Penn Daily News Service | Apr 18, 2014

Penn in the News

Reuters — April 18, 2014

Sarah Tishkoff of the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences is quoted about a study on what fundamentally distinguishes present-day humans from Neanderthals.

“Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane,” WHYY Radio (Philadelphia) — April 17, 2014

Annette Lareau of the School of Arts and Sciences discusses how children of different socioeconomic backgrounds are influenced by their parents’ styles.

“Newsworks,” WHYY Radio (Philadelphia) — April 17, 2014

Zachary Meisel of the Perelman School of Medicine and Austin Kilaru, a recent graduate of the school, are highlighted for researching “narrative medicine.”

“Newsworks,” WHYY Radio (Philadelphia) — April 16, 2014

Lucy Fowler Williams of the Museum and Tina Fragoso of Admissions are interviewed about the show “Native American Voices: The People, Here and Now.”

Huffington Post — April 16, 2014

Marybeth Gasman and doctoral student Thai-Huy Nguyen of the Graduate School of Education author a post about a report on the potential effects of grant-funded interventions on various outcomes at minority serving institutions.

Noteworthy in Higher Education

Chronicle of Higher Education — April 18, 2014

The University of Texas system has spent the past two years airing plenty of dirty laundry, and that is thanks in large part to Wallace L. Hall Jr. Mr. Hall, who was appointed to the Texas Board of Regents in 2011, has made it his mission to look into the dark corners of the university, focusing much of his attention on the flagship campus in Austin, where Mr. Hall has questioned spending and admissions decisions. With the gusto of a muckraking reporter, the Texas businessman has spent hours and hours sifting through boxes of university documents, searching for evidence of sweetheart deals or even coverups. Mr. Hall may sound like just the sort of highly engaged board member that colleges need right now, when trustees are often criticized for failing to spot crises in the making. But Mr. Hall’s critics describe the regent as a conservative ideologue whose only real goal is to embarrass and fire William C. Powers Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin. To his detractors, Mr. Hall’s investigations are little more than witch hunts that distract the board from its important oversight role.

Washington Post — April 17, 2014

A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee. The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population. Third-year law student Dominik Taylor, a descendent of slaves on his father’s side, said he felt betrayed by admissions representatives who touted the school’s diversity.

U.S. News — April 17, 2014

A new study from a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association concludes that it's misplaced for the federal college ratings plan, announced last year by President Barack Obama, to try to enhance consumer access and institutional accountability through one tool. Calling the strategy "well-intentioned but poorly devised," the study's authors, Lorelle L. Espinosa, Jennifer R. Crandall, and Malika Tukibayeva, all from the American Council on Education, presented their findings in an issue brief from the council's Center for Policy, Research and Strategy called "Rankings, Institutional Behavior, and College and University Choice: Framing the National Dialogue on Obama’s Ratings Plan." The study is the latest in a rapidly expanding body of academic literature that takes a scholarly, analytical approach to the study of academic rankings and their impact on higher education and the broader society.

New York Times — April 16, 2014

The imminent vote by scholarship football players at Northwestern on whether to certify a union has students, professors and athletes in other sports choosing sides. When a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled last month that the players were employees and therefore eligible to form a union, it sent shock waves through higher education and college athletics that hit hardest here at Northwestern, a university in the Chicago suburbs that is known more for its academics than its athletics. “What it means for the athletic department and the greater economics of the school, I don’t think anyone knows exactly,” said Laura Beth Nielsen, a Northwestern professor of sociology and legal studies. “But no one is ambivalent.” The varied viewpoints were on display at a meeting on Wednesday night organized by former Northwestern football players at a civic center here. Several dozen alumni attended, most of them former football players.

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