Quick Takes | Higher education round-up: Oct. 5

A weekly roundup of news from around the Ivy League and the higher-education community

· October 4, 2012, 11:20 pm

Dartmouth College

SAE sees high rush numbers

Though it has been implicated in a national hazing scandal over the past 10 months, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at Dartmouth College saw its highest rush interest over the past three years this semester.

The Dartmouth reported that SAE received 33 “shake-outs” — students who indicate a binding preference for a certain chapter on campus — during rush weekend.

Students who rushed SAE told the newspaper that the hazing scandal has been “blown out of proportion,” and that it did not affect their interest in the fraternity.

Columbia University

Faculty looks into online learning

Two weeks after announcing that it will begin to offer massive open online courses through Coursera next semester, Columbia’s University Senate is turning its attention to the future of online learning.

The Columbia Spectator reported that, in the coming months, the Senate will be discussing the school’s current online offerings and its future plans for expansion.

While Columbia’s involvement with Coursera marks the University’s first appearance on the national MOOC stage, some of its individual schools — such as the School of Engineering and Applied Science — already have individual online offerings themselves.

Harvard University

Faust discusses academic integrity

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, who has said very little publicly about Harvard’s ongoing cheating scandal, sat down with The Crimson earlier this week to discuss some of her views on what has unfolded since August.

Among other things, Faust pointed out that societal pressures may have had an impact on the 125 students who allegedly cheated in their “Introduction to Congress” course in May.

“I think the world puts those pressures so clearly on students that we need to think of ways to counteract that with an emphasis on how important the act of learning and the substance of learning is in itself,” Faust said.

Princeton University

Sororities see lower rush numbers

Following Princeton’s ban on freshman rush, Princeton’s three Panhellenic sororities saw a 64-percent drop in the number of students who rushed this fall, The Daily Princetonian reported.

At last week’s registration, 74 sophomores, juniors and seniors signed up to rush the sororities.

While females rush all of the school’s sororities and then rank their preferences once the process is over, male students at Princeton rush just one individual fraternity.

Princeton President Shirley Tilghman announced the ban on freshman rush in summer 2011. This marks the first year it has been in effect.

Yale University

Some displeased with presidential search process

Some students have expressed dissatisfaction with what they believe is a lack of transparency in the search process to find a replacement for Yale University President Richard Levin, who announced at the beginning of the school year that he will be stepping down.

The Yale Daily News reported that activist group Students Unite Now has been petitioning for more student involvement in the search. It recently released a five-page statement spelling out its concerns.

Administrators have responded by saying that it is still early in the process, and that the various search committees are still getting organized.

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