Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, July 25, 2011 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Jacqueline Bennett of the State University of New York at Oneonta explains her discovery of a novel and greener process of chemical production. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, July 25, 2011 - 3:00am

Many public colleges in New Jersey have in recent years announced salary freezes for presidents, citing the budget cuts faced at the institutions along with the tuition increases being paid by students and their families. But an investigation by The Star-Ledger documented lucrative benefits that have remained in presidential contracts providing many of them with substantial additional funds during this time. Many of the presidents, for example, receive retention bonuses -- lump sum payments (in the six figures in some cases) for staying for certain periods of time. Other benefits: personal financial advisers and health club memberships, million-dollar insurance policies and unlimited gas.

Monday, July 25, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Kansas has opened a new branch of its medical school -- for only eight students. The New York Times reported that the new campus, in Salina, in a rural part of the state, is part of an effort to attract more M.D.'s to work in rural parts of the state. The thinking is that by recruiting students from the region, and keeping them there, they won't be tempted to relocate to urban areas later. The curriculum will be more focused on typical problems faced in rural areas than on specialties.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

An appeals board of the U.S. Department of Labor this week issued a ruling backing the right of the University of Texas at Brownsville to use online advertising to show that it had attempted to recruit an American for a position for which it wanted authority to hire a non-citizen. An FAQ from the agency's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has long said that an employer must use a print advertisement for such purposes.

But the Labor Department's Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals ruled that the regulations on this subject do not require a print ad, so the FAQ cannot be relied on. Further, the board found that the official who rejected Brownsville's request to be certified based on an online ad offered "no rationale or explanation as to why an electronic national professional journal is somehow inadequate." Full disclosure: The ad that Brownsville fought to get certified ran in Inside Higher Ed, which as an online publication stands to benefit from the ruling because it ends a motivation for some institutions to advertise some positions in print.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

The American Council on Education has named 50 faculty members and administrators as the newest cohort of ACE Fellows, a program known for producing future provosts and presidents. The fellows work on campus that isn't their own, receiving guidance and assignments from presidents and other senior leaders.

Here are the new fellows:

  • Sheila J. Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, dean of undergraduate education at the University of Texas at Dallas.
  • Phyllis L. Baker, director of women's and gender studies at the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Anne C. Bartlett, chair and professor of English at DePaul University.
  • Linda Bennett, associate dean of educator preparation at the University of Missouri.
  • Mohammad A. Bhuiyan, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Fayetteville State University.
  • Janet S. Bowers, chair and professor of family and consumer sciences at Central Washington University.
  • María R. Bozón, director of the Division of Continuing Education at Universidad El Bosque (Colombia).
  • Andrew S. Buckser, professor of anthropology at Purdue University.
  • John B. Buckwalter, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Juan Cantú Luna, director of marketing and recruitment at the Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico).
  • Patricia A. Carney, associate director for population studies at the Knight Cancer Institute of the Oregon Health and Science University.
  • Scott A. Carnicom, associate dean of the honors college at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Stacey K. Close, professor of history at Eastern Connecticut State University.
  • Finnie D. Coleman, special assistant to the provost and director of Africana studies at the University of New Mexico.
  • David J. Cook, associate vice chancellor for outreach of the University of Kansas Medical Center.
  • Timothy E. Elgren, professor of chemistry at Hamilton College.
  • Jim B. Fatzinger, associate vice president for student affairs at Georgia Gwinnett College.
  • Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association.
  • Carlos A. González-Campos, dean of the Engineering School at CETYS University (Mexico).
  • Joy Griffin, special assistant vice president in the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of New Mexico.
  • Jürgen Heinrichs, associate professor of art history and museum professions at Seton Hall University.
  • Robert D. Hill, professor of educational psychology at the University of Utah.
  • Judith L. Hunt, associate dean of College of Humanities and Natural Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans.
  • Ananthanarayana V. Iyer, director of the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises and the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative at Purdue University.
  • Camille L. Kluttz-Leach, general counsel of Winston-Salem State University.
  • Wanda M.L. Lee, dean of faculty affairs and professional development at San Francisco State University.
  • George S. Low, chair and associate professor of marketing at Texas Christian University.
  • Susan B. Mackey-Kallis, chair of the Academic Policy Committee at Villanova University.
  • Sandra A. Mayfield, assistant provost/assistant vice president for academic affairs at Governors State University.
  • Kelli McCormack Brown, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida.
  • Stephen C. Myers, assistant director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center at Ohio State University.
  • David H. Olwell, professor of systems engineering at the United States Naval Postgraduate School.
  • Gwendolyn D. Packnett, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
  • Donald E. Palm, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Florida A&M University.
  • Elissa J. Palmer, director of rural residency at the University of Nevada at Reno.
  • Joan M. Prince, vice chancellor for partnerships and innovations at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
  • Shirley A. Quarles, chair and associate professor of physiological and technological nursing at the Georgia Health Sciences University.
  • Mike Lee Racy, vice president of Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • Rafael Sánchez París, administrative vice president of Universidad El Bosque (Colombia).
  • Adolfo G. Santos, chair of social sciences at the University of Houston—Downtown.
  • Andreas E. Savakis, chair and professor of computer engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • Patricia Sendall, president of the Faculty Senate at Merrimack College.
  • Laura R. Severin, professor of English at North Carolina State University.
  • Christopher J. Sindt, vice provost for graduate and professional studies at Saint Mary's College of California.
  • Eileen L. Strempel, assistant president for academic advancement at Syracuse University.
  • Elizabeth L. Tutelman, senior vice provost for strategic initiatives and communications at Temple University.
  • Felix E. Vallejo, vice president of operations for the Northern Region of Universidad del Valle de México.
  • Arturo Villanueva González, director and professor of humanistic education at Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (Mexico).
  • Peter W. Wooldridge, executive dean of student learning and assessment at Durham Technical Community College.
  • Joseph Youngblood II, vice provost of Thomas Edison State College.
Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

