Cliopatria -- a group blog about history (broadly defined) -- is shutting down after more than 8 years of almost daily publication. Led by Ralph Luker, the blog attracted many historian/writers over the years who are web personalities, people like KC Johnson, Hugo Schwyzer, Claire Potter, Sean Wilentz and many others (including Inside Higher Ed columnist Scott McLemee). The blog was hosted by the History News Network.
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.
Administrators say Columbia College Chicago's restructuring plan will let it become more nimble. But students and instructors worry applying a business approach to cuts could erode a unique arts and culture orientation.
Faculty leaders in the Texas A&M University System are protesting plans to outsource hundreds of nonacademic jobs, The Eagle of Bryan/College Station reported. A Faculty Senate letter says that many of those who will lose jobs are longtime employees, that many of them are minority, low-income individuals and that many will be hurt by failing to reach key vesting milestones in the state retirement system. But Chancellor John Sharp is defending the plans. "I'm trying very hard to find something I agree with in that letter and I just can't do it," Sharp said. "I will continue to do all I can to redirect monies where possible to classrooms and research, even though that is apparently opposed by the Faculty Senate."
Donald Ratcliff, a professor of Christian education at Wheaton College, in Illinois, is being held on child pornography and weapons charges, The Chicago Tribune reported. Authorities said that Ratcliff was found to be trading in child pornography, including images of children younger than 13. Authorities also found two handguns and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in Ratcliff's possession. His lawyer said that the guns were family heirlooms, but declined to comment further. Wheaton has suspended Ratcliff.
The National University of Singapore says it is willing to talk about human rights issues with Yale University, officials told Bloomberg after faculty members at Yale expressed concern about a collaboration between the two institutions. A new liberal arts college in Singapore, created with Yale, has prompted much discussion about how academic freedom can be assured in countries that do not have full freedoms as enjoyed in the United States. Last week at Yale, faculty members proposed a resolution calling for additional discussions on how the new campus will "respect, protect and further the ideals of civil liberties." A vote is expected next month. “It is understandable that for a pioneering initiative like the Yale-NUS College, there may be a diversity of views on different issues,” Lily Kong, vice president of university and global relations at the National University of Singapore, said in a statement. "We believe that this discussion should lead to an even higher level of mutual understanding and respect, ultimately making the college even more robust.”