Notes in the Margins: Bad science, seat cushions and tighter lending

University Of Oregon Plans To Bar Wide Seat Cushions A university spokeswoman says there have been “a few complaints” about extra-wide cushions taking up too much space at venues with bench-style seating, such as Autzen Stadium and Hayward Field. The benches include seat numbers, but no lines to mark just how much room each spectator gets. Similar rules are in place at other college stadiums and arenas. (The Huffington Post)

Tighter federal lending standards yield turmoil for historically black colleges  Tighter standards in a federal loan program have dealt a significant blow to Howard University and other historically black colleges and universities over the past year, curtailing funds for thousands of students and contributing in some places to a sudden decline in enrollment. (The Washington Post)

Is AP better than freshman college courses? We are in the midst of a national debate over the worth of Advanced Placement courses and tests in high school. The weight of opinion so far is on the side of AP. The program is growing. Thousands of college professors and tens of thousands of high school teachers support it. Most of the available data shows that high school students who do well in AP courses and tests do better in college than students who do not take AP. (The Washington Post)

The bad science scandal: How fact-fabrication is damaging UK’s global name for research  After a string of high-profile cases, a new agreement between scientists and the people who fund them aims to usher in a new era of ‘research purity’. (The Independent via University World News)

MOOCs are a ‘distraction’, warns sector expert Massive open online courses could prove a distraction to universities and cost them money, according to a consultancy that advises governments, investors and institutions on higher education issues. (Times Higher Education via University World News)