Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

McGill University's medical school is ending a requirement that applicants submit scores on the Medical College Admission Test, The Montreal Gazette reported. The MCAT is a standard requirement at medical schools in the United States, and at most in Canada as well. But McGill -- located in Montreal -- is dropping the requirement because it wants to recruit more Francophone students, and the test is not offered in French. McGill officials said that they value the MCAT, and even explored the idea of translating it, finding that would be too complicated. But they said that, in the end, it was more important to reach out to all potential applicants.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 3:00am

IMG Worldwide, a sports and entertainment management company, is buying ISP, which focuses on college sports marketing, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal is reportedly worth $80 million to $100 million and will make IMG the leading company representing colleges on media and marketing deals related to their sports teams.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A story on NPR examines a "little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness." A student at the University of California at Los Angeles describes rotating sleep between the library and friends' couches, and using fitness facilities to shower.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

The athletics department at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is facing a deficit of up to $8 million. So student leaders want to know why the university is sending its basketball team on a trip to Italy, at a cost of $160,000, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. A university spokesman said that 10 days in Italy "will enhance the cohesiveness of the team, while giving our student athletes a unique life experience that will foster their own personal growth." Students who have to finance their own personal growth may have another view. “The fact that the UWM Athletics Department continues to spend outside of its means is troubling. The department simply cannot afford to go on such an extravagant trip regardless of where the money is from,” said Travis Romero-Boeck, president of the Student Association.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

Many students aren't nearly as Web savvy as they imagine themselves to be, according to a study that tracked 102 University of Illinois at Chicago students. Students trust Google and other search engines so much that they only click on sites that come at the top of their searches, failing to see the lack of a relationship between such positions and actual trustworthiness. "Many students think, ‘Google placed it number one, so, of course it's credible,' " said Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and senior author of a paper on the research, in a press release. "This is potentially tricky because Google doesn't rank a site by its credibility." The paper was recently published in the International Journal of Communication.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

U.S. authorities reversed a visa denial that could have prevented Hollman Morris, a Colombian journalist, permission to take a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, The Boston Globe reported. Academic officials had criticized the visa denial, and applauded the reversal of the decision.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

Faculty leaders at Norfolk State University want a greater role in a presidential search that is gearing up, The Virginian-Pilot reported. A faculty member is slated to serve on an "input" committee that will develop traits that are needed in the next leader, but faculty members are not expected on the actual search committee. Board leaders say that they want a completely confidential process, without constituent groups serving on the committee, but faculty leaders say that they can in fact maintain confidentiality and deserve to play a role on the search committee.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A long-standing football rivalry between Boise State University and the University of Idaho may fall apart -- and that is leading to a war of words between leaders of the two institutions, The Idaho Statesman reported. Boise State is leaving the Western Athletic Conference (where Idaho will continue to play) for the Mountain West Conference. Bob Kustra, Boise State's president, told the newspaper he wouldn't miss trips to the Idaho campus for games. He said that the environment at Idaho is "a culture that is nasty, inebriated and civilly doesn't give our fans the respect that any fan should expect when visiting an away team." Kustra cited an article about Boise State in Idaho's student newspaper, The Argonaut, that was headlined "Who do we hate?" M. Duane Nellis, Idaho's president said he was “disappointed to learn of President Kustra’s reported remarks." Nellis added: “Both the University of Idaho and the city of Moscow take great pride in the friendly, welcoming and warm environment that a quintessential college town like ours can uniquely provide.... In-state rivalries are meant to be fun. Our long-time rivalry with BSU is important to the state, the economy, and the fans from both teams."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 3:00am

A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests that while states are no longer experiencing steep declines in revenues, recovery is going to be a slow process. Nearly every state is now projecting fiscal 2011 revenue to be more than 2010 revenue, but the figures for 2010 are so much lower than past years that the increases are likely to be far short of a full recovery.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 3:00am

Faculty members at the Art Institute of Seattle have voted down a proposed union, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. Faculty members behind the union drive at the institute had sought to organize with the American Federation of Teachers, and the effort was a rare one in for-profit higher education, where adjunct positions dominate. Some faculty members behind the union said that the art institute had used "union busting" tactics to scare faculty members. Others said that the art institute had improved working conditions after the union drive went public. For example, they said class sizes were reduced substantially.

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