Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Among life sciences faculty members at the universities whose medical schools receive the most money from the National Institutes of Health, there are some notable gender gaps, according to a study published in the journal Academic Medicine. The women reported working longer hours, and taking on more administrative and professional activities, than did the men. Female faculty members, across faculty ranks, had fewer publications across all ranks. After controlling for productivity and other factors, female researchers in the life sciences earned, on average, $13,226 less a year than did male researchers.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities is kicking off a series of regional meetings today to discuss the future of the public research university. The meetings will include university presidents and other experts who will review trends in state and federal support, the growing gaps financially between public and private research universities, and ideas for preserving the quality of the institutions. Today's meeting is at the University of Texas at Austin. The rest of the meetings, also in April, will be at the Universities of Georgia, Washington, and Wisconsin at Madison, and at Rutgers University.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

The Longy School of Music, a conservatory with undergraduate and graduate programs in Cambridge, Mass., may merge with Bard College, The Boston Globe reported. The school has come through a difficult financial period, in which some instructors saw their jobs eliminated and the faculty voted to unionize, and is now looking for a partner rather than remaining a free-standing institution.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Duke University and Mike Pressler, who was the lacrosse coach when false rape accusations were made against three team members, have settled a slander suit by Pressler, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Pressler's suit focused on comparisons the university made between him and his successor after he was forced out in 2006, amid the scandal over the allegations that (at that time) were widely treated as fact. No details were released about the settlement, except that Duke issued this statement: "Coach Michael Pressler is an excellent coach. He did a great job building the Duke men's lacrosse program, while maintaining a 100 percent graduation rate in his 16 years. Duke University regrets any adverse consequences that the Newsday or AP article had on Coach Pressler or his family. Duke wishes nothing but the best for Coach Pressler in his future endeavors, especially at Bryant University and as he leads Team USA in the World Lacrosse Championships."

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

If you notice more Franklin & Marshall clothing in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, it doesn't reflect a booming alumni base from the Pennsylvania liberal arts college. Rather, the Associated Press reported, the clothing is produced by an Italian company whose sales are growing, and are based on the same tastes that sell Abercrombie & Fitch attire. The college signed a licensing deal with the company in 2003 for products distributed in the United States, but the college doesn't control the rights abroad. Still, the company recently donated $135,000 to the college for a scholarship.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Some of the news in the student press this April Fool's Day:

  • The Diamondback at the University of Maryland at College Park is reporting that as one of his last initiatives before stepping down as president, Dan Mote is trying to have the institution's mascot changed from the terrapin to the panda.
  • Student Life, of Washington University in St. Louis, satirizes the boom in applications for Teach for America (ever popular with students worried about the job market) by suggsting that the career center is now urging students to consider joining Strip for America. The founder of that organization is quoted as saying: "A lot of people have this misperception that there are good strippers across the country, but that’s just not true. Some people today are really put at a major disadvantage; they live in communities with little or no funding for quality strip joints.”
  • Washington Square News has some fun with New York University's growth agenda by suggesting that the university has purchasd Columbia University.
  • The GW Hatchett focuses on the alleged Twitter account of George Washington University's president. Steven Knapp.

While most of the April Fool's Day news comes from student journalists, those comedians at Johns Hopkins University have announced on their home page that they are changing their name to John Hopkins University (dropping the S from Johns), since so many people do so anyway. President Ronald J. Daniel is quoted as saying: "We're fighting a losing battle here. And we strongly suspect the extra 's' was a typo in the first place."

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00am

Those who are the least likely to go to college are the most likely to gain economically from doing so, according to research being published today in American Sociological Review. The economic value of a college degree is nearly twice as high for women from disadvantaged backgrounds as for women from privileged backgrounds, the study says. For disadvantaged men, a college education is worth three times more than is the case for privileged college-goers. The study was conducted by Jennie E. Brand, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Yu Xie, the Otis Dudley Duncan Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. Brand and Xie used databases to track 12,686 Americans who were 14 to 22 years old when they were first interviewed in 1979 and who were followed through 2008.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 3:00am

The American Council on Education has named 46 new fellows. The council's fellowship program, which places faculty members or administrators for assignments with senior administrators at other institutions, is known for producing future generations of presidents and provosts. In the 45 years of the program, more than 300 fellows have gone on to serve as presidents, while hundreds of others have obtained other senior positions.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 3:00am

President Obama on Tuesday, in signing legislation to reform the student loan system and add billions to Pell Grants, also announced that the White House will hold a summit about community colleges this fall. The White House statement said that the event would "provide an opportunity for community college leaders, students, education experts, business leaders, and others to share innovative ways to educate our way to a better economy."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 3:00am

The Council of Graduate Schools is today releasing a new book, Ph.D. Completion and Attrition: Policies and Practices to Promote Student Success. The book is the latest in a series of studies and publications in the council's Ph.D. Completion Project.

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