Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 27, 2012

The McGraw-Hill Companies has sold its education division to Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion, the companies announced Monday. Lloyd G. (Buzz) Waterhouse, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education, said in an interview Monday that customers who use McGraw-Hill products and services should expect "very little" change in the short term, "and definitely not a change in service levels." Waterhouse said that the company would continue to expand in digital education, and that -- as a private company -- "we won't need to worry about short-term focus and pressures."

 

November 27, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Jeremy Green of King’s College London explains how Alan Turing’s mathematical genius continues to guide scientists more than fifty years after his death. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

November 27, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to hear Liberty University's challenge to provisions of President Obama's health care overhaul. The Fourth Circuit had dismissed Liberty's lawsuit contesting the health care law's provisions on the employer mandate to provide insurance and contraception coverage, citing the fact that the provisions had not yet taken effect. But the Supreme Court said that its ruling this summer upholding the overall health care law did not preclude Liberty's suit.

November 27, 2012

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, on Monday called for community colleges -- many of which in his state already offer bachelor's degrees -- to do so for total student costs of $10,000, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Those community colleges with bachelor's programs generally cost more than that. Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has championed the idea of the $10,000 degree and several such programs have launched in Texas. But close analysis of the programs suggests that students in other programs are subsidizing the $10,000 program students, and that the reforms have been more about pricing (for a small number) rather than college costs generally.

November 26, 2012

When Canada started a new program to support endowed chairs at its research universities in 2010, and no women were selected, many academics were alarmed. The government responded by commissioning a study by the Council of Canadian Academies, which issued a report last week on the state of women in the country's universities. The report found continued underrepresentation in the highest ranks of research universities, and "no single solution" to the disparities. Generally, the study found similarities between the proportion and challenges of women in Canadian research universities and those of other economically advanced nations.

November 26, 2012

Governor Chris Gregoire, who is finishing her time leading Washington State, has appointed her daughter to the board of the Seattle Community Colleges, The Seattle Times reported. The appointment was made October 29, but was not announced until Tuesday. A spokesman for the governor said that Courtney Gregoire, a lawyer for Microsoft who has worked as a legislative director in the U.S. Senate and deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Commerce, has "more than ample experience to serve on this community college board."

November 26, 2012

Florida officials have agreed to declare Florida Christian College's students eligible for a state student aid program, settling a lawsuit by the college, The News Service of Florida reported. The college "requires a Bible emphasis of all who earn a degree," and Florida officials had declared it too sectarian for its students to qualify for state aid. But the college argued that its programs have secular educational purposes, and that the state was discriminating against the college on the basis of its religious beliefs.

 

November 26, 2012

The Kansas City Art Institute is suing Larry and Kristina Dodge, for whom the art college named a building, because they haven't made good on a $5 million pledge to pay for the project, The Kansas City Star reported. The institute says that it has a valid legal agreement with the Dodges, and that it made the decision to go ahead with the building based on that pact. The Dodges say that they are struggling financially in the wake of the economic downturn and can't afford to give the money. Kristina Dodge told the Star that the art institute is "completely ruthless and heartless."

November 26, 2012

A Texas jury last week ordered H. Scott Norville, the head of Texas Tech University's civil and environmental engineering department, to pay $590,000 for defaming and physically assaulting a former faculty member, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. Norville declined to comment on the finding. R. Scott Phelan, the former faculty member, had received positive reviews from the department and had been winning outside grants. But he charged that he was denied tenure in retaliation for reporting to the university that he believed Norville was using university time and equipment for a consulting business -- charges Norville disputed.

 

November 26, 2012

Football coaches' salaries continue to increase, even as raises for most of those who work in higher education remain modest, according to a new analysis from USA Today. The average salary for head coaches at major college football programs is $1.64 million, up nearly 12 percent in a year. Further, the newspaper found this shift: while six years ago, 42 coaches earned at least $1 million, this year 42 coaches earned at least $2 million.

 

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