Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, August 20, 2010 - 3:00am

Chegg.com, which has become a major player in the book rental market for college students, on Thursday announced the purchase of CourseRank, a start-up that lets students share information about courses they plan to take (in part to schedule courses with friends) and their views on professors who teach various courses.

Friday, August 20, 2010 - 3:00am

Four scholars were named Thursday as winners of Fields Medals, awarded every four years during meetings of the International Congress of Mathematicians to honor the best work in mathematics by those under the age of 40. The winners for 2010:

  • Elon Lindenstrauss of Hebrew University (Israel)
  • Ngô Bảo Châu of Université Paris-Sud (France)
  • Stanislav Smirnov of Université de Genève (Switzerland)
  • Cédric Villani of Institut Henri Poincaré (France)
Friday, August 20, 2010 - 3:00am

The latest entity to send undercover investigators to the University of Phoenix is ABC News, which on Thursday reported the results. They include a recording of a recruiter giving incorrect information about whether a program would enable a graduate to become a teacher, and encouragement to take out as large a student loan as possible -- even more than the fake student needed. William Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix, appeared on camera to say that "absolutely" the university could do better in terms of the way it recruits but that the answer to whether Phoenix encourages recruiting like that shown in the segment is "absolutely not."

Friday, August 20, 2010 - 3:00am

Christopher Newport University has announced that it is shutting down its bookstore and replacing it with a Website for students to order books they need for courses, The Daily Press reported. Officials said that most students already are buying their books and other materials online.

Friday, August 20, 2010 - 3:00am

Many California students are getting ready to start the academic year without Cal Grants, the state's primary student aid program, The Sacramento Bee reported. The students are eligible, but the state hasn't finished its budget so grants cannot be sent out. University of California and California State University campuses, and some private colleges, will advance students the money, but many community colleges and private colleges that serve many low-income students don't have the funds to do so, the Bee reported.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 3:00am

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Wednesday rejected as unconstitutional several parts of the code of conduct for students at the University of the Virgin Islands. Specifically, the court rejected bans on "offensive" speech and on language that causes "emotional distress," finding that such regulations were far too broad, and could easily limit legitimate freedom of expression. The ruling was consistent with other federal appeals courts rulings, which have generally barred public universities from regulating similar categories of speech.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Grand Canyon University has agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit charging it with violating federal rules barring incentive compensation for recruiters based on enrollments, The Arizona Republic reported. Grand Canyon, like other for-profit colleges, has criticized the rules as unclear, but their defenders say that they protect potential students from inappropriate recruiting tactics.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has opened a new dormitory for students with significant physical disabilities and the facility may represent a new standard for services for such students, the Chicago Tribune reported. Among the features are a wireless pager system to allow a resident to call for assistance 24 hours a day, and a ceiling lift system that will help students who can't walk get from their beds to bathrooms. Students who need these and other services will live on the first floor of the facility while other students will live on other floors.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Students have sued Auburn University and two University of Alabama campuses over mandatory meal plans, The Opelika-Auburn News reported. While the university says that the meal plans represent a savings for students, the suit charges that students are being forced to pay more than they would like to for food -- and that they should not be required to pay anything for non-educational services.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Rev. Charles L. Currie announced Thursday that he will step down as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in June, at which time he will have served 14 years in the position -- the longest tenure of any leader of the association. He will be succeeded by the Rev. Greg Lucey, former president of Spring Hill College, in Alabama.

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