Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 17, 2012

Dinesh D'Souza, president of the King's College, the evangelical Christian college in the Empire State Building, is under review by the college's board of trustees after a Christian magazine reported that he spent the night at a book signing event with a woman he referred to as his "fiancée" -- not his wife of 20 years. World magazine reported that D'Souza and the woman shared a hotel room; at the time, he hadn't yet filed for divorce from his wife. D'Souza later told the magazine, in a text message, that he'd broken off the engagement.

In a statement, the college's board of trustees said it had been aware of some of the trouble in D'Souza's marriage, but not of all of the details, and when the board learned of the magazine's report, members immediately met with D'Souza in a special session. The board is still investigating the situation and will have a statement soon, college spokesman Matthias Clock told Inside Higher Ed.

"We take seriously our charge to teach a compelling worldview rooted in the Bible and expect all of our leaders to model Christian character and integrity in their public and private lives," the board said in its statement.

D'Souza, the author of The Roots of Obama's Rage, which posits that the president is motivated by "anti-colonial ideology," is a prominent figure in campus conservative movements. As a student at Dartmouth College, he helped found the conservative Dartmouth Review and later wrote Illiberal Education, a critique of what he viewed as too much political correctness in higher education.

October 17, 2012

Hobsons on Tuesday announced its purchase of Beat the GMAT, a large social network of applicants to M.B.A. programs. Hobsons already owns College Confidential, a large social network for undergraduate applicants. But the company has been expanding its work in the professional admissions space through such measures as Tuesday's acquisition and last year's purchase of Intelliworks.

 

October 17, 2012

The chairman of the board that governs Connecticut's public four- and two-year colleges has rescinded a proposed buyout that officials of the public-college system purportedly offered to presidents of the state's community colleges last month. That incident, which infuriated some of the two-year-college leaders, triggered a series of events that led to the resignations of the top two officials of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, President Robert A. Kennedy and Michael Meotti, the executive vice president. "The Board has not authorized any such arrangement and to the extent such an arrangement was offered at that time or thereafter, it is hereby rescinded," Lewis J. Robinson, chairman of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, said in an e-mailed statement late Tuesday.

October 17, 2012

The chair of Britain's Association of Business Schools has criticized that government's spending focus on science and technology disciplines over all others, Times Higher Education reported. Angus Laing, the chair, and also the dean of business and economics at Loughborough University, said that STEM disciplines had achieved "totemic status" in government, but that other fields needed support as well. "While these STEM disciplines are necessary conditions for innovation, for a flourishing knowledge based economy, they are far from sufficient," he said at the association's annual meeting.

"Britain has a fine and proud research tradition in STEM. We unquestionably punch above our weight. Yet in commercializing innovations, in business development, in building global-scale industry leaders and brands, we lag behind our international rivals," Laing added. Business schools should be seen not as "institutional cash generators" but as "innovation generators for society," he said.
 

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.

 

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