President Obama announced Sunday that the United States and Indonesia would spend $160 million on programs to encourage educational exchanges and joint programs between the two countries. An essay in Inside Higher Ed by Cameron H. Hume, the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, called for American colleges to expand ties to Indonsian students and institutions.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Legislative leaders in New York are balking at some key parts of Gov David Paterson's budget proposal -- including his plan to give more control over tuition rates and the use of tuition revenue to the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems, The New York Times reported. While the budget battles aren't quite over, that measure is not part of a budget package legislative leaders have put forward.
Both the University of Oxford and Durham University currently have Ph.D. students being detained in Iran on charges widely viewed as political. An article in The Guardian details the very different responses from the two institutions, with Oxford taking an assertive stance on behalf of its student and Durham (as an institution) staying largely quiet and warning that publicity could endanger its student.
The University of Colorado Board of Regents voted 5-4 Friday to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court to reverse a lower court's finding that the university lacked the authority to ban concealed weapons on its campuses. A statement from the board said: "While individual members of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, like members of society, have differing views on the issue of concealed carry of weapons, the decision to appeal the case is about the board’s authority to govern CU campuses as outlined in the Colorado Constitution. The board believes it is in the best position to make decisions about the learning environment on CU’s campuses." Students for Concealed Carry on Campus denounced the decision, issuing its own statement, which said: "By pursuing a costly legal battle with slim odds of success at the expense of the university – students, faculty, staff and ultimately parents and taxpayers – the CU Board of Regents continues to prove its willingness to put personal politics and authority ahead of the greater good of the entire college."
A worldwide analysis by Nature of the salaries of men and women in academic science has found that men’s salaries were 18 to 40 percent higher in countries for which there were significant sample sizes -- Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States. The general pattern was for salary gaps to grow over the course of careers, with men's salaries starting to gain relative to women in the three-to-five year period after the start of a career in Europe and after six years in North America.
East-West University, which is facing a union drive by its adjuncts, is planning to offer them big raises. A spokesman confirmed that the university plans to offer adjuncts without a Ph.D. a 13 percent increase in the fall, and those with a Ph.D. a 20 percent increase. According to the spokesman, the raises have nothing to do with the union drive, but are the results of a faculty review of adjunct pay at other Chicago institutions -- and the realization that East-West had fallen behind. The university has been facing criticism for new policies that officially notified adjuncts that they had no work this summer and that they would need to interview with the chancellor to obtain teaching assignments in the fall. Organizers of the union, which aims to affiliate with the National Education Association, believe these shifts were designed to delay a union vote, but the university denies this. One union organizer called the planned raises "window dressing."
The president of the Louisiana State University System on Thursday warned that the budget may be cut by 23 percent next year when federal stimulus funds run out, WAFB News reported. Cuts of that magnitude could include the elimination of academic programs and layoffs of tenure-track and tenured faculty members, he said.
An analysis by USA Today has found that college towns experienced more economic growth during the economic downturn that did many other localities. College towns -- despite cuts in college budgets -- continued to attract students, faculty members and research grants (with some additional funds coming from stimulus programs), the article noted.
The 80-hour maximum work week (based on a four-week average) wouldn't be changed under proposed rules for medical residents issued Wednesday by a committee of the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education. The committee said that the maximum was not inherently dangerous to medical care, as some critics have charged. At the same time, however, the committee did propose other changes, including a limit of a 16-hour day for first-year residents and more detailed instructions on the direction that must be provided to first-year residents. The Association of American Medical Colleges issued a statement praising the new recommendations.
Scrutiny continues to grow of the corporate influence on continuing medical education. The New York Times reported that the University of Michigan, for example, will no longer accept any gifts from drug or medical device companies to pay for the courses doctors must take to keep their medical licenses. James O. Woolliscroft, dean of Michigan’s medical school, told the Times that faculty members “wanted education to be free from bias, to be based on the best evidence and a balanced view of the topic under discussion.”