Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, October 17, 2011 - 3:00am

Seymour Schulich, a Canadian philanthropist, is setting up a $100 million fund to provide scholarships for undergraduates in Canada and Israel who are pursuing degrees in STEM fields, The Globe and Mail reported. Five Israeli universities and 20 Canadian universities have been invited to nominate potential recipients from 1,600 high schools.

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 3:00am

Tripoli University has started, under new leaders, to try to transform itself for the post-Qaddafi era, The New York Times reported. Many students and academics are excited about the possibilities, but Feisel Krekshi, the new dean, told the Times that the challenges are great. He called the faculty "90 percent contaminated" and noted that the old curriculum forced students to spend much of their time in college studying years studying Muammar Qaddafi’s philosophy. “This was not a university,” Krekshi said. “It was a place of intelligence and torture, a weapon to support all oppression.”

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 3:00am

In what is considered a breakthrough, Seoul National University has announced plans to start a Japanese studies department next year, ending what many have considered an unusual hole in the institution's curriculum, The Korea Times reported. Many Koreans remain ambivalent about studying Japan, given the treatment of their country by the Japanese during the first half of the 20th century. Several years ago, the university abandoned plans to start an undergraduate program in Japanese studies, in the face of anti-Japanese sentiment.

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am

In July, University of Baltimore officials denied allegations made by Phillip Closius, who in an e-mail about his resignation as dean of the law school that the university was using tuition from law students to subsidize the rest of the institution, to the detriment of the law school. Now, however, the university has embarked on a campaign to add $1 million a year to the law school's base budget for the next five years, The Baltimore Sun reported. The increase will be funded by giving the law school a larger share of the revenue it generates.

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am

African-American scholars who earned their Ph.D.s at highly research intensive universities are significantly less likely than white, Latino and Asian peers to be employed at similar universities, a new National Science Foundation study finds. The NSF study examines numerous characteristics of minority Ph.D. recipients in science, engineering and health fields -- from where they earned their doctorates, where they work now, and their rank, status and fields of study at those institutions, among other things -- and the finding on black Ph.D.s is among the most interesting.
While 41.5 percent of all professors who earned doctorates in science, engineering and health fields at American universities with "very high" research activity are were employed by such institutions in 2008, the figure was much lower (30.8 percent) for African-Americans. (No other racial group was below 39.1 percent, the figure for Latino scholars.) The study finds that the black scholars were likelier than others to work instead at master's granting universities, and attributes the finding, in part, to the fact that meaningful numbers of them work at historically black universities, which by and large are master's institutions. That probably accounts for about a third of the gap, estimates Ansley Abraham, director of the Southern Regional Education Board's SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, and while some of those professors are at HBCUs by choice, because they believe in the institutions' mission, "we don't know how many ended up there because they didn't have other good choices."
Among the study's other findings:

  • Black scholars were significantly less likely than science and health Ph.D. recipients of other races to have earned their doctorates from U.S. universities with very high research activity (63 percent vs. 80 percent for white Ph.D. recipients, 77.1 percent for Hispanics, and 79.3 percent for Asians).
  • About one third of black, 37 percent of Latino, 91 percent of Asian and 11 percent of white recipients of science, engineering or health Ph.D.s from American universities were not born in the United States.
Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am

French officials have pledged to loosen rules on work permits to be granted to foreign students from outside the European Union, The New York Times reported. Higher education officials complained that the tough rules were unfair to foreign students or would-be foreign students.

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am

A new study tracking 1,300 mostly Hispanic college students who participated in intensive "summer bridge" programs found that the students were less likely to need remediation and more likely to take and pass college-level math and writing courses during their first year of college. The students, who were enrolled at seven community colleges and one four-year university in Texas, still had relatively low passage rates, but made progress compared to the control group. The National Center for Postsecondary Research and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board conducted the research.

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Emily Stark of Minnesota State University at Mankato reveals how the presence of a weapon can greatly diminish an eyewitness’s ability to identify the perpetrator of a crime. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am

African-American scholars who earned their Ph.D.s at highly research intensive universities are significantly less likely than white, Latino and Asian peers to be employed at similar universities, a new National Science Foundation study finds. The NSF study examines numerous characteristics of minority Ph.D. recipients in science, engineering and health fields -- from where they earned their doctorates, where they work now, and their rank, status and fields of study at those institutions, among other things -- and the finding on black Ph.D.s is among the most interesting.

While 41.5 percent of all professors who earned doctorates in science, engineering and health fields at American universities with "very high" research activity were employed by such institutions in 2008, the figure was much lower (30.8 percent) for African-Americans. (No other racial group was below 39.1 percent, the figure for Latino scholars.) The study finds that the black scholars were likelier than others to work instead at master's-granting universities, and attributes the finding, in part, to the fact that meaningful numbers of them work at historically black universities, which by and large are master's institutions. That probably accounts for about a third of the gap, estimates Ansley Abraham, director of the Southern Regional Education Board's SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, and while some of those professors are at HBCUs by choice, because they believe in the institutions' mission, "we don't know how many ended up there because they didn't have other good choices."

Among the study's other findings:

  • Black scholars were significantly less likely than science and health Ph.D. recipients of other races to have earned their doctorates from U.S. universities with very high research activity (63 percent vs. 80 percent for white Ph.D. recipients, 77.1 percent for Hispanics, and 79.3 percent for Asians).
  • About one-third of black, 37 percent of Latino, 91 percent of Asian and 11 percent of white recipients of science, engineering or health Ph.D.s from American universities were not born in the United States.
Friday, October 14, 2011 - 3:00am
  • 2011 Annual Meeting, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Nov. 13-15, San Francisco.
  • 2011 ASHE Conference, Association for the Study of Higher Education, Nov. 16-19, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Annual Meeting, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Dec. 3-6, Orlando, Fla.
  • National Meeting, American Mathematical Society, Jan. 4-7, Boston.
  • Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, Jan. 5-8, Chicago.
  • National Legislative Summit, Association of Community College Trustees, Feb. 12-15, Washington.
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    These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar on The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education. This listing will appear as a regular feature in this space.

     

    To submit a listing, click here.

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