The American Council on Education and other higher education groups have filed a brief with the Colorado Supreme Court backing the right of the University of Colorado Board of Regents to dismiss Ward Churchill as a tenured professor of ethnic studies on the Boulder campus. Churchill has challenged the firing (unsuccessfully until now), arguing that he was dismissed, in violation of his First Amendment and academic freedom rights, because of his controversial writings. The university system says that the reason he was fired was for repeated instances of faculty misconduct, and that panels of professors played key roles in identifying these instances and concluding that they represented unprofessional conduct.
The brief filed by the college groups states that the principles of academic freedom should result in support for the university's position. "Because universities are the entities best suited to make decisions about their faculties, they are entitled to autonomy in adjudicating claims regarding academic integrity," the brief says.
The biggest and best of the institutions will go global, while others will need to narrow their focus -- and those paths will require different sorts of leaders, Emily Miller and Richard Skinner argue.
Senior University of California administrators are expressing interest in a radical proposal to change tuition policy, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The idea is to replace tuition with a commitment by students to pay 5 percent of their income back to the university for 20 years after graduation. The plan came from Fix UC, a group of students at the Riverside campus. They have presented administrators with data showing that the plan could provide sufficient revenue to the university without creating burdens on current students, and while keeping repayment requirements affordable. Mark Yudof, the university system president, called the plan "constructive," and said he has asked system officials to analyze it.
Liberty University has just sold $100 million in bonds, bringing its total debt to $228 million, to finance expansion, Bloomberg reported. The Christian university has $225 million in projects planned in the next five years, including a library, a baseball stadium and a school of health sciences.