Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 16, 2012

Some university presses are fighting off cuts, but the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism on Monday announced that it is launching a new academic press. Beginning in 2013, the press will release three to five books a year related to journalism. The press will be operated with OR Books, an independent publisher that focuses on e-books and print-on-demand.

 

October 16, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, David Bottjer of the University of Southern California reveals how past periods of global warming caused mass extinctions and how similar patterns are appearing in the oceans today. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


 

October 16, 2012

The number of associate degrees earned by adult students is growing faster than those earned by traditional-age students, according to the new data from the National Student Clearinghouse's research center. The report, which is based on data from 3,300 institutions, found that the number of two-year degrees awarded by public institutions to students who were at least 25 years old increased by 22 percent in the three years after 2008, when the recession began, compared to a 17 percent increase for younger students.

October 16, 2012

Germany's education minister, Annette Schavan, is under scrutiny following an investigation by the University of Düsseldorf that suggested she plagiarized her Ph.D. dissertation, Spiegel Online reported. "Not only because of a pattern recurring throughout the work, but also because of specific features found in a significant plurality of sections (in the work), it can be stated that there was a clear intention to deceive," said a report on the investigation.

A significant number of passages in Schavan's dissertation "show the characteristics of a plagiaristic approach," the report added. Schavan, who until now has not commented specifically on the charges, told Südwest Presse: "It is rather striking that a confidential report written by a university professor is given to the press before the person concerned even knows of its existence. I completely reject the charges."

October 16, 2012

Merging campus civic engagement and economic development can create "engaged learning economies," which are a boon to both colleges and local communities, according to a new report from Campus Compact, a national coalition of 1,200 college and university presidents. The report describes 25 examples where this has worked, including efforts by Widener University to work with local groups to help improve the economy of low-income Chester, Pa., which is home to the university.

October 16, 2012

Mexican authorities on Monday raided three teachers colleges in the state of Michoacan, where students have been hijacking buses and trucks to protest changes in the curriculum, the Associated Press reported. In clashes Monday, 176 protesters -- who have been trying to take over the campuses -- were detained, and 10 police offers were injured.

 

October 16, 2012

This month the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges issued a report calling on trustees to meet their responsibilities for making sure athletics programs are run with integrity, consistent with the educational values of their institutions. It's not clear that all trustees have read the report about where they should focus their attention. The Tampa Bay Times used open-records requests to obtain the e-mail message John Ramil, the board chair of the University of South Florida, sent out after USF lost a football game to Temple University. "Disgusting and unacceptable. We have major problems with our football program," he wrote in an e-mail to the president's chief of staff. That e-mail in turn was forwarded to the athletics director, with a suggestion that he have a talk with the board chair. Asked about the e-mail, Ramil told the newspaper that "I was expressing the same feeling of frustration as all the USF fans are feeling.... I personally want what's best for all the USF programs, whether academic or sports. I also believe in candid feedback, and I think the president and the athletic director and the coaches need to have that kind of feeling of feedback from all the fans. I've given them feedback on good stuff, too."

October 16, 2012

The National Collegiate Athletic Association followed through last Monday on its vow to bar the staging of championship events in New Jersey, citing the state's passage in July of a law that permits sports gambling. NCAA policies prohibit the association from holding events in any state that allows betting on individual college games, and there were five regional and national championships planned for the state in this academic year. “Consistent with our policies and beliefs, the law in New Jersey requires that we no longer host championships in the state," said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. "We will work hard in the days ahead to find new suitable host locations which will allow the student-athletes to have the best possible competitive experience.”

October 15, 2012

The Faculty Council of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Louis University has voted no confidence, 35-2, in the university's president, the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Faculty leaders are angry over a recent proposed post-tenure review policy that they say would have effectively gutted tenure protections. Many faculty members say that the administration has stopped consulting with them on key issues. The university "has now become a place of tyranny," said Timothy Lomperis, a political science professor. The administration declined to comment on the faculty vote.

 

October 15, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Tim Lockley of the University of Warwick explains why 19th-century yellow fever epidemics hit some segments of Savannah’s population harder than others. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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