Higher Education Quick Takes
A medical research facility at New York University lost thousands of laboratory mice during Hurricane Sandy, NBC News reported. Staff members tried to save the mice but were unable to do so, given the severity of the storm and the speed with which it hit the city. Some research projects could be delayed by years as a result of the losses.
A student at Lorain County Community College was arrested Wednesday after an instructor overheard him say that he wanted to leave class because Governor Mitt Romney was in town and the student wanted to shoot him, the Associated Press reported. The student, who was charged with inducing panic, told police that he was just making a joke and that he didn't even have a gun.
Keiser University has agreed to offer thousands of former students free retraining and has pledged that its admissions counselors and marketing materials will not misrepresent offerings, under an agreement with Florida's attorney general that was announced Wednesday, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. For the last two years, Florida officials have been investigating the recruiting and marketing practices of for-profit colleges. Keiser was for-profit when the investigation started but has since become a nonprofit entity. Keiser has denied any wrongdoing and the agreement does not include any admission that the university did anything wrong.
Among the pledges made by Keiser in the agreement are that it will not advertise its programs as "fully accredited," that it will not say programs have "limited availability" unless that is true, and that federal student loans will not be described as if they have no cost to students. Further, Keiser must "clearly and conspicuously disclose" that credits may not be transferable to other colleges.
Over the past few decades, there has been dramatic growth in the number of countries where significant numbers of college-educated women either marry or live with less-educated men, according to new research by the Center for Demographic Studies of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Historically, it has been rare for countries to see many men end up with better-educated women, but that has changed for a variety of reasons, including greater educational attainment of women. The growth in the number of relationships in which women partner "downward" educationally is seen in a range of countries -- Western and non-Western, developed and developing -- the research found.
The full Faculty Senate at Saint Louis University has voted 51-4 on a measure of no confidence in the university's president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Faculty members are angry over a proposal (since withdrawn) that they say would have effectively eliminated tenure protections, and there have been a number of clashes in recent years over the university's direction. A faculty compilation of documents and articles about the conflict may be found here. A spokesman for the university called the vote "unjustified," adding that "during the past 25 years, Father Biondi has led SLU through a remarkable era of progress, improving academics, increasing the size and quality of the student body, transforming the campus, and enhancing SLU's national and international reputation."
Public colleges and universities have an obligation to work on improving college readiness, and a special responsibility to focus on areas of concentrated poverty, a task force of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities says in a new report. "Serving America’s Future: Increasing College Readiness" argues that more aggressive efforts to strengthen not only academic preparation but also personal and social readiness for college is in institutions' self-interest as well as the national interest.
- 2012 Annual Meeting, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Nov. 11-13, Denver, Colo.
- ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo, Association for Career and Technical Education, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Atlanta, Ga.
- 128th Annual Convention, Modern Language Association, Jan. 3-6, Boston.
- AAC&U Annual Meeting: The Quality of U.S. Degrees, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Jan. 23-26, Atlanta, Ga.
- 23rd Annual Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values, Florida State U., Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Tallahassee, Fla.
These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar, to which campus and other officials can submit their own events. Our site also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education; please submit your news to both listings.
The majority of 18- to 29-year-olds are following the election and plan to vote Tuesday, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. The poll found that engagement had increased since July, as had support for President Obama among young people.
The poll found 67 percent of young people plan to vote, and that 52 percent plan to vote for Obama, 35 percent for Mitt Romney, and 4 percent for a third-party candidate, and 8 percent are still undecided. Whether college students will vote has been a key question for the Obama campaign, since young people formed the base of his support in 2008.