Higher Education Quick Takes
A majority of college and university officials responding to a National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators survey said their campuses would be "moderately" or "greatly" affected if administrative cost allowances for federal financial aid were eliminated. The allowances, $5 per student receiving Pell Grants, are used to offset the expenses of administering campus-based financial aid programs, and are used primarily for salaries, office supplies, and training and travel.
The money is considered a possible target for deficit reduction, NASFAA wrote in a summary of the survey's findings. More than 500 institutions responded to the survey, and 31 percent said they would be "greatly affected" if the allowances were eliminated, including more than half of all responding public four-year universities. More than half of the public four-year universities said their financial aid office heavily depends on the funds. "Elimination of the ACA would have a detrimental impact on the financial aid offices that serve our nation’s postsecondary students," the group wrote. "We urge lawmakers to consider its importance and necessity as they make difficult budgetary choices."
The number of Latinos earning college degrees in California has risen sharply in recent years, but they still lag behind white students in graduation rates, according to a report from the advocacy group Excelencia in Education. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of Latinos with undergraduate degrees rose by 13 percent, compared to 8 percent for all other ethnic groups, according to the report. But a closer look at the numbers shows that Latinos still trail white students in graduation rates, completion rates per 100 full-time-equivalent students, and the number of degrees awarded per 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 44. The report highlights two programs -- the University of California's Puente Project and Evergreen Valley College's Enlace Program -- as effective in helping increase the number of enrolled and graduating Latino students.
In today’s Academic Minute, Richard Young of the State University of New York at Geneseo explains
how modern technology has provided a more accurate history of the Grand Canyon. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
A recent high school graduate in a college preparatory program at the University of Cincinnati died Saturday of cardiac arrest shortly after a police officer used a Taser on him, Cincinnati.com reported. The student had been planning to enroll at the University of the Cumberlands. Police officers reported that they were called to a dormitory at 3 a.m. about a reported assault, and then the student approached them more than once, appearing angry and with balled fists, ignoring requests that he stop doing so. He was then fired on with the Taser, and police examined him and found him breathing, but they were concerned for his health, and called paramedics. He subsequently died. The university is investigating the incident and has suspended the use of Tasers. Previous uses of Tasers on other campuses have set off controversies.
Richard McCallum, president of Dickinson State University, is resisting requests from the North Dakota University System that he resign, The Dickinson Press reported. McCallum is under fire because of an investigation indicating that some of those listed as enrolled at the university are not actually students. In a statement issued Saturday, he said he would not resign and has retained a lawyer.
McGill University has formally reprimanded Barbara Sherwin, a professor of psychology, obstetrics and gynecology, for not revealing that a ghostwriter contributed to an article she published in 2000, The Montreal Gazette reported. The ghostwriter was hired by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Sherwin was listed as the paper's only author. Sherwin is continuing her work at McGill. After the use of the ghostwriter was revealed, she issued a statement in which she said it was "an error" to fail to make clear there was a second author on the paper, but she added that she believed the peer-reviewed article "represented sound and thorough scholarship, and in no way could be construed as promotion for any particular product or company."
The boards of three Assemblies of God institutions in Springfield, Missouri have voted to merge. If the merger receives final approval from church and state officials as expected, officials hope for economies of scale. The colleges are Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Central Bible College and Evangel University.
More than half of English universities are projecting enrollment declines in light of the significant increases in tuition this year, according to data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Times Higher Education reported. Total enrollment is expected to decline by 2 percent.
The chancellor of the North Dakota University system has asked the president of Dickinson State University, Richard McCallum, to resign after an inquiry found about 180 people listed as enrolled at the institution even though they were not enrolled, The Dickinson Press reported. The investigation started after people complained about receiving surveys for Dickinson State students when they were not enrolled. McCallum did not respond to requests for comment.