Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 13, 2012

The Montana University System this week announced that it will rename all five of the state's public colleges of technology as well as the two-year college programs at its public universities. The new names drop the word "technology" and reflect an effort to broaden the two-year colleges' mission by offering more services and programming for both traditional-age students and adult learners, according to a news release. An enhanced systemwide identity is part of a push by system leaders to increase the number of degree-holders in the state.

July 13, 2012

Ever since Brandeis University, under a former president three years ago, announced plans to sell its distinguished collection of modern art, the institution has been viewed with some distrust by the art world, even after the plan was abandoned. Many have questioned why there was no permanent director for the Rose Art Museum, which houses the collection. Today Brandeis will announce that Christopher Bedford, chief curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts, a well regarded arts institution affiliated with Ohio State University, will become the new director of the Rose, The Boston Globe reported. Early word in the arts world is that the appointment will be well received and seen as the long awaited signal that the Rose and its modern art collection are secure.

 

July 13, 2012

The University of Hawaii has put its athletics director, Jim Donovan, on leave amid concerns about a fund-raising event. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that $200,000 in athletics department funds were used to plan a concert with Stevie Wonder. One big problem, however, is that Wonder never agreed to appear, raising lots of questions about why and how the funds were used. Department officials did not respond to requests for comment.

July 13, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Amélie Quesnel-Vallée of McGill University reveals the multigenerational advantages of a college degree. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 13, 2012

An architectural contract for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is on hold amid questions about conflict of interest, The Chicago Tribune reported. The $4.6 million contract was awarded to a firm owned in part by the husband of the university official who oversees the planning of construction projects. The State of Illinois has a system for review of contracts with potential conflicts, but the university awarded the funds -- since placed on hold -- without going through that system's reviews.

July 13, 2012

Presidents of Council of Independent Colleges institutions (small and medium-sized private colleges) are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, the organization announced Thursday. The CIC used data collected from a survey of presidents by the American Council on Education, and found that CIC presidents were more satisfied than are the presidents of public institutions. The CIC presidents are also younger than presidents in other sectors.

 

July 13, 2012

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released preliminary data Thursday about types of degrees offered and conferred, tuition and fees rates, and enrollment head counts. Provisional data will be released in about three months, and final data will be available in 2012-13.

Some findings from the report -- “Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in 2011-12, Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2010-11, and 12-Month Enrollment: 2010-11” -- are:

  • Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges, after adjusting for inflation, increased more for in-state students -- 9 percent, to about $7,200 -- than for out-of-state students -- 5.6 percent, to about $16,500. Nonprofit institutions reported a 4.3 percent increase in tuition and fees, to about $23,300, and for-profit institutions reported no increase from the 2009-10 inflation-adjusted figure of about $15,200.
  • Of the 7,398 Title IV institutions in the United States in 2011-12, 41.3 percent, or 3,053, were classified as four-year institutions. About 31.5 percent, or 2,332, were two-year institutions, and 27.2 percent, or 2,013 were less-than-two-year institutions. About 27.6 percent, or 2,039, of all the institutions were public. About 25.5 percent, or 1,890, were nonprofit, and the largest proportion -- 46.9 percent, or 3,469 -- were for-profit institutions.
  • For 2010-11, institutions reported an unduplicated headcount enrollment of about 29.5 million students, comprising about 25.6 million undergraduates and about 3.9 million graduate students. About 12.6 million students were male, and 16.9 million were female.
  • For the same year, institutions reported conferring about 3.6 million degrees. Four-year institutions handed out about 2.9 million of them and two-year institutions awarded about 650,000. Of these, 942,336 were associate degrees. The most popular type of degree was a bachelor’s degree -- 1,715,913. A total of 730,635 master’s degrees were awarded, and 163,765 of all types of doctoral degrees were handed out.
July 12, 2012

University presidents from institutions that are members of the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities wrote a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders on Wednesday, urging them to take action to prevent the mandatory spending cuts that will kick in early next year if Congress does not act. Any agreement should continue support for scientific research and financial aid to students, while enacting changes to entitlement programs and the tax code, the college presidents wrote. "As national leaders in higher education, we urge you to show America and the world that our country's political system is capable of solving serious problems," the presidents wrote.

The letter was the latest in a series that the groups have sent in the past year urging a similar course of action.

July 12, 2012

James H. Ammons announced Wednesday that he will resign as president of Florida A&M University in October. His letter did not detail intense criticism he has faced since last year's hazing death of a student. Since then, there have been numerous reports suggesting that the university did not act aggressively to prevent hazing in the marching band that has been linked to the hazing death and widespread hazing. The Florida A&M board has voted no confidence in Ammons, and state officials have also raised questions about financial and management problems unrelated to the hazing death.

July 12, 2012

Thirty-four percent of the presidents of Japanese universities said that class content is boring and not aligned with student interests, according to a survey by the Japanese government, Daily Yomiuri Online reported. Many presidents suggested that more participatory classroom activities were needed. Nearly 75 percent of presidents said that students weren't spending enough time studying.

 

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