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Women, who for generations constituted a small fraction of college students, now outnumber men on college campuses, and their enrollment lead continues to grow.

In 1972, according to a new report by the Bureau of the Census, there were 74 women enrolled at colleges and universities for every 100 men; in 1981, there were 108 women for every 100 men. Between 1972 and 1981, the agency also reports, college enrollments grew by one-third to 12.1 million, reflecting increases of 12 percent for men and 63 percent for women. Most college students in 1981 were over 21 years old, and a third were 25 and older.

Half of all full-time undergraduates under 35 in 1981 were women, the Census Bureau notes; 45 percent of graduate students were women; and women constituted the majority of both part-time and two-year-college enrollments.

A group of medical students from Tufts University and the University of Vermont will return to their native state of Maine this spring to encourage junior and senior high-school students to consider careers in medicine.

With the aid of a $4,700 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the approximately 150 physicians-in-training will fan out across the state to talk in schools in eight or more cities. They are hoping to reach out in particular to low-income students who may think medical education is simply out of reach financially. Only about 80 Maine students--about half the per capita average of the rest of the states--have entered medical school in each of the past several years.

The project is co-sponsored by the University of Maine and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

The president of the University of Massachusetts has ordered a one-week suspension for 11 faculty members, most of them tenured, who failed to pay a mandatory "agency fee" in lieu of union dues. The suspensions without salary were agreed to by the campus's faculty union, an affiliate of the National Education Association, and administrators as an alternative to firing the faculty members. Under the current collective-bargaining agreement, the president, David C. Knapp, is required to fire bargaining-unit members who fail to pay union dues or the agency fee.

About 30 faculty members at the institution have protested the mandatory payments, saying that the union's closed-shop requirements violate their academic freedom.

The eight football coaches in the Ivy League have joined 'Famous Amos,' the chocolate-chip-cookie maker, as backers of Literacy Volunteers of America, a national nonprofit organization that provides tutors for adult Americans who cannot read or write.

"The coaches want to find a positive area to pursue," said Yale's Carmen Cozza, "because there is so much negative talk about the number of student athletes who haven't graduated. We are all educators. We want every student to get a degree. That's our goal."--mm

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