Daily Debriefing

| 10/2/11 10:00pm

Former Harvard University student Britanny Smith was sentenced to three years in prison for participation in the 2009 murder of drug dealer Justin Cosby, The Harvard Crimson reported. The single Harvard student charged in the affair, Smith pleaded guilty to hiding the murder weapon and misleading the police and grand jury. Smith provided her boyfriend, Jabrai Copney, with her Harvard ID card to access the crime site and watched Copney load the gun that he used to shoot Cosby in the abdomen. Cosby's mother, who spoke at the trial, said Smith should be considered "just as responsible for [her] son's death as the shooter." Copney was sentenced to life imprisonment, while one of his accomplices received a prison sentence of 18 to 20 years. The second accomplice has not yet been tried, according to The Crimson.

Discussions in Japanese academic circles have shifted focus to the country's academic calendar, which is out of sync with the Western world because it starts in April, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The calendar's implications on Japan's standing in the increasingly competitive and international higher education market are also a focus for Japan's scholarly thinkers, according to The Chronicle. The University of Tokyo is currently debating a shift to the traditional Western model of a fall start date and a spring graduation, a move which would arguably attract foreign faculty members and international and exchange students who currently represent 3 percent of the University of Tokyo's student body, according to The Chronicle. If the University of Tokyo considered Japan's most prestigious institution abandons the established domestic academic schedule, higher education adminstration could change radically for Japan's other top institutions, professor Akiyoshi Yonezawa of the Graduate School of International Development at Nagoya University said in an interview with The Chronicle.

U.S. House of Representatives Republicans' proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 threatens deep cuts to community colleges grants, foreign language programs and national and community service programs such as AmeriCorps, Inside Higher Ed reported Friday. The cuts will most seriously affect minority-serving institutions, according to Inside Higher Ed. Although the maximum Pell Grant currently $5,550 will be maintained, the proposed cuts would slash $2.3 billion from the Pell Grant program through tightened eligibility requirements. College students who are enrolled part-time would forfeit their rights to the grant. Figures revealing the number of students threatened by this proposal have yet to be published, according to Inside Higher Ed.