Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, July 30, 2010 - 3:00am

The AAUW (formerly the American Association of University Women) has awarded $11,500 to the Women’s Law Project in support of a key gender equity lawsuit against Delaware State University. The suit was filed by members of the women’s equestrian team who argue that the institution violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by cutting their team and replacing it with a competitive cheerleading team. The circumstances of the suit closely resemble those of a recently-decided suit against Quinnipiac University. In that case, a federal judge determined that the university had violated Title IX by cutting its women’s volleyball team and replacing it with competitive cheerleading, an activity the judge determined cannot be counted as a sport to determine gender equity compliance.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

IMG Worldwide, a sports and entertainment management company, is buying ISP, which focuses on college sports marketing, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal is reportedly worth $80 million to $100 million and will make IMG the leading company representing colleges on media and marketing deals related to their sports teams.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

Hinds Community College has backed down from punishing a student for violating rules against swearing on campus. The college's decision to punish the student angered civil liberties groups as soon it became public in May and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education intervened on his behalf. Under a settlement, the student will no longer be barred from classes. Will Creeley, FIRE's director of legal and public advocacy, said it was important to remember that "Hinds Community College isn't some Victorian finishing school — it's a public institution bound by the First Amendment."

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

Business schools -- including such prestigious ones as those of Columbia and Harvard Universities -- are adding courses on social media to the M.B.A. curriculum, Business Week reported. The rapid growth of social media has many companies wanting to know more about how to use various tools, creating an opening for new M.B.A.'s who want to make themselves more valuable to potential employers. "In the realm of technology it's possible for us to teach our students a tool that their bosses don't have, and they can provide that added value from day one," said John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems at Boston College, where "Social Media & Web 2.0 for Managers" will be offered in the fall. "Social media skills are the ones that can set them apart. Those are the skills that employers are looking for."

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

McGill University's medical school is ending a requirement that applicants submit scores on the Medical College Admission Test, The Montreal Gazette reported. The MCAT is a standard requirement at medical schools in the United States, and at most in Canada as well. But McGill -- located in Montreal -- is dropping the requirement because it wants to recruit more Francophone students, and the test is not offered in French. McGill officials said that they value the MCAT, and even explored the idea of translating it, finding that would be too complicated. But they said that, in the end, it was more important to reach out to all potential applicants.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A long-standing football rivalry between Boise State University and the University of Idaho may fall apart -- and that is leading to a war of words between leaders of the two institutions, The Idaho Statesman reported. Boise State is leaving the Western Athletic Conference (where Idaho will continue to play) for the Mountain West Conference. Bob Kustra, Boise State's president, told the newspaper he wouldn't miss trips to the Idaho campus for games. He said that the environment at Idaho is "a culture that is nasty, inebriated and civilly doesn't give our fans the respect that any fan should expect when visiting an away team." Kustra cited an article about Boise State in Idaho's student newspaper, The Argonaut, that was headlined "Who do we hate?" M. Duane Nellis, Idaho's president said he was “disappointed to learn of President Kustra’s reported remarks." Nellis added: “Both the University of Idaho and the city of Moscow take great pride in the friendly, welcoming and warm environment that a quintessential college town like ours can uniquely provide.... In-state rivalries are meant to be fun. Our long-time rivalry with BSU is important to the state, the economy, and the fans from both teams."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests that while states are no longer experiencing steep declines in revenues, recovery is going to be a slow process. Nearly every state is now projecting fiscal 2011 revenue to be more than 2010 revenue, but the figures for 2010 are so much lower than past years that the increases are likely to be far short of a full recovery.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A story on NPR examines a "little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness." A student at the University of California at Los Angeles describes rotating sleep between the library and friends' couches, and using fitness facilities to shower.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

The athletics department at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is facing a deficit of up to $8 million. So student leaders want to know why the university is sending its basketball team on a trip to Italy, at a cost of $160,000, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. A university spokesman said that 10 days in Italy "will enhance the cohesiveness of the team, while giving our student athletes a unique life experience that will foster their own personal growth." Students who have to finance their own personal growth may have another view. “The fact that the UWM Athletics Department continues to spend outside of its means is troubling. The department simply cannot afford to go on such an extravagant trip regardless of where the money is from,” said Travis Romero-Boeck, president of the Student Association.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

Many students aren't nearly as Web savvy as they imagine themselves to be, according to a study that tracked 102 University of Illinois at Chicago students. Students trust Google and other search engines so much that they only click on sites that come at the top of their searches, failing to see the lack of a relationship between such positions and actual trustworthiness. "Many students think, ‘Google placed it number one, so, of course it's credible,' " said Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and senior author of a paper on the research, in a press release. "This is potentially tricky because Google doesn't rank a site by its credibility." The paper was recently published in the International Journal of Communication.

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