Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 4:19am

Despite projected large shortages of nurses, colleges are rejecting many qualified applicants to nursing programs, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. According to the report, colleges are rejecting one out of three qualified applicants for bachelor's of nursing programs and more than half of qualified applicants for associate programs in nursing. Many colleges with nursing programs have reported in recent years that they could admit many more students if they had funds to hire more faculty, build more laboratories and set up more training programs with hospitals.

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON -- A federal panel on Tuesday began a set of negotiations aimed at drafting new regulations to expand the availability of income-based student loan repayment to more borrowers. The negotiated rule-making committee, which the U.S. Education Department announced in December, is charged with carrying out President Obama's June 2014 memorandum that would make an additional 5 million existing student loan borrowers eligible for the federal government’s most generous income-based repayment program, Pay as You Earn. The panel, whose members include consumer and student advocates, college financial aid administrators and lending officials, will aim to reach an agreement on how to achieve the administration's goals over three months of meetings.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

Western Nevada College announced Tuesday that it is eliminating its two intercollegiate teams, baseball and softball, The Record Courier reported. Officials said they could not justify the expense -- $400,000 a year for 50 students who played on the teams.

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 4:26am

Sixteen students and four faculty members at Northern Arizona University were rescued at the Grand Canyon Tuesday after snow made it impossible for their vans to travel, The Arizona Republic reported. The group had finished a six-day hike, and almost two feet of snow trapped the students and faculty members, who had to spend a night in their vans while awaiting rescue.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which certifies universities to host foreign students and scholars and maintains a database that tracks international students’ whereabouts in the United States, will continue to operate in the case of a possible Department of Homeland Security shutdown, though its activities may be hobbled due to reduced manpower in administrative offices. For example, if SEVP were to revoke a university’s certification to host international students, it would need the legal office to sign off on it first. And it relies on the human resources office to process job applications.

“The Student and Exchange Visitor Program is funded by user fees,” a spokeswoman, Carissa Cutrell, said in a statement. “In the event of a government shutdown, or partial government shutdown, SEVP continues to operate, overseeing approximately 1 million international students and 9,000 schools certified to enroll international students, as well as the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.”

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security is set to expire on Friday, and a new spending bill has so far been stymied in Congress by a dispute over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The Department of Homeland Security has said that a shutdown would result in the furloughing of 30,000 workers. However, 75 to 80 percent of the department's employees, including border patrol agents and customs inspectors, are considered essential and will be asked to come to work without a paycheck.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

The American Association of University Professors on Tuesday joined a chorus of other organizations and academics that have criticized a controversial recommendation that the board of the University of North Carolina System shutter the Chapel Hill campus's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. Critics of the decision have said that the board is playing politics and is targeting the center's director, Gene Nichol, a professor of law, for being an outspoken critic of policy makers who he says aren't doing enough to help the state's poor.

The AAUP's statement says in part that to be "true to their mission, public universities must serve all members of our society, the poor as well as the privileged. Externally funded centers must be free to sponsor curricular and extracurricular programs and provide services to the public across the broadest range of perspectives and approaches."

A Chapel Hill spokesman referred a request for comment to a campus message from Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Provost James W. Dean Jr., saying in part that "We recommended against this action, and are very disappointed with [the board's] decision. Since its inception in 2005, the center has focused dialogue, research and public attention on the many dimensions of poverty and economic hardship for people in North Carolina and beyond."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

Three percent of female college students responding to a new survey reported being sexually assaulted within their first four to six weeks of college. The survey, conducted by EverFi, an education company that specializes in sexual assault prevention training, included 530,000 students from more than 400 institutions. Nearly 10 percent of female respondents said they had been assaulted by their senior year, as had 4 percent of male students. Thirteen percent of female students in the survey said they had been assaulted prior to coming to college. The survey defined sexual assault as being "pressured or forced into sexual contact without consent."

The Justice Department estimates that 6.1 per 1,000 female students are sexually assaulted, and the oft-cited and oft-criticized National Institute of Justice Campus Sexual Assault Study puts that number at 1 in 5.

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

The Association of American Medical Colleges on Tuesday released a five-year strategy to promote improved medical education. Among the recommendations:

  • Better align residency assignments with societal needs and student interests.
  • Promote more public funding of medical education.
  • Improve the teaching environment for faculty members.
  • "Elevate" the performance of residents and new medical practitioners.

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Paul Gaffney, chair of the philosophy department at St. John’s University, in New York, offers a compelling analysis of the meaning of competition. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 3:00am

The board of South Carolina State University on Monday placed President Thomas Elzey on administrative leave and named the interim provost, W. Franklin Evans, as acting president, The Post and Courier reported. The move came shortly after a legislative committee passed legislation to shut down the historically black college for two years. There are also several legislative proposals to fire all board members, with the expectation that a new board would get rid of the president. Elzey, in office less than two years, has acknowledged many of the financial and other challenges facing the university that have frustrated legislators. But he has said that the university was making progress on what would be a long-term recovery plan.

 

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