Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 3:00am

A second legislative committee in Louisiana on Monday approved a proposal to merge Southern University at New Orleans with the University of New Orleans, The Times-Picayune reported. The measure, strongly opposed by advocates for historically black Southern, now moves to a House vote.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Charlene D’Avanzo of Hampshire College explains how biology professors are altering their teaching methods to address the discipline's expanding base of knowledge. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

Harvard University scholars have noted with sadness that their former colleague -- Michael Ignatieff -- suffered a devastating political defeat last week, when Canadian voters rejected the Liberal Party he led. The Boston Globe reported that Ignatieff was "a superstar" during his years in Cambridge, well-liked by students, professors and the popular press as well. But in the Canadian election campaign, his years at Harvard were constantly used against him. One irony is that in a quote from Ignatieff's past that was used against him, he said that, if he lost, he would seek to return to Harvard. In fact, he accepted a post-election job at the University of Toronto.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

Many colleges have majors in religious studies or theology, but Pitzer College believes it is the first to create a major in secularism, The New York Times reported. Professors from other departments will teach courses such as “God, Darwin and Design in America,” “Anxiety in the Age of Reason” and “Bible as Literature.” Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist of religion, is organizing the new major. "It’s not about arguing ‘Is there a God or not?’” Zuckerman told the Times. “There are hundreds of millions of people who are nonreligious. I want to know who they are, what they believe, why they are nonreligious. You have some countries where huge percentages of people — Czechs, Scandinavians — now call themselves atheists. Canada is experiencing a huge wave of secularization. This is happening very rapidly. It has not been studied."

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

A psychologist at the University of Texas at Arlington was the "intended target" in the shooting death of her husband by one of her former student clients, The Dallas Morning News reported. The former student shot and killed himself after killing the psychologist's husband. Authorities said that they came to the conclusion about the shooter's motive based on something they found in in his vehicle, but they declined to say what that was.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

Antioch College, which is being revived after its original version was shut down by Antioch University, announced a key advance on Friday: The chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents has authorized Antioch to award bachelor's degrees. That state approval is crucial to the new Antioch obtaining accreditation.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of California system is debating the idea of charging different tuition rates at different campuses, The Los Angeles Times reported. Proponents say that the idea can bring in badly needed revenue, and is realistic, given that there is much greater demand to enroll at some campuses (Berkeley, for example) than others. Critics see the idea undercutting the unity of the system.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

Students at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee early Saturday morning ended a protest in which they had occupied a study room in the student union nonstop for 67 days, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The students have been protesting Governor Scott Walker's budget plans, which include legislation to deny collective bargaining rights to many state workers. The students attended class during the protests, but kept at least one person in the study room, in which they also slept and ate. Police had to escort some of the protesters out of the room, but none of them resisted.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

The Technion is suing Google, claiming that the company has a responsibility to shut down a blog that is highly critical of a program at the Israeli university, Haaretz reported. The blog is on one of Google's blog-hosting sites. Google declined to comment, but is contesting the suit in an Israeli court. The blog in question is devoted to attacking the quality of a medical school program at the Technion for Americans. The blog claims that the program is a poor choice for American students, and the Technion says that the blog is spreading slander.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 3:00am

During NIU Cares Day last year, students at Northern Illinois University worked to clean up local schools and parks -- but some were also assigned to paint the home of the administrator who oversaw the event, The Chicago Tribune reported. Angela Dreessen, director of student involvement and leadership development, told the Tribune that it was a poor decision to include her house among the projects for students. The university announced that Dreessen was being reassigned, but said that the shift was unrelated to the questions raised about having students paint her home.

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