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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Academics & Research

Ahead of Higher Ed: Administrators get high-tech


On Monday, Harvard University announced it created a new position within its administration that will focus on education technology, such as massive open online courses.

This new “vice provost of advances in learning” position is experimental and will illicit more organization and innovation within Harvard’s distance and online education, according to Inside Higher Ed.

This position’s creation is thought to be a trend among universities, and UH is one step ahead. In May, Provost Paula Short announced the creation of new positions within the Office of Academic Affairs, one of which is a new associate provost for education innovation and technology.

The interim associate provost for education and innovation technology, Jeff Morgan, has a similar job description, as he is responsible for education technology and innovation, including MOOCs and distance education — two things Short is pushing to develop.

“We’re going to look at innovative technology such as development and offering of MOOCs — we’ll be doing that this year,” Short said in an interview in August. “We’ll be putting more courses online so that students can access degree programs; putting the subsea engineering (graduate program) online. And there will be more.”

Art wrecked by music video-inspired pranks

On Tuesday, Michigan’s Grand Valley State University administrators removed a campus sculpture which resembled the wrecking ball in Miley Cyrus’s recently released music video because students were copying the singer’s controversial nude acts.

The removal was not — at least solely — because of the video’s controversy, but rather for safety concerns.

“We really do need to verify the structural integrity right now and consider the safety ramifications and look (into) whether there’s a better way to install it,” said Tim Thimmesch, associate vice president of facilities services, in a release to M Live.

But some students did not appreciate the removal and protested at the former site of the sculpture. The protesters sat in a circle, singing Cyrus’s song while waving their cell phones, M Live reported.

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