or the other schools," said Pam Voekel, a history professor at Georgia and one of the program's initiators. "It is designed for people who, right now, don't have another option."
Hurricane Irene is already leading some colleges to plan closures and many others to adjust schedules. In the Southeast, closures for today or tomorrow have been announced by such institutions as Cape Fear Community College (for tomorrow), Mount Olive College (also calling off a graduation ceremony planned for Saturday) and Norfolk State University.
Many colleges in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast -- where Irene's force is expected late Saturday or Sunday -- faced other logistical challenges. At several institutions, Irene's expected arrival coincides with when either new or continuing students are supposed to move in. Ursinus College had scheduled continuing students to return Sunday, but has told them they can come back Saturday to avoid driving during the worst of the storm. Haverford College, Rutgers University and the University of New Hampshire were among many announcing similar changes.
Towson University, meanwhile, is offering shelter to 600 international students who are working in Ocean City and other Maryland areas that are being evacuated, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said that Russia, having invested more money in universities, needs to modernize them, RIA Novosti reported. "Now that we've laid the foundation, our next steps should be aimed at modernizing the entire network of higher education institutions in Russia, to make it so that the honorable title of university, academy or institute indeed mean in practice modern quality and ample education, contemporary education," Putin told the leaders of Russian universities.
Gaston Caperton's compensation package at the College Board in 2009 was $1.3 million, triple what he earned in 1999, Bloomberg reported. The article noted that Caperton earns more than the presidents of most colleges and universities. The article also noted other well paid officials associated with the (nonprofit) testing industry. For instance, both ACT and the Educational Testing Service pay board members, an unusual practice for nonprofit organizations.
A Pew Hispanic Center analysis of Census Bureau data has found that Hispanic enrollments in higher education increased by 24 percent from 2009 to 2010. During that year, the number of Hispanic young adults enrolled in college grew by 349,000, compared with an increase of 88,000 young blacks and 43,000 young Asian Americans and a decrease of 320,000 young non-Hispanic whites. With these combined shifts, Latino enrollment would be larger than black enrollment.
The faculty union at Youngstown State University, after indicating Thursday evening that a strike could start today, announced it would not go on strike today, The Youngstown Vindicator reported. The union and the university remain divided on a new contract.
Cornell, Duke, Emory and Johns Hopkins University are the latest to make digitized "orphan works" -- those whose copyright holders are not known or reachable -- in their collections available to students, faculty, and authorized users on their campuses. They join the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Florida among universities that have opened up their orphan works under the auspices of the educational "fair use" exemption to U.S. copyright law. In the wake of Google's failed attempts to sell access to its massive cache of orphan works, a number of libraries have been working with each other and the Michigan-based HathiTrust Digital Library to identify orphans in their own digital collections and open them up to authorized users for research purposes.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association came down hard Wednesday on Bruce Pearl, the former University of Tennessee men's basketball coach, but imposed no penalties on the other high-profile coach ensnared in the university's rule-breaking case, Lane Kiffin, now at the University of Southern California. (It hardly held up Kiffin as a paragon of virtue, however.) The association's Division I Committee on Infractions said Wednesday that it had concluded that the university had failed to monitor its men's basketball program, which under Pearl engaged in an array of recruiting and other violations of NCAA rules.
The infractions panel said it would largely embrace a set of penalties that Tennessee had earlier imposed on itself, adding only a two-year probation. But the committee said it would require any college that hires Pearl by 2014 to show why it should not have to impose a severe set of limitations on his duties, given that his most serious rule breaking involved misleading NCAA investigators and encouraging other parties in the case to do the same. Three of Pearl's former assistants received similar "show cause" orders.
The committee also found that the Tennessee football program broke numerous "secondary" rules during Kiffin's one-year stint there in 2009, but that they did not rise to a level requiring penalties against the coach. But while Kiffin and officials at USC told reporters that they were pleased that he would avoid sanctions, the infractions panel did not have kind words for him. His time there was "not a record of which to be proud," the panel said.