Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Texas at Austin has been boasting of late of its raids on the University of California's furlough-weary faculty. But The Contra Costa Times reports on how the University of California at Berkeley won back a couple that it lost to Austin just a year ago. Jennifer Johnson-Hanks and William Hanks, a sociologist and an anthropologist, respectively, cited family ties to the Bay Area and the effort by a Berkeley dean who lured them back.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 3:00am

The Medical College of Georgia and a foundation created to support it have ended their rift, The Augusta Chronicle reported. The college cut ties to the foundation two years ago, but has now worked out an arrangement in which the foundation will focus on alumni fund-raising and a new fund-raising arm created by the college will focus on the institution's needs.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Photo: Bernardo Guzman
We can't be sure, but we think this sign spotted by a friend of Inside Higher Ed at the Rally to Restore Sanity may have come from an academic.
Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Iowa has admitted to violating National Collegiate Athletic Association recruiting rules in part by allowing two basketball recruits to meet Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore at a football game, The Des Moines Register reported. Kutcher is considered a representative of the university's athletic interests, so the high school students should not have been introduced to him.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

An investigation by the Canadian Association of University Teachers has found that Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo allowed the first director of a new academic center they jointly sponsored to be ousted unfairly and in violation of principles of academic freedom. The center, the Balsillie School of International Affairs, was jointly created by the universities and the Center for International Governance Innovation, a think tank created by Jim Balsillie, the Blackberry creator and the major financial backer of the academic venture. The CAUT found that Ramesh Thakur was forced out of the directorship of the new international affairs school for objecting to the pressure being placed on it by the corporate think tank CIGI. The two universities were faulted in the report for "a serious lapse of judgment and loss of commitment to institutional autonomy, academic integrity, due process, and natural justice." The two universities issued a statement to The Globe and Mail in which they said that they objected "strenuously" to the faculty group's findings.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

The Council of Independent Colleges and the Foundation for Independent Higher Education on Friday announced their merger. The two organizations have historically worked closely together, and had been talking for some time about a possible merger. The council has 600 private liberal arts colleges and universities as members and runs a variety of programs to help them with all parts of their missions. The foundation is a network of state fund-raising associations on behalf of private higher education.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the operations and management of the Alabama A&M University Research Institute, through which the university receives grants from federal agencies, The Huntsville Times reported. The institute has had significant turnover among top officials, and a former janitor was recently named as the institute's chief compliance officer, the article said.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Twenty-eight universities have signed a letter to President Obama from NAFSA: Association of International Education calling for an end to regulations imposed in 2004 that have effectively barred most study abroad programs in Cuba. Only about 250 students from the United States studied in Cuba in 2007-8, compared to 2,100 in the last year before the regulations were imposed. "Academic exchanges are often seen as a critical component of U.S. engagement in the world and have historically been a successful tool in building relations between nations," the letter says. "They also present students with an unparalleled educational opportunity. Both of these values of academic exchange hold true regardless of where in the world a student studies abroad, whether in China, Indonesia, England, or Cuba."

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Many of Latin America's universities are experiencing renewed investment and are reaching out for more ties to academe in the rest of the world, Times Higher Education reported. Not only are governments putting more money into higher education -- most notably Brazil, in scientific fields -- but Latin American academic leaders are placing more of a priority on partnerships with universities elsewhere, Times Higher said.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 3:00am

A Kaplan University recruiting manual for admissions officials dealing with veterans who might enroll suggests creating “fear, uncertainty, doubt” about competing colleges, according to an investigation by Bloomberg News, which obtained a copy of the manual. The article discusses how a disabled veteran of the war in Iraq was pressured to enroll by telling him that his spot might be lost to another student -- even though the program for which he was being recruited was online and didn't have any capacity limit. The veteran -- who says the university kicked him out when his federal grant didn't materialize and he couldn't afford tuition -- also says he was told that he could trust Kaplan because it is owned by The Washington Post Company.

A spokeswoman for Kaplan said that the university's approach is to help veterans who may be overlooked by others in higher education. Melissa Mack, the spokeswoman, told Bloomberg: “Active-duty military personnel and veterans are often under-served by traditional institutions.... Kaplan has received significant interest from veterans because of our military-friendly practices.”

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