Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 3:00am

The spreading controversy surrounding agents in big-time college sports claimed several more athletes Monday, as the National Collegiate Athletic Association permanently barred two University of North Carolina football players and the university itself dismissed a third from the team. The three players had all been found by a joint NCAA-UNC investigation not only to have taken improper benefits from sports agents (including jewelry and trips to the Bahamas and elsewhere) but also to have lied to investigators.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 3:00am

A long-awaited report from the British government calls for removing most federal support for university degrees and providing large government-backed loans to students to replace those funds, The Telegraph reported. The report also calls for expanding university enrollments and increasing the quality of the institutions.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 3:00am

Olympic College, a community college in Washington State, has instituted new limits on protests by non-students, and some of the rules are being questioned by civil liberties groups, The Kitsap Sun reported. Those who are not students and who want to protest will need to give the college advance notice, submit information about their plans, provide copies of materials to be distributed, and distribute materials only in the protest area. The rules follow a rally last year in which an anti-abortion group carried large photographs of aborted fetuses around campus.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 3:00am

Fisk University, whose efforts to sell a major stake in its multimillion-dollar art collection have repeatedly been quashed by a state judge, has submitted a new plan that seeks to avoid the major objections that previously have been raised, The Tennessean reported. According to the newspaper's account, the Nashville university's latest proposal would have it sell $30 million of paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe and others but ensure that the buyer -- the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art -- cannot purchase the rest of the $73 million collection if Fisk's finances continue to deteriorate.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Connecticut acknowledged on Friday that its men's basketball team had violated National Collegiate Athletic Association rules through improper recruitment of players -- but continued to challenge an allegation by NCAA enforcement officials that its Hall of Fame coach, Jim Calhoun, had "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance." The university's statements came as it formally responded to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, which its officials received in May.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Peace College, a women's college in North Carolina, has offered all full-time faculty members buyouts, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Debra Townsley, president of the college, declined to say whether the buyout offers were budget-related. She said that the college is currently reviewing its academic programs, although it is not yet clear where that review will lead. "It's a changing market place," she told the News & Observer. "We have limited resources, and we want the flexibility to be able to implement some of these things."

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Oregon has asserted that it has one of the few big-time athletic programs that are self-sufficient. But an article in The Oregonian revealed that about $8.5 million from the university's general funds has been used to pay for academic support for athletes over the last nine years. University officials said that they viewed that spending as appropriate, but the article noted that other universities that claim self-sufficiency pay for such academic support from athletic funds.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Three professors were this morning named winners of the 2010 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for their work on labor markets, and for their work explaining how societies can at the same time have large unemployed populations and many job vacancies. The winners are Peter A. Diamond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dale T. Mortensen of Northwestern University and Christopher A. Pissarides of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University, plans today to celebrate his 60th birthday by becoming a U.S. citizen, The Bloomington Herald-Times reported. McRobbie, who is Australian, came to Indiana in 1997 to become vice president for information technology. He held a series of other senior positions before becoming president in 2007. McRobbie said that, as a permanent resident, he has not faced any difficulties in doing his job. He explained his rationale to the Herald-Times this way: "I've thought of myself as a local for a long, long time now, and so from that point of view, I'm sort of formalizing a situation that already exists.... But it is an acknowledgment that I've settled down here. This is home, and I want to make that formally and legally true in every possible way."

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Richard McCormick, president of Rutgers University, said last week that he reviewed the records of the university's response to Tyler Clementi and that the university handled the situation appropriately, The Star-Ledger reported. Clementi apparently killed himself after learning that his roommate had broadcast video of Clementi's sexual encounter with a man. After the suicide, reports surfaced that Clementi had complained to residence life officials about the situation, and those reports have led to demands that Rutgers release all records about those complaints. McCormick declined to do so, citing privacy concerns. But he said that he had personally reviewed available information, adding that "I have studied the record carefully and I can’t say very much about it.... But I believe Rutgers responded appropriately to the information that we had."

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