Labor board seeks views on how to evaluate whether adjuncts may unionize at religious colleges, and continued role of Yeshiva decision that largely stopped collective bargaining by tenure-track faculty at private institutions.
Submitted by Ry Rivard on February 11, 2014 - 3:00am
The University of Texas System's board expects to spend four to six months finding a new chancellor to replace Francisco Cigarroa, who announced Monday he would step down after his successor is named.
Cigarroa plans to focus now on practicing medicine, which he has done even as chancellor, and also advise the system as it prepares to establish a medical school in the state's Rio Grande Valley. In recent years he has resisted intense pressure from some members of the Board of Regents who are close to Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, to fire Bill Powers as president of the flagship campus at Austin. Powers has been defended by many students, faculty members and alumni. At a press conference, Cigarroa said he continues to support Powers.
“I evaluate all presidents, as I’ve always done, based on facts and performance," he said. "You know [...], I support President Powers, and I’ll continue to evaluate presidents every day, not only President Powers but all 15.” The system has nine universities and six current medical centers.
Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster said, not unexpectedly, that Perry, who appoints the board, would have some say in who replaces Cigarroa.
“His input will be sought and will be certainly considered, but he doesn’t have a direct role in the process," Foster said.
Wayne State University is standing by Farshad Fotouhi, dean of the College of Engineering, whom faculty members have accused of lacking integrity and, last week, sparked the resignation of a longtime professor. "I really want to emphasize that Dean Fotouhi is doing a good job," Margaret Winters, provost, said Monday. "A great deal of what we see going on here is that some older, more established faculty frankly don't want to see change." Winters said Fotouhi had been hired several years ago to make key changes in the college, such as raising research productivity and boosting enrollment in engineering, and that he was meeting those goals -- to some professors' chagrin.
James Woodyard, an associate professor in the computer and electrical engineering department who has been at Wayne State for more than three decades, announced Friday at the university's Board of Governors meeting that he was resigning due to Fotouhi's "lack of integrity," The Detroit News reported. In an email, Woodyard said Fotouhi had, on numerous occasions, been dishonest about the nature of personnel and budgeting decisions. Woodyard accused Winters of being biased against members of the computer and electrical engineering department and accused the administration generally of not exercising due diligence in its investigation of Fotouhi. Winters said the university had thoroughly looked into claims against Fotouhi on two separate occasions and that the dean had come up clean. Now in his third year, Fotouhi will be formally evaluated in his fifth year, according to Wayne State. Fotouhi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Newspapers in Texas are reporting that Francisco Cigarroa will today announce that he is stepping down as chancellor of the University of Texas System. A surgeon and a medical professor before rising through administration, Cigarroa reportedly will become the head of the pediatric surgery unit at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Cigarroa has been chancellor since 2009. In recent years he has been under (and resisted) intense pressure from some members of the Board of Regents who are close to Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, to fire Bill Powers as president of the flagship campus at Austin. Powers has been defended by many students, faculty members and alumni.
Incorrect tax reporting by Harvard University -- suggesting that employees earned millions more than they really did -- has cost those employees considerable sums in overpaid taxes, The Boston Globe reported. Harvard acknowledged the errors on Friday and said that it would either reimburse employees or help them file amended tax returns to receive refunds. But the university acted only after two law professors circulated a letter saying that earlier communication from Harvard has been "misleading as to both the scope of the problem and the university’s responsibility to make some 11,000 employees whole for a monumental mistake by the central administration."
Loyola University New Orleans on Friday laid off 18 non-faculty employees as part of a plan to deal with a deficit caused by much lower than expected freshman enrollment in the fall, The Times-Picayune reported. In addition, the university announced that the contracts of 12 non-tenured faculty members would not be renewed.
The board of the Southern University System has voted, 9 to 6, not to renew the contract of James Llorens as chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported. Llorens will leave office at the end of June, following a three-year tenure. Ronald Mason, the president of the system, had urged the board to renew Llorens' contract for one year, on the condition that he agree to a plan to make “necessary financial and organizational changes.” But Llorens rejected that idea, saying it would strip him of the authority needed to do his job effectively.
Legislative leaders in South Carolina have proposed and are backing a bill to merge the College of Charleston with the Medical University of South Carolina, with the idea of creating a new research university for the state, The Post and Courier reported. But some at the two institutions have raised questions about the wisdom of the idea, noting that the college -- a public liberal arts institution -- and the medical university both have strong reputations, but have little in common except being located in the same city.
A year ago, Bob Jones University hired GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), a Virginia firm, to investigate whether the university had properly handled any abuse allegations it received over the years. With GRACE wrapping up its investigation and preparing to write its report, the university fired the firm, The Greenville News reported. A university statement said that "we grew concerned about how GRACE was pursuing our objectives.” A statement from GRACE said that organization was taken by surprise and was concerned about the impact of its firing on those who came forward during the investigation. “We grieve with those whose hopes will be crushed should this independent process remain incomplete," said the GRACE statement.