Higher Education News
World & Nation
- Job prospects for the Class of 2009, as might be expected, don’t look good. Employers plan to increase the number of new graduates they hire by just 1.3 percent this coming year, according to a September survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That’s the lowest projected increase since 2002.
“Historically, anything 6 percent or below represents not a good year for college recruiting,” said Edwin W. Koc, the association’s director of strategic and foundation research.
Text-message alert systems, such as those set up on many campuses since the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy, may not work as expected in the event of large-scale emergencies, according to a new report.
“Characterizing the Limitations of Third-Party EAS Over Cellular Text Messaging Services,” a study by Patrick G. Traynor, an assistant professor in the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, concludes that cellular networks are incapable of meeting the 10-minute alert goal that has been established by the federal Emergency Alert System charter.
A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upholds tighter federal restrictions on Cuba-based study programs. The lawsuit, Emergency Coalition to Defend Educational Travel, et. al. v United States Department of the Treasury, et.al, challenged new regulations imposed in 2004.
The 2004 restrictions required study programs involving travel to Cuba to meet three criteria: the program must last at least 10 weeks; participating students must be enrolled at the academic institution sponsoring the program; and faculty who teach in such a program must be “full-time permanent employees regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the institution.” The court said that the regulations don’t restrict what professors can teach about Cuba, and that “professors remain free to teach in Cuba so long as they and their institutional employers establish programs in accordance with the regulations.”
Faculty & Staff
- The majority of professors surveyed for a new book, About Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities, by three faculty members at George Mason University, said they keep their own politics out of the classroom. The 2007 study of professors at 169 research universities, found 95 percent of professors believe they encourage competing views. Sixty-one percent said politics rarely comes up, and only 28 percent said they let students know how they feel about political issues in general.
On the other hand, three-quarters of the political science students surveyed in another study correctly identified their professors’ political leanings. The student study, “I Think My Professor Is a Democrat: Considering Whether Students Recognize and React to Faculty Politics,” reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, found a slight political shift toward the Democratic side, but the shift was among students whose professors were Republicans as well as among those who were Democrats.
- The National Governors Association has sent a letter asking the Secretary of Education to waive a new federal requirement that states maintain their spending on higher education, “given the current national and state economic crises.”
The governors noted that 27 states are already facing a combined budget shortfall of more than $26 billion, a figure that is expected to grow.
- Nearly four out of five students who undergo remediation in college graduated from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher, according to Strong American Schools, a group that advocates making public-school education more rigorous.
More than half the students the group studied said they worked hard in high school and nearly always completed their assignments. Nearly six in 10 said their high-school classes were easy, and nearly half said they wished their high school classes had been harder.