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.
The president of Elizabeth City State University is planning an additional 65 layoffs, up to 30 of which would come from faculty positions, to deal with financial shortfalls, the Associated Press reported. The positions of four deans would also be eliminated. The actions would follow 46 layoffs last fall.
Virginia Intermont College and Webber International University on Friday announced plans to merge. Virginia Intermont, a liberal arts college, has been struggling with enrollment. Webber, located in Florida, has focused on business education and online programs.