Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 3:00am

Faculty members at Bates Technical College, in Washington State, have voted no confidence in the college's leaders, The Seattle Times reported. The vote followed the issuing of layoff notices to 45 faculty members. Faculty leaders say that the layoff notices are inappropriate at a time of surging enrollments. Lyle Quasim, the president, defended the layoff notices, saying that he didn't expect that many people to lose their jobs, but that union contracts required him to give the notices now to have the option of eliminating jobs later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 3:00am

The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced Monday that the College of the North Atlantic had overpaid employees working at its branch in Qatar by about $5 million, CBC News reported. The government also announced that it was accepting the resignation of Jean Madill as president of the college.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 3:00am

Internet sites that obsess over college admissions were abuzz Monday with a rumor about a Facebook posting claiming to be about someone admitted to Harvard University whose admission had been revoked following some rude comments on his Facebook page. The rumor spread from one site to another to another, even many of those posting it noting things that gave them doubts about the veracity of the story. Inside Higher Ed called Harvard, where a spokesman assured us that the rumor is "not true."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 3:00am

Legal scholars and bloggers are increasingly debating whether law school is a worthwhile investment to make, the Chicago Tribune reported. Many are discussing the idea of a "bubble" similar to the one that devastated the subprime mortgage market. Here's how the article summarized the theory, as suggested by Christine Hurt, a University of Illinois law professor: "Double-digit tuition increases in the last 25 years have priced law schools out of reach for many. Yet the promise of a career at a big law firm with its six-figure paychecks kept boosting enrollment. Easy credit allowed more students to finance their law degrees. All of a sudden law firms lay off droves of attorneys and limit the number of new hires, leaving graduates out of work with more than $100,000 in loans to repay."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 3:00am

A new nonprofit group -- Professors Without Borders -- announced itself Monday, with the goal of sending faculty members abroad to promote public health and sustainability, and to build infrastructure that will help developing and disadvantaged nations. The idea grew out of the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program. A first on-the-ground project will take place in August in Thailand, and work is also being explored in Haiti and other nations.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 3:00am

The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of American Universities have issued a new handbook with detailed legal resources to help colleges recruit and retain faculty members and students in science fields. The handbook notes legal challenges to some forms of affirmative action, but suggests that many practices that promote diversity are on solid legal ground.

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 3:00am

Under fire for promoting sex tourism in Thailand, a California State University professor has taken down a controversial Web site partly devoted to the subject. Kenneth Ng, an associate professor of economics at Cal State Northridge, “reluctantly” took down the site Friday, Provost Harry Hellenbrand said in a statement. Ng said he was discontinuing the site because of the impact it was having on the campus’s reputation, not because he thought its content was inappropriate. Highlighting the complexity of the debate that unfolded over the site, Hellenbrand said “We are trying to balance two principles that, in this case, clashed. Our commitment to gender equity compels us to see the site as offensive; our commitment to expression urges us to tolerate words and pictures we find intolerant.” The site, BigBabyKenny.com, now features a few posts about the controversy that proved its undoing.

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 3:00am

Lafayette College has agreed to pay $1 million to five women on whose behalf the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the college for sexual harassment, The Morning Call reported. The suit charged that the college did not prevent Barry Stauffer, who was at the time a police officer there, from groping female employees and making lewd comments to them describing sex acts he said he wanted to perform. The college fired him in 2008, the same year the suit was filed. Last year, the Morning Call said, he pleaded guilty to two counts of stalking involving two female college employees.

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Texas System has called all students and faculty members in seven states in the north of Mexico to return, citing rising violence in the region. Many of the larger exchange programs with Mexico are in other parts of the country.

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 3:00am

Kent State University is marking the 40th anniversary of the May 4, 1970 shootings with a new walking tour -- with audio narrated by civil rights leader Julian Bond -- of seven stops that relate to the tragedy. The university is also honoring the placement of the site on the National Register of Historic Places.

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