Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 3:00am

Dismas Charities, which provides assistance to criminals seeking to re-enter society, has responded to an outpouring of criticism by giving up luxury suites it was renting at University of Louisville basketball and football games, at a total cost of $137,000 annually, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported. While charity officials initially defended the rentals, a statement Monday said that the organization "heard the concerns of the community." The university agreed to release the charity from its contracts for the suites.

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 3:00am

A dozen times in recent months, police in Oxford, Miss. have received reports of a thief breaking into apartments of University of Mississippi female students and stealing their underwear, The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported. While the panty raids of the 50s were frequently orchestrated with the participation of all involved, these thefts are being taken seriously. Authorities are encouraging Ole Miss women to mix up their routines and not follow the same routes, since all of the break-ins have been when the women were not home, suggesting that the thief may be watching the women or be aware of their activities.

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 3:00am

Bob Smith, provost of Texas Tech University, heard his counterpart at the University of Phoenix say this summer that many Phoenix faculty members are faculty members at leading public universities. So, as The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported, Smith asked Phoenix and other for-profits for faculty rosters. At Texas Tech, faculty members teaching part-time elsewhere would need his office's permission -- and he has never received such a request. So he wants to check whether any of his faculty are teaching in the for-profit sector, without permission. So far, he hasn't received any for-profit rosters.

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 3:00am

Colleges saw average increases of 6.7 percent for employee coverage and 7 percent for employee/family coverage in the most commonly offered forms of health coverage offered, according to an annual survey released by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The survey also found declines in the percentage of colleges paying for full premium costs of their employees.

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 3:00am

Students and artists at Texas Southern University are angry that President John Rudley had workers paint over two murals in the administration building, The Houston Chronicle reported. The murals were a senior project of Harvey Johnson, who went on to teach at the university for 34 years until he retired in 2007, and are part of a tradition in which art students were encouraged to paint murals. A university spokeswoman initially said that painters covered the murals by mistake, but Rudley acknowledged that it was his choice, telling the newspaper that "when I bring dignitaries to campus, I can't have them seeing that kind of thing. All art isn't good art." The murals were painted in 1971 and reflected the Black Power movement of the time, including nonstandard English, as in the title of the work Dere's a "Han Writing on de Wall." An editorial in the newspaper denounced the decision to paint over the murals, saying: "[P]reparing for the wider world shouldn't require erasing one's African-American identity. And African-American art and history have something to say to all Americans, not just black ones. Of all places, it seems to us, a historically black university ought to celebrate the complexities of that culture. By erasing Johnson's mural, TSU erased an important part of its own heritage - and its students' heritage, and its city's. Maybe the paintings made the president and the dignitaries who visited him uncomfortable. But art, like education, isn't about making people comfortable. Sometimes we all need to read the handwriting on the wall."

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 3:00am

The board and interim president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science resigned Friday, as part of an effort to attract new financial support and to find a path to stability for the financially challenged institution, the Los Angeles Times reported. The university, focused on training health professionals in the low-income, predominantly minority parts of Los Angeles, has been in danger of having assets seized because it cannot make required loan payments. The resignations led to the appointment of new board members coming from a cross-section of academic and philanthropic organizations in Los Angeles.

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 3:00am

Officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are discussing whether they should add railings for all bunk beds, following the August death of a woman who was visiting her daughter, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. The university has provided the railings on request, and has seen a spike since the woman's death. The beds are typically designed to allow for elevation but not to require it. Many students like to elevate their beds to allow for more usable space in a dormitory room.

Friday, September 10, 2010 - 3:00am

Indiana officials are reconsidering the way state financial aid programs are structured in ways that appear to favor traditionally aged students, The Indianapolis Star reported. Students who are 25 and older now make up a majority of those enrolled in the state, but the lion's share of aid goes to those who enroll full time, straight from high school.

Friday, September 10, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of California Board of Regents is expected next week to change its media rules to no longer require that those seeking to videotape meetings identify themselves and be accredited members of the press, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. After the university enforced those rules in July, the newspaper reported that they apparently violated the state's open meetings law.

Friday, September 10, 2010 - 3:00am

More college football and basketball athletes are being arrested this year for serious crimes than are professional football and basketball players, Sports Illustrated reported. Through the end of August, 70 college football players have been arrested, compared to 31 National Football League athletes, and 15 college basketball players have been arrested, compared to 9 from the National Basketball Association. The analysis only covered felonies or serious misdemeanors and excluded 40 arrests involving minor offenses.

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