Raymund Paredes, higher education commissioner in Texas, said Wednesday that Governor Rick Perry's idea of college degrees that would cost only $10,000 (for four years of study, books included) was "entirely feasible," The Texas Tribune reported. Paredes stressed that the idea was not to apply the idea to every academic program, or to replace existing programs with the new inexpensive model. Many experts have been dubious of the possibility of creating quality programs at the price that the governor has set as a target.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Protesting students have occupied the administration building at Rutgers University, The New York Times reported. The students are demanding a tuition freeze, more student input in decisions and better wages for workers at the university.
St. Francis Xavier University, a Roman Catholic university in Nova Scotia, is reviewing the automatic designation of the area's bishop as chancellor of the university, The Chronicle Herald reported. The chancellor's position includes both ceremonial duties and membership on the governing board. Such arrangements are common at many Catholic institutions, but students have been calling for an end to the tradition, noting that it excludes women and non-Catholics from consideration for the position of chancellor.
The University of Southern California is today announcing a $110 million donation that will be used to provide scholarships to encourage top students to enroll there, the Los Angeles Times reported. Each scholarship will be worth around $47,000, and some will be set aside for graduates of high schools near the university's campus.
The University of British Columbia announced Tuesday that it will not join the National Collegiate Athletic Association but instead will maintain its membership with Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The university considered moving to the NCAA’s Division II -- which opened up membership to Canadian institutions in 2008 as part of larger efforts to differentiate itself from Divisions I and III -- partially “because of concerns that the CIS was limiting the opportunities available to student athletes.” Though university officials say that “the CIS has not yet resolved these issues,” they say their institution is staying in the CIS to “drive change.” Stephen J. Toope, university president, said in a statement: “I believe that significant reforms within CIS, which must also include enhancing scholarship opportunities, will offer Canadian student athletes the kind of competitive opportunities they need and deserve. [The University of British Columbia’s] consultation process has contributed greatly to preparing the ground for the changes that are required for CIS to become the effective competitive arena that will offer student athletes here at [the University of British Columbia] and across Canada a better future.”
Simon Fraser University, a neighboring institution in British Columbia, announced in 2009 that it was making moves to become the first Canadian institution to join the NCAA, specifically Division II. Simon Fraser is currently in the process of being reviewed for accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University because the NCAA is mandating that all Canadian institutions seeking membership be accredited in the United States.
These days, when the Education Department and Census Bureau release various compilations of education statistics, data usually show the relative success of female vs. male students. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau provided the latest factoid in "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010." Among the population of people aged 25 or older who are working, women are now more likely than men (37 percent vs. 35 percent) to have a bachelor's degree.
The report also contains numerous other figures on a range of issues. Summary data back the contention of many experts that educational attainment in the United States could grow significantly by helping people finish degree programs that they have started and abandoned. Consider the following results:
Educational Attainment of Adults 25 and Older, 2010
|No high school diploma||15%|
|High school diploma||29%|
|Attended some college, but no degree||17%|
|Some time in graduate school, but no advanced degree||4%|
The University of Pennsylvania has announced that it found no wrongdoing in the use by the fraternity Zeta Psi of a camel at one of its parties, NBC Philadelphia reported. Photographs of the camel, surrounded by women with drinks, led some to question whether the camel was mistreated. But the university found no abuse.
Donald Trump, who is flirting with running for president, has expanded his demands for records about President Obama's past. Now he not only isn't satisfied with evidence of the president's Hawaii birth, but he wants school and college transcripts. Trump told the Associated Press that he didn't think Obama had the grades to earn admission to Columbia University or Harvard Law School. "I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?" Trump said in an interview with the AP. "I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records." Some pundits are accusing Trump of "playing the race card," by implying that Obama benefited from affirmative action to win admission. While Obama's college transcripts aren't public record, it is known that he graduated magna cum laude from law school -- and a spokeswoman for the law school confirmed that the honor is awarded strictly on the basis of top grades.