Higher Education Quick Takes
Stephen Everhart, associate professor of finance and associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration at the School of Business of the American University in Cairo, was killed last week in Baghdad when a bomb exploded near his car as he was returning to the U.S. embassy compound from meetings at a university. Everhart was serving as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development on a project to promote entrepreneurship education in Iraqi universities' schools of business and commerce. A statement from American University in Cairo said: "His infectious enthusiasm, his curiosity, passion and wisdom made him a skilled alliance-builder and formidable advocate for business as an engine of growth and prosperity in the developing world."
When presidents bring appointments to boards, they are almost always routinely approved (at least those discussed in public). But the trustetes of San Joaquin Delta College surprised the new president, Jeff Marsee, by rejecting his proposed promotion of the dean of planning and research to serve as acting vice president for business, The Record reported. Trustees said that more candidates should have been considered. Board members have in the past been accused of micromanaging.
In today’s Academic Minute, Emily Mooney of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts explains nature's complex balance between plants and animals. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
The private equity firm Providence Equity Partners could announce a deal to buy Blackboard as early as this week, The Wall Street Journal reported. Blackboard announced in April that it was considering offers for a purchase, and much of the speculation has centered on private investors as opposed to companies in the higher ed market.
Purdue University spent about $500,000 in 2010 on its "Makers, All" branding campaign, which has won kudos from marketing professionals, but angered many students and alumni, The Journal and Courier reported. The newspaper had to file an open records request to obtain the costs from the university. Critics have seen the campaign as moving away from the "Boilermakers" name of the university's athletics teams, but the university has said that the branding campaign is not an attempt to do so.
When presidents bring appointments to boards, they are typically approved (at least those discussed in public). But the trustees of San Joaquin Delta College surprised the new president, Jeff Marsee, by rejecting his proposed promotion of the dean of planning and research to serve as acting vice president for business, The Record reported. Trustees said that more candidates should have been considered. Board members have in the past been accused of micromanaging.
Three men have been arrested for selling fake caste certificates to applicants to Delhi University, The Times of India reported. Under India's affirmative action formulas, applicants from disadvantaged castes have radically improved odds of admission. The Times reported that at least 13 students have been determined to have been admitted with fake certificates of their castes.
An article in The Chicago Tribune examines the issues associated with the awarding of a merit scholarship -- a taxpayer-funded full ride for four years -- to the granddaughter of a public university president. There are no allegations that Maddie Poshard is anything but a top student, or that Glenn Poshard, her grandfather and the president of Southern Illinois University, interfered in the process. But several of those quoted suggest that, strictly from a perception perspective, others would have discouraged her from applying.
Leading academics are threatening to resign from peer review panels of Britain's Arts and Humanities Research Council unless it removes references to the "Big Society" from its agenda, Times Higher Education reported. The Big Society is a policy term coined by the governing Conservative Party to reflect its goals of encouraging local decision-making (as opposed to national), voluntarism and other values. Critics of the Big Society say it is window dressing for a policy of ignoring many problems, and critics of its mention in the humanities council's agenda say that it effectively favors grant proposals consistent with the Conservative philosophy.
President Obama on Friday announced a series of efforts involving research and education to promote advanced manufacturing. In one program, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Agriculture will create a $70 million fund to support research on next generation robots. In another program, Carnegie Mellon University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and University of Michigan will create "a multi-university collaborative framework for sharing of educational materials and best practices relating to advanced manufacturing and its linkage to innovation." The universities will also work with businesses and government agencies "to define research opportunities and build a collaborative roadmap for identify key technology priorities."