Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

December 2, 2013

André Schiffrin, whose work at Pantheon Books of Random House and at the New Press was influential in promoting the work of many intellectuals, died Sunday at the age of 78, The New York Times reported. The cause was pancreatic cancer. Among the writers whose work Schiffin championed, the Times cited Jean-Paul Sartre, Günter Grass, Studs Terkel, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, Noam Chomsky, Julio Cortázar, Marguerite Duras, Roy Medvedev, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Anita Brookner, and R. D. Laing.

December 2, 2013

Norway's new conservative government appears to have been defeated in its attempt to impose tuition on those from outside the European Union who enroll at universities in the country. Norway's EU obligations prevent it from charging Europeans tuition, but it could charge those from outside Europe, as Denmark and Sweden have recently done and as the new government proposed. News in English Norway reported that advocates for tuition say that those outside the country and region are not contributing to Norway's tax base, and their tuition payments could improve the quality of education. Many deans, however, fear that tuition would scare off many foreign students, as happened when Sweden started charging non-Europeans. The two small coalition partners in the new government killed the proposal last week when they voted against it.

 

December 2, 2013

An article in The Miami Herald explores links between a for-profit college whose founder spent big on political contributions and a legislator who helped the college. Rep. Carlos Trujillo did legal work for the Dade Medical College and the Herald reported that his sister-in-law attends the college free. The Republican lawmaker also successfully sponsored legislation that loosened requirements in the state for physical therapy assistant programs -- a change in the law that allowed for a rapid expansion of the college's programs in the field. The measure became law as a last-minute amendment to a bill on another topic, and the newspaper reported that it could "ultimately boost Dade Medical’s revenues by millions of dollars." The newspaper also said that critics believe the state went too far, and may leave students at risk of enrolling in programs with "watered down standards." Trujillo said he did not know his sister-in-law's financial aid status, and denied any conflict of interest.

 

December 2, 2013

Many at San Jose State University are reacting with shock and outrage to the alleged racial harassment -- for a period of months -- of a black student by the white students with whom he shared a suite. But just two years ago, the administration commissioned a report on diversity on campus, and that study found black students reported a hostile atmosphere that needed changes to be more inclusive, The San Jose Mercury News reported. A sociology professor who wrote the report, Susan Bell Murray, said that after she submitted the report, the administration essentially thanked her but did nothing to publicize or act on the findings. A spokeswoman for the university said that the issues outlined in the report were in fact important to the administration, which was always committed to working on them.

 

November 27, 2013

Aquinas College, in Michigan, has announced that it will provide a hotel room for a homeless student during the coming break in December when residence halls are closed, MLive reported. Aquinas, like many colleges, completely closes its dormitories during the long break between semesters. A student who is homeless when not at college organized a petition to keep the residence halls open, prompting the college to announce that it would find a hotel room for her. Further the college said it would try to seek better solutions for homeless students who face this issue nationally. “I think our awareness of the needs of homeless students has been increased,” said Chad Gunnoe, provost of the college.

 

 

November 27, 2013

A official at a college in China’s Xinjiang region – a site of separatist unrest – said that students will not graduate unless their political views are approved, Reuters reported. "Students whose political qualifications are not up to par must absolutely not graduate, even if their professional course work is excellent," the news service quotes Xu Yuanzhi, the party secretary at Kashgar Teachers College, as saying.

Reuters noted that it is unclear whether this policy has been officially implemented throughout the region. 

November 27, 2013

Ohio State University’s head cheerleading coach, Lenee Buchman, was fired Monday after failing to report sexual misconduct by coaching staff, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Two assistant coaches, Eddie Hollins and Dana Bumbrey, allegedly sent explicit text messages and made inappropriate comments and sexual jokes to athletes. One athlete who the head coach kicked off the team in August had complained that Hollins sent him a text suggesting they engage in a sex act together. The assistant coaches were fired following an investigation and Buchman was sent to a sexual harassment seminar. The student has retained a lawyer and is seeking reinstatement.

November 27, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Ethan Ham of the City University of New York examines what makes an interesting choice and entertaining game. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

November 27, 2013

Fordham University failed to monitor its scholarship program, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Tuesday, after several “communication breakdowns” led to campus officials awarding 87 illegal scholarships. University staff had a “mistaken belief” that NCAA rules allowed them to award scholarships to athletes enrolled in three credit hours during summer sessions rather than the required six, the public infractions report says, and did not verify NCAA or university rules. The NCAA had considered a proposal to make three credits the new minimum, but it was defeated. Penalties for Fordham include a $20,000 fine, an NCAA rules seminar for academic advisers and compliance staff, two years’ probation, and a compliance review by an outside agency.

November 27, 2013

Former State University of New York at Stony Brook athletics director Jim Fiore, who was fired Nov. 19, had faced complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation, misappropriation of university resources, and interrogation of athletes and staff about their sexuality, ESPN reported. The university’s Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action knew for years of Fiore’s misconduct but did not act, according to documents. Fiore had 31 months left on his contract, and Stony Brook will pay the remaining $800,000 he would have earned.

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