At Penn State University Park (Main Campus), i have had the pleasure of taking two courses devoted to comics, both taught by the same professor, Dr. Scott Smith. The first class was a freshman seminar in 2008, and we covered (please forgive the lack of italics) Understanding Comics, Maus, Persepolis, Pride of Baghdad, Blankets, Black Hole, Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, American Born Chinese, and Fun Home. This year, the Dr. Smith is teaching World Graphic Novels, which tries to circumvent some of the usual suspects that other classes might read, and covers graphic novels from around the world. We're using Understanding Comics as a framework again, and moving into It's a Bird, All-Star Superman, V for Vendetta, Safe Area Gorazde, Chicken With Plums, Notes for a War Story, What I Did, Buddha (vol 1), Barefoot Gen (vol 1), Akira (vol 1), and Ooku: The Inner Chambers (vol 1), along with several short comics for comparison / talking points.
I've had a great environment for studying comics, but even more surprising is the amount of graphic novels I see scattered around bookstore shelves for other classes. I routinely see copies of Maus, Watchmen, Superman: Earth One, and other comics sitting on racks for classes like Freshman Composition, What is Literature?, and Literature and Theory. I am even happier to note that I have yet to run into a professor who frowns upon using comics for papers if we're allowed to use texts from outside of the class. Most professors are open minded and don't buy in to the comics stigma. Penn State also houses a large collection of work from Lynd Ward, and issues an annual Graphic Novel Prize in his name for an outstanding graphic novel written by a living American resident published in the previous calendar year.
(EDIT: I totally missed that PSU was featured in the article above. Still, my argument stands. The more you know!)