Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 4:40am

The University of California at Davis plans to drop all charges against the students on whom it used pepper spray last week, and also will pay their medical bills. Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi made those announcements Tuesday night at a town hall meeting on campus, The Sacramento Bee reported. With calls growing for her resignation, Katehi is speaking out more about her views on what happened.

An Associated Press account of Tuesday's meeting said that Katehi said she barred the police from using force. "I explicitly directed the chief of police that violence should be avoided at all costs. It was the absolute last thing I ever wanted to happen," Katehi was quoted as saying. "Because encampments have long been prohibited by UC policy, I directed police only to take down the tents. My instructions were for no arrests and no police force."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 3:00am

Florida A&M University has called off all performances by its marching band, amid reports that one of its members who died over the weekend in Orlando was the victim of hazing, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Law enforcement officials said that they believed the death was hazing-related. Officials at Florida A&M said that they had received seven reports of hazing over the last decade.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Indiana University on Monday formally returned a 15th century painting called "The Flagellation of Christ" to a Berlin museum from which it was stolen in the aftermath of World War II, the Associated Press reported. The painting was stolen by a British soldier and subsequently purchased from a gallery by Indiana's museum, with officials unaware that it was stolen.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Several higher education associations have asked the Department of Defense to withdraw a new memorandum of understanding outlining the guidelines colleges and universities must follow if they wish to award educational assistance to military service members, citing requirements that the groups say are "incompatible" with many colleges' academic policies and practices. Specifically, the letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta says that many institutions would choose not to sign the "memorandum of understanding" for the agency's Military Assistance Program because provisions related to the awarding of academic credit, residency requirements and other matters "are at odds with traditional assumptions about federal versus institutional control over academic affairs."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Jonathan Bobaljik of the University of Connecticut reveals what we can learn from studying languages on the verge of extinction. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 4:21am

Fifteen people were arrested Monday when students and others tried to enter a hearing of the City University of New York board on a possible tuition increase, The New York Times reported. The arrests followed a day of protests against the possible increase. During the scuffle between protesters and police officers, some students on higher floors of the building at CUNY's Baruch College dropped books down on the police. A statement from CUNY said that the hearing room was full, and that the confrontation took place when those protesting declined an offer to watch a live video of the hearing in an overflow room. The hearing went on as scheduled.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación, which is based in Santiago, Chile, and owned by a subsidiary of Apollo Group, Inc., may lose its accreditation. The National Accreditation Commission of Chile informed the college last week that its accreditation would not be renewed, according to an Apollo Group statement to investors. The college is seeking clarification about the pending action, and expects to appeal the decision.

Apollo, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, purchased the arts and communication university for at least $40 million in 2008. It has underperformed since then, posting an operating loss of $13 million last year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 4:25am

More developments on Penn State:

  • An article in The Wall Street Journal raises questions about the reputation of Joe Paterno for holding his football players to the highest of standards. The article details instances in which Paterno clashed with university officials who were trying to enforce conduct rules that apply to other students to football players as well. Paterno insisted that he -- not the regular authorities -- decide on athletes' punishment.
  • Sales of hats, shirts and other clothing with the Pennsylvania State University name are down about 40 percent compared to this time period last year, the Associated Press reported. "This is the first time I can recall ever seeing a decline of sales right out of the box,'' said Matt Powell, an analyst with SportsOneSource Group. "I have never seen anything this before. But we've never seen a scandal quite like this before.''
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:00am

The Center for American Progress released a report Monday that recommended a broader role for students on federal panels, including the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

The report, "Including More Student Voices In Higher Education Policymaking," noted that students' concerns have been widely broadcast through the Occupy movements' focus on student loan debt, but that many factors hold back student organizing, including a lack of institutional transparency, the growth of nontraditional students, and the lack of real on-campus power relative to administrators.

"Strong student voices in higher education policy could help to ensure that federal, state and institutional policy makers continue to direct their reforms toward the issues that matter most to students, including tuition prices, financial aid, and the quality of the courses they offer," the report's authors wrote.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Career Education Corporation on Monday disclosed that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has asked the for-profit higher education provider to demonstrate the adequacy of "administrative practices and controls relative to the company's reporting of placement rates." A recent review by an outside law firm found that some of the company's 49 health education and art and design schools did not have sufficient documentation to back up job placements, and that 13 failed to meet the accreditor's placement rate requirement. Career Education's president and CEO, Gary E. McCullough, resigned shortly after that news broke.

The company will present to the accreditor next month on the discrepancy, and "continues to take corrective action," according to the disclosure to investors. The accreditor released a statement about the matter this month, saying: "We are currently conducting an internal review of our processes for evaluating placement rates, including a review of data collected from site visits and audits of Career Education Corporation from the last few years, to determine why those problems were not detected.”


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