Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 3:00am

Salve Regina University on Friday announced that it will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. The college said that it has long viewed high school grades as the best tool to determine whether applicants can succeed. The testing requirement will continue, however, for nursing and education majors, since those programs lead to standardized certification exams.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 3:00am

Two bills headed for gubernatorial OK or veto in California would allow the California State University System to start offering doctorates in nursing practice and physical therapy, and the bills have renewed debates over the state's master plan for higher education and the role of doctorates in health fields, The Sacramento Bee reported. Historically, doctorates have been offered by the University of California, not Cal State, but lawmakers approved a bill in 2005 to allow Cal State to offer doctorates in education. Advocates for the new doctorates say that they would fill key needs in the health-care system, but critics charge that the bills reflect the push for credential inflation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 3:00am

Authorities in Duluth invoked local ordinances to get students to remove racy signs that were placed in an off-campus neighborhood to "welcome" new students to the University of Minnesota at Duluth, The Duluth News Tribune reported. The newspaper quoted police as admitting that they don't always enforce the rules about such yard signs, but that they do so when there are complaints. Some citizens and students are questioning the inconsistent enforcement, while others say that the signs were offensive. While the News Tribune didn't go into details on what the signs said, the local Fox News show did, offering as examples signs that said “I like the taste of Freshmeat,” “Dads, she’s in our hands now,” and “Free breast exams here.”

Friday, September 3, 2010 - 3:00am

Lasell College has agreed to pay students $191,000 to resolve complaints from the Massachusetts attorney general that the college improperly encouraged students to borrow funds from a lender that was giving the institution's aid officials free trips, The Boston Globe reported. There were less expensive loans available at the time, and the college never revealed to students that its officials had ties to the lender they were sent to. The lender paid for trips by the financial aid director to resorts in Florida and Arizona to serve on an advisory board. College officials said that the travel was legitimate, but that they agreed to settle the case by paying funds back to students who borrowed. A statement by Martha Coakley, the attorney general, said: "Colleges and universities are in a unique position of trust and have a responsibility to provide lending advice that is in the best interest of students and untainted by conflicts of interest. Certainly, no school should ever attempt to restrict a student’s abilities to obtain more affordable loans.’’

Friday, September 3, 2010 - 3:00am

Philip Conroy, who was named president of Quincy College in June, has withdrawn from the position and will remain as vice president for enrollment management at Mount Ida College, The Patriot Ledger reported. Quincy's board is divided on many issues, including the presidency, which was offered to Conroy on a 6-to-5 vote and has yet to be followed up with a contract offer. "It has become increasingly clear to me that the board of governors is unable to unite behind a new president," said Conroy’s resignation letter. "[W]hile the offer of the position was extended there has been no movement toward a contract. Therefore, it is with a profound sense of sadness and disappointment that I respectfully decline the offer to serve as president of Quincy College."

Friday, September 3, 2010 - 3:00am

Prompted in part by a March shooting by a fired maintenance worker, Ohio State University has announced several changes in hiring procedures. The Columbus Dispatch reported that the university will conduct background checks on all new hires, with a single company doing the work. In addition, civil service workers who are fired during their probationary periods will be required to leave work immediately. The fired worker in the March shooting, who shot two others before killing himself, had been had been told he was being dismissed but was still working at the time of the shootings.

Friday, September 3, 2010 - 3:00am

A survey by an independent company has found that 85 percent of faculty members believe that trust between faculty and administration has broken down, and 80 percent say that there is no collaborative decision-making, The Albuquerque Journal reported. The survey was conducted following a faculty vote of no confidence in the administration and a report by the university's accreditor noting the breakdown in faculty-administrator relations. Many professors have complained that they have been given little say in dealing with deep budget cuts that have gone ahead while spending has gone up on administrative functions and athletics.

Friday, September 3, 2010 - 3:00am

Andrew Cuomo, New York State's attorney general (and the Democratic candidate for governor), announced Thursday that his office has started an investigation into "deceptive credit card marketing practices" that focus on college students. He said that his office has sent letters to every college and university in New York State, asking for information on agreements and marketing deals so he can look for "problematic" practices. Cuomo's statement said he was concerned about reports of colleges giving credit card companies students' personal contact information without the students' permission and of cases in which the credit card companies "have bombarded students with solicitations at student centers, athletic events, orientations, classroom buildings, and other campus locations."

Friday, September 3, 2010 - 3:00am

Ron English, football coach at Eastern Michigan University, told the Associated Press that his comments have been misunderstood and that he has great respect for single mothers. English has been trying to quiet criticism over comments he made over the summer in which he said that he wanted football recruits whose fathers had been involved in raising them because they know how to be taught by a man. This week he told the AP that "I regret that some people thought I was attacking single moms," and he noted that his views come from his own experience. "I was raised by my grandmother. My father wasn't really a part of my life until I was a teenager. So, I have all the respect in the world for women raising kids on their own." And while saying he wouldn't discriminate against those raised in single-parent homes, he said it was legitimate to talk about the issue. "I received some great e-mails from women, telling me they didn't know how rational people couldn't understand what I was saying and encouraging me to stick by my guns," he said.

Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 3:00am

Drake University on Wednesday announced that its football team will play a game on May 21, 2011 in Tanzania -- in what the university believes will be the first American football game in Africa. Drake will play an all-star team from the CONADEIP conference in Mexico in what is being called the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl. After the game, members of both teams will participate in service activities in the area and they plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

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