Jack Scott, chancellor of the California Community Colleges, announced Tuesday that he will retire in September. Scott's career has mixed academe and politics. He has been president of Pasadena City College and Cypress College, and was an influential legislator on education issues during terms in California's Assembly and Senate. Scott became chancellor in 2009, and served in the role during a time of huge budget cuts and increased enrollment demands. California's community college system is highly decentralized, and Scott both pushed for more funds and for reforms that he said were needed in light of dwindling dollars.
The University of California at Davis had been expected today to release the results of an independent inquiry into the use of pepper spray on nonviolent protesters there last year. But on Monday, the university announced that a threat by the police union to seek a temporary restraining order had led the the postponement of the release. University officials said they hoped to release the study soon.
After a four-hour closed-door meeting Monday, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees put President Michael Hogan on notice, saying he needed to repair the relationship between the administration and the faculty. "We let him know that we thought we needed our people to change, or we needed change in our people," said the board's chairman, Christopher Kennedy, in a press conference after the meeting.
The board called Monday's meeting after an outbreak of criticism of Hogan, including a letter to the board from 130 endowed professors and department chairs at the university's flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign. Kennedy said the board asked Hogan to lay out certain steps he will take to mend his relationship with the faculty and expand shared governance at the university. "We want to be part of a university where shared governance is fully embraced, where there is respectful dialogue between our senior leadership team, and where the faculty feels welcome and important," he said.
A former student has sued Stonehill College, charging that it drove her into suicidal depression by failing to deal with a roommate who had sex in the room while the plaintiff was present, MSNBC reported. According to the suit, the college didn't respond to complaints or requests for a private room. A college spokeswoman said that Stonehill responded "swiftly and professionally" to complaints about the roommate in question, but was never informed that the "concerns involved her roommate's sexual activity."
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Sunday scheduled an emergency meeting for today to talk about growing criticism of Michael Hogan, president of the system, The Chicago Tribune reported. A spokesman said that no action is expected at the meeting, but that board members want to talk about "issues that have been reported in the paper lately." Last week, 130 endowed professors and department chairs at the university's flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign wrote to the board expressing a lack of confidence in Hogan. The president, brought in after an admissions scandal led to the departure of his predecessor, has been clashing with faculty members over his plans to centralize enrollment management. Further, his chief of staff resigned after being accused of sending anonymous e-mails seeking to influence faculty deliberations.
Oregon's State Board of Higher Education voted Friday to ban guns from classrooms, buildings, dormitories and sporting and entertainment events, The Oregonian reported. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled last year that the board could not by administrative decree ban guns from the state system's campuses, but the ruling said that the board had authority to set rules for facilities and events. So the board acted within that power. The new rules do not apply to someone with a concealed weapon permit carrying a gun on a campus walkway, but would apply if that person entered a facility.
The American Council on Education and other higher education groups on Friday wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services to urge the agency to move ahead with final rules on student health insurance coverage. The letter noted that it has been more than a year since the proposed rules were first issued. Friday's letter does not focus on the substance of the proposed rules, but on the impact of the delay in the final rules. "Many colleges and universities currently are negotiating contracts with insurers for their student health insurance coverage in the coming academic year," says the letter. "The final ... regulations will affect the terms and cost of such coverage. In some instances it appears insurers are using the uncertainty about the final contours of those regulations to their benefit, proposing increased premiums beyond what may be warranted under the final rules. In the absence of final regulations, it is difficult for schools to complete negotiations with their issuers." Further, the letter says that colleges are trying to determine financial aid packages for students for 2012-13 and changes in health insurance rules could affect various awards.
Brown University's board on Friday named Christina Hull Paxson, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, as Brown's next president. She will take office July 1, succeeding Ruth Simmons. At Princeton, Paxson's scholarly work has been on the intersection of health care and economics. She came to Princeton in 1986, rising through the faculty ranks and leading the economics department as chair. Graduate students at the Woodrow Wilson School have given her five awards for teaching excellence.