Higher Education Quick Takes
"60 Minutes" on Sunday challenged the veracity of parts of Three Cups of Tea, a book that appears on numerous college syllabuses. The book, by Greg Mortenson, talks about his efforts to build schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- and many colleges have assigned the book as a common text for all freshmen to read, making Mortenson a regular on the college lecture circuit. According to "60 Minutes," Mortenson's charity has claimed credit for creating schools that don't exist and his story about how he was inspired to this cause by getting lost on a mountain-climbing expedition is false. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle quoted Mortenson as defending the accuracy of his book and his foundation's efforts. But the article also said that he admitted that the story of how he got the idea was based on "a compressed version of events."
The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, founded to educate medical professionals to serve in the low-income parts of Los Angeles and in similar areas, appeared recently to be in dire financial shape. But The Los Angeles Times reported that the university has in recent months stabilized financially and is moving toward naming a new president.
Milton D. Glick, president of the University of Nevada at Reno, died suddenly Saturday night after suffering a stroke, The Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Glick had been president at Reno since 2006, and faced a series of deep budget cuts from the state, but still pushed for improvements in the student experience at the university. The university is currently facing a new round of cuts. Previously, he was provost at Arizona State University.
The Associated Students of the University of Nevada issued a statement Sunday night that said in part: "Dr. Glick was a great leader who never faltered to support student involvement in decision making at this university. Students will remember Dr. Glick as being a dedicated educator, leader and friend. His commitment to students was matched only by his kindness. His kindhearted nature brought students into his home to celebrate every December for a student holiday party. He was always willing to meet with students to hear our thoughts on issues facing the university and the community."
The Collegian, the student weekly at La Salle University, left the top of its most recent edition blank, to protest a ban from the university on coverage of a recent scandal at the top of the page, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The newspaper, it turns out, had the story of the scandal -- a business professor being investigated for hiring strippers to appear in class and, according to some reports, performing lap dances -- before other media outlets. But the student journalists say they were initially barred from any coverage. An editorial in The Collegian explains: "We didn’t publish a story because we weren’t allowed. This begs an explanation and a confession: the La Salle Collegian is not a real newspaper. It is a student newspaper, more specifically, a student newspaper at a private university. As you may infer, the differences are astronomical." A La Salle spokesman did not respond to an e-mail inquiry asking for comment.
The April 2011 edition of The Pulse podcast features an interview with Ray Henderson, president of Blackboard Learn, talking about future directions for Blackboard's teaching and learning division and the key differences for faculty between Angel and Blackboard 9.1. Find out more about The Pulse here.
Russell Davis, president of Gloucester County College, has resigned amid an investigation into possible financial irregularities that had the college turning over numerous records to country prosecutors, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Davis had been president at the college since September 2008.
The board of Brookdale Community College is considering a suit against its former president, Peter Burnham, following a review of an audit uncovering questionable expenses, The Star-Ledger reported. Among the expenses for which Burnham was reimbursed in apparent violation of district policies: a $1,300 trip to Arizona, $109 in golf clothing and $53 in drinks at a Philadelphia steakhouse. Burnham recently resigned after being placed on leave. He has not commented on the inquiry into his spending.
A group of economics and law professors has urged the Justice Department to investigate whether the Bowl Championship Series violates federal antitrust law, The Wall Street Journal reported. The letter to the department's antitrust division, which was signed by 21 professors and lawyers, asks the agency to find college football's current mechanism for determining a national champion to be a cartel that favors BCS members over other college teams.
Purdue University introduced a new version of its mascot -- Purdue Pete -- on Saturday and has already pledged to go back to the classic Pete in the face of student and fan anger over the new version, The Indianapolis Star reported. The article features photos of both versions.