Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 19, 2012

Colleges have long tried (with limited success) to make sure classes are in fact held on the Wednesdays before Thanksgiving break or the Fridays before various weeks off, but many professors have reported that they call off class in part because few students show up.

At the University of Florida this year, for the first time, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be an official holiday, but the university is now campaigning to be sure classes are held today and tomorrow. Some students are planning to be away for all of this week. But The Gainesville Sun reported that Bernard Mair, associate provost, told faculty members last week that they should not let vacations start early. "I'd just like to encourage you to reinforce that with your students and spread the word in your departments that Monday and Tuesday are not holidays," he told the Faculty Senate. "If students start to try to make that such, you should disabuse them of that idea."

 

November 19, 2012

The Association of American University Presses on Friday named Peter Berkery Jr. as its next executive director. Berkery is currently serving as the vice president and publisher of the U.S. law division of Oxford University Press. He has previously worked as a lawyer and as an association official at the National Society of Accountants, the National Paint and Coatings Association, and the American Trucking Association.

November 19, 2012

Jewish alumni of Queen’s University, in Ontario, are distressed by the institution’s decision to award former U.S. President Jimmy Carter an honorary degree due to his critical views on Israel, the National Post reported. Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Carter Center for advancing human rights, wrote a 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, that described Israel as an apartheid state.

Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said the organization has received about 50 complaints from Queen’s alumni. Of Carter, Fogel told the National Post, “He simply doesn’t meet the test of somebody that is seeking to offer a constructive contribution towards advancing peace. And it’s in that context that we’d express real disappointment that a leading institution like Queen’s would further legitimize or validate him by conferring on him this kind of award.”

November 19, 2012

Many Chinese universities fear a decline in student physical fitness, Xinhua reported. More than 30 universities have called off traditional long-distance races because they fear that there are not students fit enough to compete. While students at many universities must pass a physical education test to graduate, they ignore fitness and sometimes beg their instructors to pass them.

November 19, 2012

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, announced in a speech Friday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California that he plans to propose major changes in the funding of technical colleges and University of Wisconsin System, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. Walker said that funding needs to shift so that higher education institutions are funded not on enrollment or even completion, but on completion in programs that train students for jobs that the state needs.

"We’re going to tie our funding in our technical colleges and our University of Wisconsin System into performance and say if you want money, we need you to perform, and particularly in higher education, we need you to perform not just in how many people you have in the classroom.

"In higher education, that means not only degrees, but are young people getting degrees in jobs that are open and needed today, not just the jobs that the universities want to give us, or degrees that people want to give us?"



Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/gov-scott-walker-unveils-agenda-for-wisconsin-during-speech-in/article_a35a1378-31ed-11e2-bb6c-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2CexPSEjE

"We’re going to tie our funding in our technical colleges and our University of Wisconsin System into performance and say if you want money, we need you to perform, and particularly in higher education, we need you to perform not just in how many people you have in the classroom.

"In higher education, that means not only degrees, but are young people getting degrees in jobs that are open and needed today, not just the jobs that the universities want to give us, or degrees that people want to give us?"



Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/gov-scott-walker-unveils-agenda-for-wisconsin-during-speech-in/article_a35a1378-31ed-11e2-bb6c-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2CexPSEjE

"We’re going to tie our funding in our technical colleges and our University of Wisconsin System into performance and say if you want money, we need you to perform, and particularly in higher education, we need you to perform not just in how many people you have in the classroom," he said. "In higher education, that means not only degrees, but are young people getting degrees in jobs that are open and needed today, not just the jobs that the universities want to give us, or degrees that people want to give us?"

Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson, a Democrat, said that Walker's plan sounds like "social engineering" that would force students to study "what industry wants" rather than what students want.
 

November 19, 2012

The Rhodes Trust on Saturday announced the 32 American students named as Rhodes Scholars. They will receive two or three years of study at the University of Oxford. Yale University was the institution with the most winners (7), followed by Harvard University (6). Four institutions -- Cornell and Stanford Universities, and the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy -- had two winners each.

November 16, 2012

California State University at Chico on Thursday suspended all Greek activities, following the alcohol-related death of a student, The Chico Enterprise Record reported. Discussing the incident, President Paul Zingg told a gathering of fraternity and sorority leaders that students don't get "a free pass" for allowing a student to drink 21 shots on his 21st birthday, and "pass out in his vomit."

November 16, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Michael Sayette of the University of Pittsburgh explains how alcohol influences social interactions between strangers. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

November 16, 2012

The Data Quality Campaign today released its latest annual assessment of the quality of education data collected by states, with a particular emphasis on efforts that link vital stats on K-12, higher education and the workforce. Other factors considered in the analysis were if states make education data public and whether that information is used in student-level progress reports. The group singled out Kentucky, Delaware, Maine, Indiana and Ohio for making noteworthy strides on data.

November 16, 2012

Today Inside Higher Ed publishes the latest entry in its Cartoon Caption Contest -- please weigh in in our comments section here with your witty, pithy entries. Also, here, we give you a chance to vote on the three finalists chosen by our panel from among the many dozens of entries for October's cartoon -- vote here.

And, trumpets blaring, we are also pleased to announce the first winner of our contest, who crafted the caption for our September cartoon that most impressed our judges and won the most votes from our readers. Congratulations to Bonnie Gardner, executive assistant to the president at East Central College, in Union, Mo. Her caption suggestion for September's cartoon was: "My adviser told me all my grades were below C level...." She will receive a $100 gift certificate from Amazon and a signed copy of the cartoon from Matthew Henry Hall. (Which should be incentive to the rest of you to enter November's contest.)

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