Notes in the Margins: Red wine, civics and branching out abroad

Prepaid college plans: shrinking options, rising risks Prepaid plans, popular college savings vehicles offered at one time in about 20 U.S. states, are increasingly running on empty. About half of them have stopped taking new money, according to Savingforcollege.com, and many of the rest are struggling. It means that the majority of Americans, including those in places such as Illinois and Tennessee, don’t have access to a state plan, and the minority who do need to be very wary. (Reuters via NAICU)

Colleges Slower to Branch Out Abroad Universities have slowed their pace of opening branch campuses abroad, and shifted their attention from the Middle East to the Far East, a new survey found. (The New York Times)

Red wine researcher accused of falsifying data A University of Connecticut researcher known for his work on red wine’s benefits to cardiovascular health falsified his data in more than 100 instances, university officials said Wednesday. (Associated Press / Boston Globe via University Business)

Restore civics to the college curriculum Many public leaders now are actively promoting witheringly reductive versions of college learning that seek to leave by the roadside—as an unaffordable luxury—some of the very disciplines—history, world cultures, anthropology, philosophy, literature and the other humanities—that, by any sober reading, build capacities of mind and heart that are basic to a principled democracy. (The Washington Post)

Medical schools join first lady’s health initiative for veterans Two medical education groups and 130 medical schools signed on to first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to “train the nation’s physicians to meet the unique health care needs of the military and veterans communities.” (CNN)