Harvard Leads ‘U.S. News’ Ranking of Global Universities

U.S. News & World Report’s annual global college rankings are out, and Harvard University tops the list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of Oxford. The list’s methodology favors global reputation and research volume, among other factors. Because of the distinct methodology, Princeton University, which the magazine named the top American university this year, was ranked 13th on the global list.

See the U.S. News ranking for the top universities in the world. The Best Global Universities list includes schools from the U.S.A., Canada, Asia, Europe and more.

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Bloomberg Foundation Leads New Effort Against ‘Undermatching’

A new project led by the billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation will try to raise the number of low-income students attending top-tier colleges, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg Philanthropies and a number of other groups will announce their plans on Tuesday.

The project focuses on academically successful students in the bottom half of the income range. Its aim is to increase the number of those students who attend institutions with six-year graduation rates of more tha…


Trend in Athletes’ Benefits Widens as Pac-12 Guarantees 4-Year Scholarships

The Pac-12 Conference on Monday adopted a package of reforms for athletes that includes improved health-care benefits and guaranteed four-year scholarships for athletes in all sports at its 12 member universities. The Big Ten Conference announced similar changes earlier this month.

The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are among the five powerful conferences that the NCAA is giving new latitude to make their own rules. The others in the “Power Five” group are the Atlantic Coast, the Big 12, and the Southea…


Tufts U. Adjuncts Get Better Pay and Job Security in New Contract

A new contract guarantees most part-time professors at Tufts University better job security and a 22-percent pay raise over three years, The Boston Globe reports. The agreement caps a push by adjuncts at Tufts to organize for improved pay and benefits, among other things.

The terms of the new contract, which goes into effect on January 1, also call for:

  • Adjuncts to get first notice of and a guaranteed interview for any full-time openings.
  • The creation of a $25,000-per-year pool of money for pro…

Another Florida State U. Football Player Faces Investigation

A Florida State University running back, Karlos Williams, is under investigation by the Tallahassee police over an accusation of domestic battery, The New York Times reported. The police department confirmed that it had received the case but released no further details.

The university said in a statement on Monday that it was “aware of” the investigation of Mr. Williams and that his status with the team was under review.

Mr. Williams is the third Florida State starter to face an abuse claim in t…


CUNY Graduate Students Vote Not to Support Israeli Boycott

Graduate students at the City University of New York have voted not to support a boycott of Israeli colleges and divestment from Israeli companies, the newspaper Haaretz reports. A plurality of the Doctoral Students’ Council, which represents roughly 4,700 students, voted on Friday in favor of the measure, but passage required a majority. The vote concluded a heated debate in which members of each side accused the other of attempting to silence their opinions.

The council representing graduate and post-graduate students at the City University of New York (CUNY) has failed to endorse a resolution that calls for “the boycott of Israeli academic institutions and the divestment from Israeli companies.”

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Most Colleges in Boston Don’t Pay in Full for City Services

Most colleges in Boston have not paid the city the amount of money it has requested for municipal services, The Boston Globe reports. As part of a three-year-old program, nonprofit organizations with property valued at more than $15-million are asked to pay the city twice a year for services like police protection and snow removal.

A Globe review found that most colleges don’t make the voluntary payments. For example, Northeastern University, which was asked to pay the city $2.5-million for the most recent fiscal year, paid nothing.

“They were all in the room, and they all agreed to this,” said Stephen J. Murphy, a member of the City Council. But the president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, Richard Doherty, said that the voluntary payments would force many of Boston’s colleges to resort to budget cuts, and that the colleges already benefited the city in other ways.

Most colleges in Boston have failed to pay the city the full amount sought to help pay for municipal services, while a majority of hospitals met the recommended amounts, a Globe review has found.

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3 Colleges Drop Questions About Applicants’ Criminal Histories

Three colleges in New York State have agreed to drop from their applications questions about prospective students’ criminal records, The New York Times reports. A review conducted by the state’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, found that St. John’s University, Five Towns College, and Dowling College make overly broad inquiries into applicants’ criminal histories.

The review arose out of a concern that racial disparities in how the police make arrests place an unfair burden on minority ap…


2 More Programs to Be Cut at U. of Southern Maine

The Board of Trustees of the University of Maine system voted, 9 to 2, on Friday to approve the elimination of two academic programs at the University of Southern Maine, a master’s in applied medical sciences and the undergraduate major in French. Southern Maine’s president, David T. Flanagan, has said the cuts are necessary, along with the elimination of 50 faculty positions in various departments, to help close a budget gap of $16-million for the next fiscal year.

The board voted last month to cut three other programs at Southern Maine: the graduate program in American and New England studies, the geosciences major, and the arts-and-humanities major at the university’s Lewiston campus.

“We cannot ignore the facts,” said Samuel Collins, the board’s chairman. “We have to plug the hole before the ship sinks.”

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Cal State-Northridge Suspends Pledging Amid Fraternity-Hazing Inquiry

California State University at Northridge has halted fraternity-pledging activities amid another investigation into possible hazing, following the death of a pledge at a different Greek organization this past summer. The university recently revised its rules for Greek organizations and student clubs after Armando Villa, a 19-year-old student, died on a fraternity-pledge hike.

The national office of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity shut down the Northridge campus’s chapter after the student’s death. And now the university has suspended pledging activities after another fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, drew scrutiny for possible hazing. That organization was placed on interim suspension pending the outcome of the university’s inquiry.

William Watkins, the university’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students, announced the decision to halt pledging activities in a letter this week.

School President Dianne F. Harrison was expected to address the leaders of CSUN’s Greek system to discuss the university’s expectations and intent to end hazing.

“It is shocking and disappointing that this conduct persists after all the efforts undertaken by so many this fall to ensure a recruitment and intake process that conforms to the university’s zero tolerance policy on hazing,” Watkins said.

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