Turnover in the senior ranks at the University of Wyoming has increased substantially in the five months that Robert Sternberg has been president, The Casper Star-Tribune reported. Eleven deans or other administrators have resigned, a number at the request of Sternberg, and the departure of the law dean has been particular contentious. Higher education experts in the article noted that turnover in the administrative ranks is fairly common when a new president takes over -- and puts his or her own team in place. But others said that the pace of change has been unusual.
Harvard University recently announced an 11.3 percent return on its endowment, which was valued at $32.7 billion on June 30. That's the largest endowment in higher education. The university also recently announced a $6.5 billion fund-raising campaign -- the largest ever in higher education. But an interview released by the university Friday with its chief financial officer, Dan Shore, he focused on financial pressures on the university. He said that the university has a $34 million deficit. And while that's small in the context of the university's $4.2 billion budget, he said that "the path toward our ability to thrive in the future requires that we not wait until the deficit gets even bigger before we start to act, because then it will require us to be in a much more reactive position." He also noted uncertainty about federal support, on which Harvard relies for research.
In language that is similar to that used at many less wealthy colleges, Shore also said that Harvard can't simply add expenses. "The campaign helps, but, fundamentally, we can no longer live in a world where things continue simply to be additive," Shore said. "The next new and exciting thing that we think it’s important to do can’t simply be layered on top of all of the other things that we’ve been doing. It’s just not a sustainable model. And I think the entire higher education industry is feeling the need to move away from that way of doing business."
Eastern Michigan University fired Ron English as football coach after a tape surfaced of him yelling at team members in a tirade with numerous expletives and insults, The Detroit Newsreported. Heather Lycke, the athletics director, issued a statement on the dismissal Saturday: "We hold our coaches and staff to high standards of professionalism and conduct and there is no place, particularly in a student environment, where the language is appropriate. The statements made by Coach English are absolutely unacceptable. My decision to make a change in leadership of our football program was the culmination of a lot of factors including the comprehensive review of our program, the competitive performance and this tape."
The Detroit News article linked to above includes a link to a censored version of the recording.
Evan Dobelle has announced his retirement as president of Westfield State University, The Republican reported. For the past few months, Dobelle has been under fire by Massachusetts officials over reports of his big spending on travel and entertainment. Westfield State's board suspended Dobelle with pay last month, and he then sued the board, saying it had acted illegally.
In a statement, Dobelle said: "[T]he unnecessary and unfortunate distractions of the last several months have led me to conclude that the only appropriate path for the University is one which will allow it to move forward unencumbered by such diversions. This path will provide a means by which the university can emerge, before the spring semester begins, from the recent torrent of gratuitous media attention and can get back to focusing its efforts and energies where they are best put to use -- for the benefit of the students, faculty, and a decidedly bright future."
David R. Smith, his compensation under investigation, is resigning as president of the State University of New York's Upstate Medical University, The Syracuse Post-Standard reported. SUNY placed Smith on leave this week to review compensation issues that were later reported to involve unauthorized payments he was receiving from two companies. The Albany Times-Union reported that the payments were discovered when a search firm was vetting Smith for the presidency of Pennsylvania State University. In a statement, Smith said he would cooperate with the inquiries and that he was resigning his position "to avoid further distraction for the university from its important mission."
Howard University has ended its relationship with a consulting firm through which Robert Tarola served as chief financial officer, The Washington Postreported. The university said that Tarola left by "mutual agreement." Many deans and other faculty members have criticized Tarola, questioning his plans to put the university on better financial ground. Last month Sidney Ribeau announced he was leaving the Howard presidency.
The University of Michigan on Thursday formally announced the launch of a $4 billion fund-raising campaign -- the largest ever for a public university. Michigan has already raised $1.7 billion. The top priority for the campaign (at $1 billion) is student aid.
The law dean at Case Western Reserve University told colleagues and students that he would take a leave of absence in response to a lawsuit accusing the dean of retaliating against a professor for reporting potential sexual harassment, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reported. Lawrence Mitchell, dean of the Case law school since 2011, said in an email message to law school students and staff that he had asked for the leave to avoid having the lawsuit disrupt the school's work, according to the newspaper. The Plain Dealer reported last month on the lawsuit filed by Raymond Ku, a professor and former associate dean who alleged that he lost his administrative post after informing university administrators about incidents he and others witnessed in which Mitchell caressed a female staff member and made inappropriate sexual comments to others. Mitchell has denied the charges, and Case released a statement last month citing inaccuracies in the lawsuit.
Unauthorized outside pay for David Smith, president of the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, may have derailed his candidacy to become the next president of Pennsylvania State University, The Albany Times Union reported.
SUNY announced Tuesday that Smith has been placed on on leave. The announcement said that Smith was placed on leave while SUNY reviews unspecified "compensation issues" and because of health issues facing Smith. The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that Smith's compensation in 2012 included $363,537 from the university, $268,923 from the SUNY Research Foundation, and a monthly housing allowance of $5,000.
But the Times Union said that a search firm vetting Smith for the Penn State presidency (which he may have been close to winning) found that he was also receiving unauthorized payments from two companies with ties to Upstate Medical University. The search firm's inquiries apparently alerted SUNY to the situation. A letter to Smith from SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says that these substantial additional payments may need to be returned and she ordered him to stop accepting such funds. Smith, formerly chancellor of Texas Tech University, declined to comment.