Post-Secondary News Digest for January 9, 2012
Universities, Students slam funding cuts:
(The Chronicle Herald) School administrators and students have voiced their opposition to Nova Scotia’s new university funding agreement. John Harker, president of Cape Breton University, says universities are facing a $75-million reduction. The agreement will increase tuition by three per cent and cut provincial funding by an additional three per cent. “Everything in this agreement is going to make university less accessible (and) less affordable… for students,” said Alwyn Gomez, president of Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association.
Former university president to help NSCAD manage finances:
(Canadian Press) The Nova Scotia government has appointed Daniel O’Brien to assist NSCAD with its finances. O’Brien was president of St. Thomas University In Fredericton, N.B., for 16 years. He is to assist NSCAD with its obligation to submit a plan for becoming financially sustainable before March 31. NSCAD is the oldest fine arts college in Canada, and faces a possible merger with Dalhousie University.
Memorials held for UBC student killed in Mexico:
(Canadian Press) Friends of Ximena Osegueda gathered in Montreal and Mexico City this Saturday for memorials in her honour. The former McGill student and her boyfriend were found on a beach south of Acapulco, partially buried. She was in Mexico gathering material for her PhD. Her UBC colleagues say they expect a Vancouver memorial as well.
St. FX’s Coach K hits 800 wins:
(TSN) Steve Konchalski became the first coach to ever reach 800 wins in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history this past weekend. The St. Francis Xavier X-Men basketball coach has won three CIS titles in his 37-year career. The X-Men beat the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds 87-68.
U. of Alberta recruiting aboriginals for medicine program:
(Edmonton Journal) Despite graduating more aboriginal doctors than any university in Canada, the University of Alberta is still trying to do more. “There is a screaming need for physicians in aboriginal communities,” says associate dean of community engagement Jill Konkin. There were only 200 self-declared Aboriginal doctors in 2007, where 1,500-2,000 would be proportional to the Aboriginal population. The university is planning a new initiative to help more Aboriginals enter the field of medicine.
Study questions NCAA’s athletic eligibility rules:
(Inside Higher Ed) A professor at the University of Oklahoma says the National Collegiate Athletic Association is allowing athletes who are not intellectually prepared for university to play college sports. The NCAA uses a “sliding scale” that allows students to bomb a standardized test if they have a high grade point average. Gerald Gurney used the Wide Range Achievement Test to show that athletes are being admitted to university without the basic academic skills they need to succeed.
Law school admissions officers call recruitment a ‘balancing act’:
(Inside Higher Ed) American admissions officers say they feel pressured to recruit the best students and will often make empty promises to lessen student concerns. The officers explained the complexity of recruiting students at the Association of American Law Schools’ conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday. There have been three lawsuits recently where graduates have sued their law schools, saying the schools gave them unrealistic job placement statistics. Admissions officers say law schools need to be more transparent.
California has more legislators with college degrees than any other state:
(Sonoma Patch) A new study shows the California legislature has more college graduates than any other in the United States. According to A Chronicle of Higher Education study, nearly 90 per cent of California’s lawmakers have graduated from university. Virginia, Nebraska, New York and Texas round out the top five. New Hampshire ranked the lowest with 53.4 per cent of its legislators holding a college degree.
Opponents of California Dream Act fall short:
(Reuters) Opponents have lost their bid to repeal a California law that allows illegal immigrants to receive privately funded college scholarships. The state legislature passed the California Dream Act in July but opponents have failed to gain enough signatures to repeal the bill. The law also gives state-funded aid to certain illegal immigrants. The opponents, led by Republican assemblyman Ted Donnelly, needed 504,760 signatures. They were more than 50,000 short.
Occupy Tampa to march on for-profit university:
(Florida Independent) Protesters with the Occupy Tampa movement are marching on Argosy University, a for-profit school. Goldman Sachs owns 41 per cent of the school’s operator, Education Management Corporation. According to the Department of Justice, Education Management received $US2.2 billion from the U.S. government in 2010, which made up almost 90 per cent of its total revenue. Occupy Tampa says these schools take advantage of students financially while paying executives extravagant salaries and bonuses.
Faculty member unlikely to face disciplinary action over student poaching:
(The Sydney Morning Herald) The dean of architecture at the University of Sydney attempted to poach students from other universities. John Redmond used students’ personal information from the Universities Admissions Centre to offer placements to more than 100 students. Andrew Stanton, the managing director of the centre, said the oversight committee is unlikely to act because it was an isolated incident. According to Stanton, breaches to the centre’s ethics code occur each semester but are usually accidental.
U. of Manchester reduces student/faculty ratio:
(The Australian) The University of Manchester will reduce student numbers and hire lecturers because students are dissatisfied with quality of education. Manchester ranks within the top six for research in the Sunday Times University Guide, but sits at the 110th spot for teaching. Students complain their undergraduate education comes secondary to faculty research. The university plans to reduce student intake by 14 per cent by 2014 and hire 100 additional academics.
Weeks-long sit-in ends at Tunisian university:
(The Australian) Officials at the University of Manouba say a weeks-long sit-in following a ban on a full-face Muslim veil has ended. A group of students, many of whom were not enrolled at the university, began their sit-in on Nov. 28. They demanded the right for students to wear the niquab, which was banned for security reasons. The dean of the university arts department, Habib Kazdaghli, says the veil will remain prohibited.
Hawking misses birthday celebration:
(Independent) A University of Cambridge official said Sunday that celebrity scientist Stephen Hawking was not well enough to attend a conference in honour of his 70th birthday. Vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz said Hawking was released from the hospital on Friday but that “his recovery has not been fast enough for him to be able to be here.” The university hosted a day-long conference on cosmology in honour of Hawking’s remarkable career.