Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 20, 2013

Clerical and support staff workers at the University of Akron have voted to unionize and to be represented by the Communications Workers of America, The Akron Beacon Journal reported. The union already represents skilled trades and crafts workers at the university.

 

February 20, 2013

Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese will deliver the 2013 Jefferson Lecture, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced Tuesday. Scorsese is the first filmmaker chosen for the honor, which is typically awarded to a scholar in the humanities (and is the highest accolade the federal government bestows for such work). NEH Chairman Jim Leach said that Scorsese "follows in the tradition of earlier speakers like John Updike, Barbara Tuchman, and Arthur Miller in revealing a profound understanding and empathy for the human condition.”

This year's lecture will be held on Monday, April 1, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

February 20, 2013

Northern Illinois University has fired Donald Grady as police chief, The Chicago Tribune reported. Grady was hailed as a hero for his response to a campus shooting five years ago, but his dismissal follows reports of police misconduct in a rape case. Grady is planning to appeal the dismissal.

 

February 20, 2013

New data from the U.S. Department of Education show that students at 82 percent of high schools in the United States are enrolled in dual credit courses. The report, which is based on 2010-11 and comes from the department's National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences, also found that 69 percent of high schools reported enrollments in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. The data include information on whether high school instructors taught the courses by themselves, and who covered expenses for the courses.

February 20, 2013

Florida Atlantic University has agreed to name its football stadium for a company, GEO Group, that runs private prisons, The New York Times reported. University officials are defending the deal, saying that they need private money for athletics and that GEO officials have strong ties to the institution. A number of groups have over the years raised questions about GEO Group's management of prisons, and some say that the university should not be using a major facility to promote the company.

 

February 20, 2013

Jean-Lou Chameau announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down as president of the California Institute of Technology, and will take a position leading the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia. In a letter to the campus, Chameau said that he and his wife had until recently "believed we would complete our careers at Caltech and retire in Pasadena. It would be difficult not to feel that way when working in such a special place and community. We did not expect, however, to be presented with a unique and life-changing opportunity: to lead the recently created King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. As I considered accepting the position at KAUST and as I spoke with individuals involved in its founding, I was struck by the attention paid to establishing a culture of excellence, and how its planning had been influenced by great institutions from around the world, including Caltech."

 

February 19, 2013

The University of Oxford announced Monday that it is temporarily blocking access to Google Docs, citing a series of "phishing" attacks in which people have used Google Docs to collect e-mail addresses linked to the university's network. A statement from Oxford said: "We appreciate and apologize for the disruption this caused for our users. Nevertheless, we must always think in terms of the overall risk to the university as a whole, and we certainly cannot rule out taking such action again in future, although our thresholds for doing so may be somewhat higher. We are meanwhile investigating several possible technical measures for reducing the risks to the university with less impact on legitimate network usage, and will be reviewing our emergency communications procedures. We will also be pressuring Google that they need to be far more responsive, if not proactive, regarding abuse of their services for criminal activities."

 

February 19, 2013

Some students at Susquehanna University are questioning a decision to remove 11 members from the football and track and field times because of their participation in a "Harlem Shake" Internet video, WNEP 16 News reported. Many students around the country are filming videos in which they dance to a hip-hop song. The objection at Susquehanna was to simulated sexual acts during part of the video. The university said that the athletes' behavior was "disappointing," but added that they were given plans that, if completed, would allow them to return to their teams. Some students thought the university overreacted.

The video is below and does feature (clothed) simulated acts, so please view only if you are comfortable doing so.

 

 

February 19, 2013

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that there may be an economic payoff to attending a diverse college. The study compared individuals who answered questions in the Add Health database (which covers a wide range of issues). The analysis finds "a positive link" between attending colleges with more diversity and higher earning levels and family income levels. No link was found to greater rates of voting or higher levels of education.

 

February 19, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Ed Baptist of Cornell University explores the cultural and economic importance of cotton in antebellum America. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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