Flurry of CV Changes Raises Question: What Else Did Michael LaCour Make Up?

The reputation of Michael J. LaCour has taken a beating. In little more than a week, the UCLA graduate student has gone from being celebrated as a co-author of a widely touted political-science paper to becoming notorious for apparently fabricating the data that paper was based on.

[Updated (2:15 p.m., 5/28/2015) with news of the retraction from Science.]

He has promised to explain himself by Friday, though at this point the evidence against him — grants that don’t exist, a survey that was appar…


Oxford Names Its First Female Vice Chancellor

After nearly 800 years, the University of Oxford has named its first female vice chancellor, reports The Telegraph. Louise Richardson, currently the principal of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, will succeed Andrew Hamilton as Oxford’s vice chancellor, a position equivalent to a university president in the United States. Mr. Hamilton announced in March that he would become the next president of New York University. Ms. Richardson, a noted scholar of terrorism and security studies, was previously executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, at Harvard University.

The University of Oxford has nominated its first female chancellor since records began in 1230 when Elyas de Daneis held the post. Professor Louise Richardson, current principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews, will succeed Professor Andrew Hamilton, who has held the role since 2009, at the beginning of next year.

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Saint Louis U. Moves Controversial Statue of Missionary Converting Native Americans

Saint Louis University has moved a 19th-century statue showing a missionary converting two Native Americans after protests that it endorsed colonialism and white supremacy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The statue, entitled “Where the Rivers Meet,” has been moved from outside a residence hall into a museum. The subject of the sculpture, the Jesuit missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet, is shown gesturing to the Native Americans from a higher platform. The move followed a handful of student protests about the statue in recent months.

St. Louis University has moved a controversial sculpture from outside a residence hall to inside a museum, in response to criticism from faculty and students who say the work reinforces the idea of white supremacy. The sculpture, by an unknown artist, is named “Where the Rivers Meet.”

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Chapel Hill Renames Building That Honored Ku Klux Klan Leader

Trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted on Thursday to rename a building that previously honored a 19th-century graduate of the institution who was also a leader of the state chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, The News & Observer reports.

The Board of Trustees voted to rename Saunders Hall, named for William L. Saunders, as Carolina Hall, and to ban any other renaming of buildings for 16 years. The decision followed months of wrangling over the building, which had become the …


Drew U. Makes Standardized Tests Optional — Again

In recent years, many colleges have dropped requirements that prospective students submit standardized-test scores as part of their applications. And now Drew University, in New Jersey, is making that move once again.

According to, the university spent seven years as a test-optional institution before reinstating a requirement that students submit the scores, in 2013. The university announced on Wednesday, however, that it was again dropping the requirement that students submit SAT or ACT…


Like Numbers? Read the Education Dept.’s Mammoth Report on Education in 2015

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics on Wednesday released its annual report on the condition of American education. Included in the many-paged report are facts and figures encompassing higher, secondary, and elementary education. Among other things, the report notes that total enrollment in postsecondary education declined from 2012-13 to 2013-14, the number of master’s degrees awarded dropped from 2011-12 to 2012-13, and the average net price at four-year…


American Students Want to Study Abroad but Have Concerns

Report: “Broadening Horizons: The Value of the Overseas Experience”

Organization: British Council

Summary: As colleges seek to give more students an international experience, the council, Britain’s educational and cultural-relations agency, examined perceived barriers to studying abroad. It surveyed 4,625 American students about their views on studying in another country.

The survey found, among other things, that:

  • Fifty-four percent of respondents said they wanted to study abroad, while the re…

Surprise! Harvard Produces the Most MacArthur ‘Geniuses’

The colleges with the most undergraduates who go on to win MacArthur “genius” grants are exactly the ones you’d expect: Harvard University, Princeton University, and the University of California at Berkeley, in that order. That’s according to new data released on Thursday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which awards grants worth $625,000 apiece to a prestigious group of fellows each year.

Here are some other findings from the data:

  • While less than 2 percent of American col…

Judge Throws Out a For-Profit Group’s Challenge to the Gainful-Employment Rule

A judge has thrown out a group of for-profit colleges’ challenge to the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful-employment rule, Reuters reports. The lawsuit was one of two filed last year in response to the department’s final rule, which seeks to judge career-oriented programs on their graduates’ ability to repay their student loans.

The lawsuit was brought by the Association of Proprietary Colleges, which represents 20 institutions in New York. In a written statement, the group’s executive dire…


U. of Florida Gets Few Takers for Online Path to Campus

The University of Florida made an unusual offer to more than 3,000 high-school students who would otherwise have been rejected for admission: Pass two semesters of online coursework, and then you can enroll on the campus. But less than 10 percent of them took the offer.

Joseph Glover, the provost, defended the new option, called the Pathway to Campus Enrollment, or PACE, saying it hadn’t been well explained. “This year, now that the program is in place and there is time to advertise and explai…