Higher Education Quick Takes
The American Bar Association has imposed a public censure on the law school of Villanova University over its past practice of reporting inaccurate grades and LSAT scores of incoming students in an apparent bid to improve its standing in the rankings, The ABA Journal reported. The sanctions could have been worse, up to removing Villanova from the list of ABA-approved law schools. But the ABA settled for a public censure because the law school determined who was involved in the deception, and none of those people are still employed there.
The University of Texas Investment Management Company, which manages one of the largest university endowments, is increasing its use of derivatives as a hedge against an economic crisis that could seriously hit the fund, Bloomberg reported. Officials are worried about such possibilities as a massive European default or a collapse of the dollar.
North Dakota may finally be ready to cave on the "Fighting Sioux" name and imagery for athletic teams of the University of North Dakota. A new state law required the university to maintain the name, regardless of sanctions from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. But NCAA officials have now made clear they won't budge, and North Dakota doesn't want the sanctions, such as being unable to host postseason competition. North Dakota's Board of Higher Education voted Monday to retire the name, and state legislation is expected to follow later this year, the Associated Press reported.
A three-year fund-raising campaign has produced a permanent scholarship fund of $67.7 million at the Foundation for California Community Colleges. That is enough money to support 3,400 students a year.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy met Monday with leaders of Connecticut's private colleges, and heard their complaints of over-regulation by the state, The Hartford Courant reported. College leaders complained that some regulation takes too long (disputed by some state officials) and that it is inconsistent. Four colleges in the state -- Connecticut and Trinity Colleges, and Wesleyan and Yale Universities -- are exempt from state requirements that new programs at private colleges be approved. Malloy said he was sympathetic to the complaints, but couldn't argue for eliminating all regulation. "We over-regulate, I have to agree with you," he said. But he added: "I'm not saying there shouldn't be some basic review. I'm not a no-review guy."
The University of Tokyo is considering a shift in its academic year, from the current system of starting in the spring to instead starting in the fall, The Mainichi Daily News reported. The move is being considered in part to better align the university with those of many other nations, potentially encouraging more collaboration. If the University of Tokyo makes the shift from the traditional schedule of Japanese universities, many others are expected to follow.
Nikolai Volodin, head of the Pirogov medical school, one of Russia's most prestigious, has been fired for allegedly admitting "ghost students" -- fake students whom would enable the medical school to then control who actually was offered admission, BBC reported. Under reforms adopted in 2009, Russian medical schools are supposed to use uniform admission standards so that the best students are admitted.
Western Kentucky University has banned from campus an incoming freshman who has been planking on campus, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The problem wasn't the planking itself -- a fad of posing flat in unlikely places, and posting photographs online -- but of the planker putting stickers on the spots where he planked. The university considers that act to be defacing property.
Two law schools that have done without federal funds so they could keep military recruiters off campus are preparing, with the end of military discrimination against gay people, to welcome recruiters back to campus, the Associated Press reported. The two are Vermont Law School and William Mitchell College of Law. Many law schools tried for years to fight a federal law barring federal funds from going to colleges or universities that didn't permit military recruiters. These law schools said that their anti-bias rules made it impossible for them to welcome military recruiters. But that argument was rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006. Since then, all other law schools have permitted the recruiters.