Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 3:00am

Authorities in Tunisia on Tuesday broke up a sit-in that started in November to protest the policy of the University of Manouba banning the niqab, or the full face veil worn by some observant Muslim women, AFP reported. University officials said that they asked for police help to have the protesters -- many of whom are not students at the university -- removed. The university has said that there are security issues in having students enroll when they can't be seen at all because of the niqab.

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 3:00am

Government programs aimed at encouraging more students to complete degrees in science, mathematics, education or technology should be better coordinated across agencies, a report issued Friday by the Government Accountability Office recommended. The report, undertaken after a request from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, found that the 209 STEM programs across 13 agencies frequently overlap but that fewer than half of those programs coordinate with similar efforts. Just because programs overlap doesn't mean they are redundant, the GAO wrote in its report. Still, the office recommended that the Office of Science and Technology Policy create a strategy and plan for STEM programs, including how the programs should share information across agencies, and evaluate the programs based on their outcomes. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 3:00am

About one-third of South Korean universities have announced tuition cuts, The Korea Herald reported. The government has been urging the cuts, in a year in which student aid is being increased, to make higher education more affordable for Korean families.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 4:28am

John Chadima resigned suddenly this month as senior associate athletic director at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Tuesday night, the university revealed the reason (which has been the subject of much speculation). According to an investigation commissioned by the university, Chadima made an unwelcome sexual advance on a student employee and threatened to fire him if he reported the incident, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. The advance took place after a Rose Bowl party for students who worked for the athletic program. The student said he was asked to stay after the party to drink with Chadima. Through his lawyer, Chadima released a statement in which he said that the incident "is certainly not reflective of the type of person I am, my lifestyle, my management style or my faith or beliefs.... However I make no excuses and have come to the realization that over the past few months, alcohol had controlled and consumed my life," the statement continued. "I am taking steps to correct that problem in my life at this time."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 4:29am

An influential New York State senator has introduced legislation to create new felony charges of "facilitation of education testing fraud" and "scheming to defraud educational testing," as well as a new misdemeanor charge of "forgery of a test," the Associated Press reported. While authorities have brought charges against students accused of paying others to take the SAT for them in Long Island, Senator Kenneth LaValle said Tuesday that more tools were needed to combat cheating. LaValle was the prime sponsor of testing legislation in the past that spread to other states, and he said that he hopes New York State will again play that role.

 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 4:33am

The presidents of Ireland's existing universities are objecting to a plan to create a new, technologically oriented university, but they are also denying that they are elitists, The Irish Times reported. The proposed new university would combine smaller technology institutes, and proponents say that the plan would improve the education provided to students. But the current university presidents say that the new institution would lack important characteristics of universities, such as major doctoral programs.

 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Shahid Naeem of Columbia University examines  the history of humanity’s struggle to coexist with the natural environment. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 3:00am

The American Philosophical Association has announced that, starting in 2015-16, the annual meeting of its Eastern Division will no longer take place in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, but will instead take place at the end of the first full week of January. Meetings during the post-Christmas week were in the past a tradition for many humanities scholars, as the Modern Language Association, like the philosophers, met that week. The theory was that one could get good deals at conference hotels, and nobody would have classes scheduled.

But the MLA has switched its meeting to the first week in January for the last two years, and no longer has scholars complaining about having to cut short their family vacations. The philosophers surveyed members, and found strong support for such a shift. (The philosophy association has regional meetings rather than a single national conclave, but the Eastern meeting is the closest to a national meeting, and features job interviews for colleges from across the country.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 3:00am

Trudie Kibbe Reed is stepping down as president of Bethune-Cookman University, amid apparent board disagreements over whether her resignation should be accepted. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported her departure, confirmed by the board chair. The Orlando Sentinel, while also confirming her resignation, quoted a trustee as saying Reed had not resigned, and that the board had taken no action on her departure. (Reed did not respond to an e-mail message from Inside Higher Ed seeking clarification.) Reed has been praised for promoting growth at the historically black college. But the institution has seen controversies as well. An investigation by the American Association of University Professors found that the university violated the due process of faculty members who were fired after they were accused of sexual harassment. University officials disputed the AAUP's findings. Last year, the News-Journal reported that Bethune-Cookman was facing 12 lawsuits from ex-employees who say that they were fired inappropriately.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 3:00am

More than two dozen college associations, accrediting agencies and other organizations have endorsed a set of guidelines that they say show that they are committed to gathering evidence that their students are learning, the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability will announce today. The group, which for three years has been striving to get higher education leaders to agree on a set of goals and methods for using and reporting student learning outcomes, trumpets the new guidelines as a common "checklist" that institutions can and will use to "test whether they are actually doing what needs to be done about gathering, reporting, and using evidence of student learning," said David C. Paris, the group's executive director.

 

 

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