More than 150 senior Israeli academics have signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of the Ariel University Center, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, The Jerusalem Post reported. The petition states that the center was built on occupied land near areas where Palestinians lack human rights. A number of British academics have been working for years to organize academic boycotts of Israeli universities -- and these efforts have been opposed by academic groups not only in Israel but also in the United States. The Israeli organizers of the new boycott effort say that by distinguishing between a boycott of universities in Israel proper and the one built on the West Bank, they hope to fight efforts to stigmatize all Israeli universities.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Rowan University has agreed to pay Donald Farish, who had announced plans to leave when his contract expires in June 2012, $600,000 to leave a year early, The Press of Atlantic City reported. Paul Tyahla, executive director of the Common Sense Institute of New Jersey, criticized the buyout. "It’s become an unfortunate standard to compensate presidents on the way out.... Boards have become convinced that you don’t want a lame duck president for the last year, and so presidents should instead be paid for not being there," he said.
A federal judge on Thursday ordered Johnson County Community College to reinstate a nursing student who was kicked out for placing a photograph of herself with a placenta on Facebook, The Kansas City Star reported. The judge granted the injunction requested by the student, ordering that she be allowed to finish up her courses from the fall and be admitted for the spring semester. The judge noted the belief of the students (disputed by the college) that they received permission to post the photos, which were taken while on a course visit to a health center. The dispute has prompted considerable debate and blog commentary. A statement from the college said that the student who sued (and three others who were also kicked out) would be admitted as ordered by the judge. "We are disappointed with the court's decision today," said the statement from Terry Calaway, the college's president. "The JCCC nursing program is widely known and respected for the quality of its instruction and its graduates. Sensitivity to patients and confidentiality of patient care is at the heart of what we teach. We took what we believed to be appropriate action, but the court saw the situation differently, so the student will be readmitted to the program."
It didn't take long, unsurprisingly, for the controversy over pensions at the University of California to produce a political reaction in the state. To bipartisan applause, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, a state legislator introduced legislation Thursday that would require all public retirement programs in California to adhere to an Internal Revenue Service salary cap when calculating benefits for employees who join them, beginning in 2012. The measure is a direct and purposeful response to the threat of a lawsuit by a group of senior officials at the University of California unless the university recalculates their retirement benefits to base them on their actual salaries, rather than on the first $245,000 of their pay as the IRS cap requires. The employees say the university committed a decade ago to lifting the cap for them, but UC leaders say they will not do so. "They really need to come down from their ivory tower and see and feel what real people are going through," State Assemblyman Jerry Hill, who sponsored the legislation, told the San Francisco paper.
Brown University is suing the City of Newport News, Va., and a Virginia collector of artifacts to recover a sword from the Civil War that was stolen from the university in the 1970s, The Daily Press reported. The sword was recently seen in a city-owned museum, but the city said that the sword came from the collector, who has not commented on the situation.
States that have adopted the Common Core Standards have taken limited steps so far to connect the high school standards to college curriculums or higher education admissions requirements, says a report today from the Center on Education Policy. "Just seven states plan to align first-year undergraduate core curriculum with the standards, while 26 states did not know if this change would be implemented, and three said it would not," says the report.
These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar on The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education. This listing will appear as a regular feature in this space.
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