Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, July 30, 2010 - 3:00am

The Educational Testing Service has announced that it is resuming registrations in Iran for the Test of English as a Foreign Language and the Graduate Record Examination. New United Nations sanctions against Iran led ETS to cut off registrations as the testing service could not process funds coming from the country. Now, ETS has a new arrangement in place to process credit and debit cards in Iran in ways that do not violate U.S. enforcement of the sanctions.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

Hinds Community College has backed down from punishing a student for violating rules against swearing on campus. The college's decision to punish the student angered civil liberties groups as soon it became public in May and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education intervened on his behalf. Under a settlement, the student will no longer be barred from classes. Will Creeley, FIRE's director of legal and public advocacy, said it was important to remember that "Hinds Community College isn't some Victorian finishing school — it's a public institution bound by the First Amendment."

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

Business schools -- including such prestigious ones as those of Columbia and Harvard Universities -- are adding courses on social media to the M.B.A. curriculum, Business Week reported. The rapid growth of social media has many companies wanting to know more about how to use various tools, creating an opening for new M.B.A.'s who want to make themselves more valuable to potential employers. "In the realm of technology it's possible for us to teach our students a tool that their bosses don't have, and they can provide that added value from day one," said John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems at Boston College, where "Social Media & Web 2.0 for Managers" will be offered in the fall. "Social media skills are the ones that can set them apart. Those are the skills that employers are looking for."

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

McGill University's medical school is ending a requirement that applicants submit scores on the Medical College Admission Test, The Montreal Gazette reported. The MCAT is a standard requirement at medical schools in the United States, and at most in Canada as well. But McGill -- located in Montreal -- is dropping the requirement because it wants to recruit more Francophone students, and the test is not offered in French. McGill officials said that they value the MCAT, and even explored the idea of translating it, finding that would be too complicated. But they said that, in the end, it was more important to reach out to all potential applicants.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

IMG Worldwide, a sports and entertainment management company, is buying ISP, which focuses on college sports marketing, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal is reportedly worth $80 million to $100 million and will make IMG the leading company representing colleges on media and marketing deals related to their sports teams.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A story on NPR examines a "little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness." A student at the University of California at Los Angeles describes rotating sleep between the library and friends' couches, and using fitness facilities to shower.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

The athletics department at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is facing a deficit of up to $8 million. So student leaders want to know why the university is sending its basketball team on a trip to Italy, at a cost of $160,000, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. A university spokesman said that 10 days in Italy "will enhance the cohesiveness of the team, while giving our student athletes a unique life experience that will foster their own personal growth." Students who have to finance their own personal growth may have another view. “The fact that the UWM Athletics Department continues to spend outside of its means is troubling. The department simply cannot afford to go on such an extravagant trip regardless of where the money is from,” said Travis Romero-Boeck, president of the Student Association.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

Many students aren't nearly as Web savvy as they imagine themselves to be, according to a study that tracked 102 University of Illinois at Chicago students. Students trust Google and other search engines so much that they only click on sites that come at the top of their searches, failing to see the lack of a relationship between such positions and actual trustworthiness. "Many students think, ‘Google placed it number one, so, of course it's credible,' " said Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and senior author of a paper on the research, in a press release. "This is potentially tricky because Google doesn't rank a site by its credibility." The paper was recently published in the International Journal of Communication.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

U.S. authorities reversed a visa denial that could have prevented Hollman Morris, a Colombian journalist, permission to take a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, The Boston Globe reported. Academic officials had criticized the visa denial, and applauded the reversal of the decision.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

Faculty leaders at Norfolk State University want a greater role in a presidential search that is gearing up, The Virginian-Pilot reported. A faculty member is slated to serve on an "input" committee that will develop traits that are needed in the next leader, but faculty members are not expected on the actual search committee. Board leaders say that they want a completely confidential process, without constituent groups serving on the committee, but faculty leaders say that they can in fact maintain confidentiality and deserve to play a role on the search committee.

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