Notes in the Margins: Bias, water bottles and med-school sleepiness

Digging Out of the Hole A flurry of recent reports show a number of college endowments are beginning to rebound after taking a brutal hit during the recession, but even some of the top performers are struggling to reach the high-water marks of yesteryear. (Inside Higher Ed)

Thinking Outside the Bottle More and more colleges are banning or limiting the sale of bottled water, and installing reusable-bottle filling stations—all of which is more difficult than you might think. The move puts colleges at odds with major food corporations, because bottled-water sales are tied up with contracts and money that universities get from beverage companies. (

U building reopens after toxic chemical spill cleaned up A building at the University of Minnesota reopened Thursday after being evacuated the night before when a chemical spill sent two students to the hospital for observation. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Taking Sides in the Classroom I keep running up against is this question: What is a professor supposed to do when the facts themselves are "biased"—that is, when a controversy exists in society, but the evidence falls overwhelmingly toward a single position? And where are the precise boundaries between fact, which a professor may legitimately discuss in terms of right and wrong, and opinion, which does not lend itself to such binary discussion? (

Accreditor Tightens Limits on Medical Residents' 80-Hour Workweeks Doctors in training at teaching hospitals would continue to be limited to an 80-hour workweek, but some new limits would be imposed to cut down on errors by sleep-deprived residents under new standards approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. (

A Childhood Room That’s Not Your Own The parent program director at the University of Minnesota, Marjorie Savage, is well aware of the “what to do with the room” question. In fact, she talks about it as part of her meetings with parents during freshman orientation. “We advise parents that students like and need their own familiar space, and that coming home to your own bedroom means a lot,” said Ms. Savage. “If you can leave the room the same for the first year, do it.” (The New York Times)

What Motivates International Students? Overseas students head to Britain for quality, to the United States for career improvement and to Germany for low tuition, according to a new study. (Inside Higher Ed)

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