All posts by Lee Gardner


Calif. Voters Approve Ballot Measure to Stave Off ‘Trigger Cuts’ at State Colleges

On the same night that President Obama won a convincing victory in a race for re-election that at one time was considered too close to call, Gov. Jerry Brown of California appears to have pulled off a win in a similar squeaker. The Democratic governor declared victory for Proposition 30, a ballot measure crucial to the financial future of California’s public colleges. Proposition 30 led 54 percent to 46 percent with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

Governor Brown introduced the measure in orde…


Universities Group Recommends Research-Friendly Policies for Next President

Paying for college may be the big higher-education issue in this year’s presidential race, but research universities hope whoever wins in November will keep them in mind as well. The Association of American Universities has released a policy paper, titled “Partnering for a Prosperous & Secure Future,” that suggests ways the next administration can work with research universities to their mutual benefit.

If you’ve read the National Research Council’s recent report on the state of American researc…


Florida Professor on Leave After Campaigning-for-Obama Controversy

A community-college professor in Florida has taken a leave of absence after she was accused of electioneering on behalf of President Obama in class.

Sharon Sweet, an associate professor of mathematics at Brevard Community College, in Cocoa, Fla., is being investigated for allegedly urging her students to vote for Mr. Obama and distributing printed pro-Obama campaign material to them.

On Thursday, Brevard received a complaint from a parent of a student in one of the five classes Ms. Sweet teaches…


Facebook Can Motivate Users, and Friends of Users, to Political Action, Study Finds

Regular users of Facebook may be so weary of political messages in their news feeds that they try to tune them out, or wish they could. But a recent study from the University of California at San Diego, conducted with the cooperation of Facebook, found that the social-media service could effectively influence hundreds of thousands more voters to head to the polls.

The lead author, James H. Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at UC-San Diego, said that the study, publish…


Lynn U. Rolls Out Curriculum Devoted to U.S. Presidency and Debates

On October 22, Lynn University will welcome President Obama and the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, to its campus, in Boca Raton, Fla., for their third and final presidential debate. By then, Lynn’s 1,600 students should be well prepared for the rhetorical battle, thanks to 80 classes related to the presidency and political debates that the private, nonprofit university added to its catalog for the fall semester.

Shortly after the college learned last fall that it had won the right…


In Scant References to Higher Ed, Ryan Digs at Obama

Rep. Paul Ryan during a walk-through before his speech. (Photo by Charles Dharapak, AP Images)

Rep. Paul Ryan accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for vice president of the United States on Wednesday night with a speech that contained only a few brief references to higher education.

Addressing the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Mr. Ryan hammered “Obamacare” and President Obama’s handling of the economy. Early in his speech, however, he mentioned college students among those…


Obama Goes on College Tour

As the national news media focus on Tampa, Fla., for this week’s Republican National Convention, President Obama has embarked on a brief college tour.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to make stops at Iowa State University on Tuesday, Colorado State University at Fort Collins on Tuesday, and the University of Virginia on Wednesday. UVa officials declined the Obama campaign’s request to have the president speak at the institution, citing a desire to avoid disruption for students on the second day of fall…