University News

This Week in Higher Ed: Nov. 21, 2013

By
University News Editor
Thursday, November 21, 2013

New study finds nationwide spike in science and engineering degrees

The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded nationally in engineering and the sciences rose over the past five years by a substantially higher rate than those in other fields, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported Tuesday.

The Chronicle cited a study released Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center that found a 19 percent jump in the number of engineering and science bachelor’s degrees since 2009.

Other academic fields saw 9 percent increases over the same period, according to the study, which included the social sciences in its classification of science degrees.

The study found that 32 percent of bachelor’s degrees nationwide were awarded in engineering and science disciplines this year.

Though women received 57 percent of total bachelor’s degrees, they received 50 percent of engineering and science degrees. Over 60 percent of science and engineering degrees earned by women were in social science and psychology fields, compared to 37 percent of those awarded to men.

Some analysts linked student perceptions of a stronger job market in engineering and science fields to the larger growth rate in degrees in these fields, the Chronicle reported.

 

Campus protest at Palestinian university leads Brandeis to suspend ties

Brandeis University suspended its partnership with Al-Quds University in Palestine following a Nov. 5 protest at the institution in support of suicide bombers, according to a Monday news release from Brandeis.

The protest at the Al-Quds campus featured demonstrators raising Nazi salutes and wielding fake weapons, while banners portraying suicide bombers surrounded the protestors, multiple news outlets reported.

Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence requested that Al-Quds President Sari Nusselbeh denounce the demonstration, according to Brandeis’ release. Al-Quds administrators responded by posting a statement on the university’s website that lambasted “Jewish extremists” for seeking to “exploit” the protest, Inside Higher Ed reported Tuesday.

Al-Quds’ “unacceptable and inflammatory” response led Lawrence to suspend the partnership, according to the news release.

The partnership had allowed for faculty and student exchanges between Al-Quds and Brandeis “that have advanced the cause of peace and understanding,” the news release stated.

 

Yale administrators project staff layoffs in coming years

Yale’s continuing budget deficit will likely necessitate administrative staff layoffs within the next three to five years, the Yale Daily News reported Tuesday.

President Peter Salovey and Provost Benjamin Polak told the Yale Daily News that “reductions in personnel and non-personnel costs” will be enacted across various departments and divisions to close the university’s current $39 million budget deficit.

Yale posted a 12.5 percent investment return during fiscal year 2013, but the university’s endowment remains smaller than it was before the 2008 financial crash, the Yale Daily News reported. Brown reported a 12.6 percent investment return — the second highest growth rate in the Ivy League after Penn’s 14.4 percent — for the last fiscal year.

Eliminating Yale’s deficit must center on reducing personnel costs, which currently comprise 60 percent of the university’s expenditures, Vice President for Finance and Business Operations Shauna King told the Yale Daily News.

Administrators said the likelihood of staff layoffs will rise after the 2014-2015 academic year but that payroll reductions will probably not occur before then, the Yale Daily News reported.

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