British people see academic careers as desirable -- and as more desirable than careers that might strike many Americans as more attractive, according to a new poll from YouGov. The poll asked Britons whether they would like to do various jobs, and 51 percent said they would like to be an academic. That was the third most popular job (respondents could pick more than one), after author (60 percent) and librarian (54 percent). Among the jobs with lower rankings: doctor (39 percent), Olympic athlete (31 percent), member of Parliament (31 percent) and Hollywood movie star (31 percent). sic that those three all had 31 percent -sj
Higher Education Quick Takes
Legislators are offering competing plans to oust the board of South Carolina State University, The State reported. South Carolina State is a financially troubled historically black college, and a House committee stunned supporters of the institution by proposing to shut it down for two years. Now, Senate leaders are backing a plan under which the university's board would be replaced until 2018 by a special five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. House leaders, meanwhile, are backing a plan to give power over the university to the state's Budget and Control Board, which is made up of five elected officials led by the governor. South Carolina State's accreditor must approve any change in control, and has warned that the House plan would appear to violate accreditation rules against undue political control of colleges.
A new report from the Knight Foundation urges a major overhaul in journalism education. The report calls for journalism schools to create new "digital first" publications and to hire faculty who have experience in digital journalism. Further, it calls for the accreditation of journalism schools to focus not on program resources but on "measurable metrics" of teaching and learning success.
The Wesleyan University chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon is suing the university for "discrimination, misrepresentation and deceptive practices" over Wesleyan's order that its fraternities must become coeducational. Delta Kappa Epsilon is one of just two officially recognized on-campus fraternities at the university. The other, Psi Upsilon, is facing a lawsuit over an alleged sexual assault, as is an unofficial off-campus fraternity called Beta Theta Pi.
In September, Wesleyan said it would give residential fraternities three years to become coeducational. The DKE lawsuit, filed by undergraduate and alumni members of the fraternity, alleges that the university "broke this promise" and fast-tracked its decision to deny DKE housing rights less than five months after its initial demand, and two days before the university's housing selection process began.
"As a result, the student members of DKE fraternity have inexplicably and without reasonable notice been stripped of their rights to on-campus housing and the fraternity denied the annual rental income it is entitled to as owner of the property," the chapter said in a statement.
The suit, which seeks an injunction to restore DKE's housing next year, states that the university's refusal to "permit male fraternity brothers to reside in single-sex housing flies in the face of the university's willingness to allow many other diverse groups to reside by choice with members of the same sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, culture, sexual orientation, sexual identification and the like."
The fraternity said it made "good faith efforts to achieve a workable solution" during the last five months, but the university said it disagrees. In a statement Thursday, Wesleyan said the lawsuit has no merit, and that the fraternity "expressly disavowed any commitment" to become coeducational.
"DKE’s annual program housing agreement was terminated for the next academic year only after the organization repeatedly failed to take any meaningful steps or make any reasonable commitments toward residential coeducation before the date on which the housing selection process began," the university stated. "The DKE house has historically operated very differently than other special interest program houses at Wesleyan in many ways, but notably that it explicitly prohibits residence by females. This must change."
The National Endowment for the Humanities announced Thursday that Anna Deavere Smith will deliver the 44th Jefferson Lecture on April 6. Smith is an actress and playwright known for works of nonfiction theater -- such as Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 -- in which she plays multiple roles. Her lecture will be called “On the Road: A Search for American Character."
Texas officials have narrowed their search to replace University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers to three names, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
The paper identified the three finalists -- all men -- as Greg Fenves, the university's executive vice president and provost; Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor of the University of Oxford; and David Daniel, president of University of Texas at Dallas.
The paper also reported that Ohio State University's provost, Joseph Steinmetz, had been a finalist but decided not to go for the job.
Powers, who announced last year he is leaving this summer, was last week hit with a report that said he overruled admissions officials to admit potentially subpar students, including at least some who had moneyed ties or politically connected backers.
Queen's University in Canada announced Thursday that Melody Torcolacci, an instructor accused of teaching scientifically invalid anti-vaccine arguments, would not be returning to teach the health course in which she made the statements, The Globe and Mail reported. But Provost Alan Harrison said that an anti-vaccine PowerPoint used in the class -- prompting student complaints -- may have been taken out of context. He said that the PowerPoint was anti-vaccine, but that he was not sure the same could be said of the class lectures. Nonetheless, he said that the instructor would be returning to teach other courses, not this one.
David Robinson, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed that the association has been limited in its analysis of the case so far. "We’ve weighed in only to say that we need to be cautious about jumping to conclusions on this one," he said. "There is a lot we don’t know, and [we] need to be wary of trial by social media."
A new university system focused on health care -- and financed in an unusual way -- was announced this morning, backed by the German publishing giant Bertelsmann.I'm not sure I understand how Bertelsmann is involved here—just with a financial stake in Arist? Possible to add another line clarifying? sb Arist Education System said it would create a system of graduate and professional health and human sciences institutions. The first institution to join the system is California's Alliant International University, which specializes in psychology, health sciences and law. Like the other institutions as part of Arist, Alliant -- which has been a private nonprofit university -- will become a public benefit corporation, a form of for-profit company that strives to pursue a social mission.
The University of California at San Francisco has received a $100 million gift from the philanthropist Charles Feeney. The funds will be used for the medical university's hospitals, neuroscience and aging programs, student scholarships and faculty recruitment.