Notes in the Margins: State budgets, military tuition and patent or perish

30 Jewish Studies Faculty Call on DA to Drop Charges Against Muslim Students at UCI In a striking act of interfaith solidarity, 30 Jewish studies faculty from seven campuses of the University of California have called on the Orange County district attorney to drop criminal charges against 11 Muslim students. The students have been charged with disrupting of a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UCI last spring. The trial is scheduled to begin this week. The students face a possible six-month prison term if convicted. (The Huffington Post)

New rules promise greater oversight of tuition programs The Pentagon is ramping up oversight of the $517 million program that provides tuition assistance money for the active-duty force amid mounting concerns that it is ripe for waste and abuse. (Military Times Edge)

Notre Dame To Ban Hydraulic Lifts After Student Death Notre Dame announced Tuesday that it will no longer use hydraulic lifts for videographers at football practices, five months after a student fell to his death when one of the machines toppled over on a windy day. (Associated Press via The Huffington Post)

U.S. Senate Passes Sweeping Overhaul of Patent System The bill would bring the United States closer to the “first to file” standard of the rest of the world, but some faculty critics worry about pressure to publish. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

State Budgets in Context SHEEO’s annual State Higher Education Finance report shows that states are not that they’re pulling back on financial support for higher education, but that they are failing to keep up with rapidly expanding enrollments, and that lawmakers and public institutions have increasingly raised the price of tuition on students to cover the gap. For faculty members and administrators at public colleges, there is hardly a difference between the two perspectives. But the distinction does matter. True disinvestment would signal that state leaders don’t care about higher education or are letting it slide willingly, and that’s both incorrect and a message that does not serve higher education well, he says. It also gives critics of higher education latitude to argue that public college advocates are misrepresenting the facts. (Inside Higher Ed)