A special panel of the American Bar Association is considering a proposal to raise the average bar passage rates required for law schools to be accredited, The National Law Journal reported. Currently, law schools must have at least 75 percent of graduates pass the bar exam in at least three of the past five years. Alternatively, a law school can show that its first-time bar-passage rate is no more than 15 percent below those of other ABA schools in the same state during three of the past five years. (Bar passage rates vary from state to state.) A new proposal would require that at least 80 percent of graduates pass the bar exam in three of the past five years, or that first-time bar-passage rates be no more than 10 percent below other law schools in the same state. Advocates for the change say that the current requirement is too low. Advocates for more racial and ethnic diversity in law school classes are opposing the proposal, arguing that it will discourage law schools from recruiting students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and who may be at higher risk of failing the bar exam.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Ilya Buynevich of Temple University explains what studying the
structure of today’s coastlines can teach us about the geology of the past. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Boston University researchers have retracted a paper, originally published in Science, in which they claimed to have identified a genetic signature for human longevity, The Boston Globe reported. A new analysis found that some of the data they used were incorrect. A statement from Science said: "Although the authors remain confident about their findings, Science has concluded on the basis of peer review that a paper built on the corrected data would not meet the journal's standards for genome-wide association studies. The researchers worked exhaustively to correct the errors in the original paper and we regret the outcome of the exhaustive revision and re-review process was not more favorable."

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

The heads of four major archaeological institutes at Israel universities have written to Limor Livnat, the country's culture minister, to ask that she withdraw proposed changes to the Antiquities Authority Law, Haaretz reported. Currently the chair of the Antiquities Authority Council must be a scientist who is a member of the Israel's National Academy of Sciences. Livnat has argued that the pool of candidates isn't large enough so she wants to be able to select someone after consulting with the National Academy of Sciences, but not necessarily from that body. The academic institute leaders argue that this shift is an attempt to put a right-leaning scholar in charge of the council and its work.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Peace College, a women's college in Raleigh, N.C., announced Thursday that it will become a university and will admit male students to all programs. Peace said that it would maintain its commitment to students in part by offering selected "single-gender courses in targeted disciplines where research shows that women and mean learn differently and that each benefit from a single-gender classroom." Even with such sections, "all classes will be accessible to add students," the statement said. The last year has seen numerous controversies at Peace as budget cuts and layoffs have been criticized by many. Moves to admit men to women's colleges have angered alumnae elsewhere. The first post on the Peace alumnae Facebook page is a link to a petition "to save Peace College," and criticizing the administration's management of the institution.

On Thursday, in response to the news from Peace, Meredith College -- another women's institution in Raleigh -- issued a statement affirming that it plans to remain single-sex.


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