Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

March 11, 2013

State universities in the United Arab Emirates should be barred from teaching most subjects in English and should be encouraged to add more Arabic language and literature courses, said members of the Federal National Council, The National reported. Hamad Al Rahoomi, a council member, said: "We want teaching to be in Arabic. We have doctors graduating from our universities who cannot fill out an application form in Arabic. The situation in government universities is going from bad to worse. We also need to enhance Arabic in private universities."

March 11, 2013

Grand Valley State University has agreed to pay $40,000 to a student who sued for the right to have a guinea pig with her on campus, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The student said she needed the animal for support to deal with depression and other health issues. The university said that it agreed to let her keep an animal in her room, but wanted her to agree not to take it to class or to food service areas. The university specified that the settlement did not indicate any admission of wrongdoing. But the university also agreed to work to develop a policy for students who may need animals to live with them in campus housing.

 

 

March 11, 2013

Female students in Liberia face widespread harassment, including the expectation that they will have sex with instructors or risk being failed, The Guardian reported. Women report that the power of male instructors is so strong that they can force women to retake courses if they refuse to have sex with their professors.

 

March 8, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Matthew Gilg of the University of North Florida reveals what reproduction between diverging species has to teach us about evolution. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

March 8, 2013

Dozens of prominent law professors and deans have urged an American Bar Association panel studying the state of legal education to consider drastic changes to "alter the economics" of law schools, because "legal education cannot continue on the current trajectory." In a letter drafted by a group called "Coalition of Concerned Colleagues," the 67 professors and deans describe the litany of problems facing law schools and their graduates -- rising student debt, a dearth of jobs, and increasing socioeconomic and racial stratification within law schools -- and calls on legal educators to "grapple with these issues before our institutions are reshaped in ways beyond our control."

Among the possible solutions they cite: admitting students to law schools after three undergraduate years, awarding law degrees after two years of law school (and committing the third for electives or internships), diminishing the role of rankings, and expanding Internet-based legal education.

March 8, 2013

After growing opposition from coaches and athletics directors to measures adopted in January by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Board of Directors, the NCAA has suspended two of the proposals and will reconsider modified versions before the board's next meeting in May.

The rules, part of NCAA President Mark Emmert’s broad reform effort, deregulated recruiting through two dozen proposals. The two that have been put on hold are Prop. No. RWG-11-2, which vastly expanded the number and type of athletic staff who could recruit, and Prop. No. RWG-13-5-A, which allowed for unlimited printed recruiting materials to be sent to prospects. Colleges are concerned that the new rules will accelerate the athletics arms race, even though the idea behind the deregulation was to recognize that some programs have more resources available to them and the NCAA should not attempt to ensure that no one program has an advantage over another.

March 8, 2013

Rollins College has decided to strip the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of official recognition as a student group because it requires leaders to be Christian and support certain views, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Representatives of the fellowship, which has faced similar policies at other colleges, complained that the Florida independent college is intolerant of students with evangelical and other strong religious views. But the Rollins Board of Trustees rejected the group's request for an exemption from the college's anti-discrimination policy, which bars student groups from discriminating based on factors such as religion, race and sexual orientation.

March 8, 2013

A transgender student at Emerson College, first turned down by his student health insurance for the breast removal survey he sought, will be covered by the college's insurer after all, The Boston Globe reported. Donnie Collins's story went viral after his fraternity raised nearly $20,000 to pay for his surgery after he found out it would not be covered by insurance. But Emerson officials confirmed with its insurer, Aetna, that its policy did cover such an operation.
 

March 8, 2013

The U.S. Department of State is investigating claims of exploitative living and working conditions faced by guest student workers at three McDonald’s franchises in central Pennsylvania, The Patriot-News reported. The students, who came to the U.S. on J-1 visas, staged a protest on Wednesday, and have petitioned McDonald’s for restitution and improved conditions for guest workers.  McDonald’s said it is investigating the situation.

March 8, 2013

Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, has doubled its enrollment in the last six years -- twice -- to become the largest private university in the country, The Washington Post reported. Much of the growth has been online. Total enrollment at Liberty is now 74,000, with 62,000 enrolled online. (The 74,000 figure is more than 30,000 more than the enrollments at other large private nonprofit institutions, such as New York University, the University of Southern California and Brigham Young University.) A 2010 article in Inside Higher Ed explored Liberty's online strategy.

 

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