John F. Kennedy University this week removed a garden over which it had been sued by a graduate student who uses a wheelchair, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The student charged that the garden was not accessible to those with disabilities, but he said that he wanted to open it up to all, not to have it eliminated. Supporters of the garden said that they were stunned by the development because they had raised much of the money needed to make the garden accessible.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Columbia University has been named the most sexually healthy university in this year's annual rankings by Trojan and Rock the Vote. Columbia is followed by Michigan State University, Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and Brown University. The five worst universities in terms of sexual health, from the bottom, are the University of Idaho, Brigham Young University, DePaul University, Marshall University and Chicago State University. The methodology for the rankings includes such factors as health center hours, availability of condoms and other forms of contraception, the availability of testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and sex advice columns in student newspapers.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 was awarded to Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian author, "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat." The Nobel committee released this biography of the winner, along with lists of his books available in various languages.
Privately held Keiser University on Monday filed a lawsuit against Florida State College at Jacksonville, alleging that two of the college's administrators “disseminated false information about proprietary schools, including Keiser, by working through advocacy groups and 'short sellers' who profit when the price of a publicly traded stock declines in value." Keiser, which is based in Florida, says its enrollment has declined and that companies and high schools are reluctant to set up partnerships since scrutiny of the for-profit sector, within the Obama administration and in Congress, has heightened in the last year.
California's Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments over the legality of the state offering in-state tuition rates to immigrant students without the legal documentation to reside permanently in the United States. The Los Angeles Times reported that justices appeared skeptical of the suit challenging the in-state rates for such students, currently estimated to number at 25,000 at the state's public colleges and universities. Because these students are not eligible for most federal and state aid programs, many would be likely unable to pay out-of-state tuition rates.
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.
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.
Henry R. Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., has donated $100 million to Columbia University's business school -- the largest gift in the school's history. The funds will support construction of the business school's new campus, north of Columbia's Morningside campus.
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly this morning to Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki "for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis." Heck is Willis F. Harrington Professor Emeritus at University of Delaware. Negishi is Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University. Suzuki is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Hokkaido University.
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."