Cal. university sued for ignoring violence, sexual abuse at fraternity

On Friday, former UC Davis student Ryan Clifford sued the university for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, creating a hostile educational environment and three other complaints after UC Davis allegedly ignored his reports of abusive hazing tactics at Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, the Huffington Post reports. Clifford, a former member of the Jewish fraternity, claimed that AEPi engaged in violence, sexual abuse and forced consumption of drugs and alcohol, which the university ignored, even after several reports. Clifford, who is not Jewish, alleged that he was “specifically targeted for the harshest form of hazing known as ‘ratfucking’ because of his non-Jewish religious affiliation.”

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Opinion: U.S. must prioritize higher education

Listening to the leaders of our country’s most innovative companies, one of their biggest concerns about investing in America is whether our workforce has the education necessary to power their growth, says Bill Burton, University alumnus and former deputy White House press secretary, for MN Daily. They are finding it increasingly difficult to base all of their operations in the United States because of the lack of specialized high-education workers relative to China, India and others. This shortfall isn’t coincidental; it is the direct result of emerging economies making higher education a national priority. To compete in the 21st century, America must do the same. But, even with tuition increasing by over 5 percent at University of Minnesota, Republicans in Congress have proposed a plan that would contain the largest cuts to college grants in history. It could make 1.7 million students ineligible for Pell Grants…

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Guest post: Reform law schools, don’t deregulate them

These are challenging times for legal education. The legal job market is eroding in ways not likely to improve in the near term, if at all, says A. Benjamin Spencer, law professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law who chairs the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers, for the Washington Post. Fundamental change is afoot in the legal profession. Some tasks previously performed by lawyers—such as document review—are now performed by computers here or legal workers offshore, or simply by cheaper in-house staff or contract attorneys…These developments have also laid bare defects in legal education, putting pressure on law schools to innovate and improve if they hope to survive. During better economic times, law schools operated under the assumption that their graduates would receive practical skills training on the job, at the expense of their employers…

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University of Illinois law school dean blamed for grade inflation

An assistant dean at the University of Illinois College of Law inflated grades and entrance exam scores for several years for incoming students in data that was posted online, according to a report released Monday by the university, the Associated Press reports. University officials say Paul Pless was placed on administrative leave and has since resigned. They say an outside law firm and a forensic data analysis company was hired in September after complaints and the discovery that data posted for the class of 2014 was inaccurate.

“The investigation has concluded that a single individual, no longer employed by the college, was responsible for these inaccuracies,” law school Dean Bruce Smith said in a statement…

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Google+ allows colleges to create official pages

Stanford attracted 1,000 Google+ followers in 24 hours.

Higher education’s social media pros aren’t sure how students are using Google+, or how many alumni have signed on to the social network. Even so, universities lured by Google’s massive audience are creating official campus pages.

A handful of notable universities joined Google+ Nov. 7 after Google officials announced that schools, businesses, and organizations can make their own pages.

The social site, which features “circles” that make it easy to pick and choose which online friends you can share certain items with, and “sparks” that provide links to related photos and articles on a topic, had only allowed people to create accounts since its July unveiling.

Read more about Google+ in higher education…

Google’s social media shortcomings could stunt Google+ on campuses

Stanford University, the University of California (UC) Berkeley, the University of Oregon, Rice University, and American University were among the first schools to launch official Google+ pages in the hours after the search giant’s announcement.

Stanford has the early lead in Google+ followers among major universities, drawing in more than 1,000 in its first day on the site.

Campus officials charged with increasing the institution’s social media presence said students, faculty members, and alums haven’t flocked to Google’s social network since the summer, but establishing an official page could pay off if Google+ catches on.

“Like a lot of people, we’re still waiting to see how it will evolve, but we want to be on the ground floor so we can be part of how it goes forward and how it grows,” said Zack Barnett, director of web communications at Oregon, which has 60 Google+ followers. “There will be some hiccups right now because no one has quite figured out how to use Google+ … and Facebook still has such a huge market share. We’re still waiting to see how to measure the investment of our time in Google+.”

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U.S. curbs work program for foreign college students

The State Department put a freeze Monday on expansion of a program that lines up summer jobs in the U.S. for foreign college students, citing persistent complaints about young people getting ripped off and exploited, the Associated Press reports. At issue is the J-1 visa program, which began in 1963 as a way to encourage cultural understanding by allowing young adults from other countries to spend their summers living, working and traveling in the U.S. Nearly a year ago, the Associated Press reported numerous abuses, including cases in which students were put up in shabby, crowded apartments and forced to work grueling hours at backbreaking, menial jobs for $1 an hour or less. Some ended up going to homeless shelters for food or a place to sleep. At least one woman told the AP she was beaten and forced to work as a stripper in Detroit in 2005…

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Penn State students react to Jerry Sandusky arrest

Pennsylvania State University trustees gathered Sunday night for an emergency, closed-door meeting to discuss the arrest of former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on charges that he had sexually abused eight boys over 15 years—and allegations that several top university administrators knew of the abuse but did not alert police, the Washington Post reports. A handful of students stood outside the administration building with signs reading: “Protecting molesters?” and “Tonight I am ashamed of PSU.” Meanwhile, students and alumni petitioned online for PSU President Graham Spanier to step down or be fired. Twitter lit up with outrage. Following the Sunday night meeting, the university announced that Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley had been put on administrative leave, and Gary Schultz, interim senior vice president for finance and business, had stepped down…

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Higher education professionals meet at summit to discuss demands for the 21st Century

The Next Generation Education summit-which took place from 1st to 3rd November at The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia-provided leading executives with an ideal framework for new business relationships to flourish, according to PR Newswire. The summit saw CIOs, IT executives, and provosts of computer and IT from the higher education sector across the US meet to discuss demands for the 21st century in a relaxed and vibrant environment. Speakers included leading industry professionals such as; Adrian Sannier, VP Product Management, Pearson; Kamran Khan, Vice Provost for IT, Rice University; and James Hilton, VP & CIO, University of Virginia, plus many more. Companies including VMWare, PeerApp, and Sprint sponsored the event. Executives had ample opportunity to network with peers. Charlie Baker, Director of Product Management, PeerApp, said of the event, “It’s direct business, it’s direct opportunity, it’s better than a lead,” while Jim Bottum, CIO & Vice Provost, Clemson University, commented, “I’ve found partnerships here that I didn’t expect to find.”

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George Washington University professor didn’t teach class, gave everyone A’s

A George Washington University medical school professor has resigned after students complained that she never taught a required class and assigned all her students an “A’’ grade, the Associated Press reports. Venetia Orcutt resigned last month an assistant professor in George Washington’s department of physician assistant studies. She also served as chair of the department. At least three students wrote letters to GW’s provost this fall complaining that Orcutt did not teach two out of three semesters of a course on evidence-based medicine during the 2009-2010 school year…

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Harvard students walk out of class

About 70 Harvard students showed their disapproval of an introductory economics course by walking out of class last week, the Huffington Post reports. In an open letter to their professor, Greg Mankiw, the students explained that their actions were driven in part by a desire to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. On his blog, Mankiw notes that the students’ actions are ironic because the class topic for the day was income distribution and the growing gap between the top one percent and the bottom 99 percent. Mankiw was the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. He is now an advisor on the Mitt Romney campaign…

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