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Quick Takes: AAUP General Secretary Will Leave, MIT Dean Had Degree She Never Cited, NCAA Punishes WVU, Accrediting Group's Stance, Threats at Delaware County, $185,000 Payment to Prof to Leave, New Science Academy Members, Sallie Mae Enters UK Market

May 2, 2007
  • The American Association of University Professors on Tuesday announced that Roger Bowen would be leaving as general secretary when his three-year contract expires June 30. The association's minimalist announcement follows a period in which Bowen's coming departure has been an open -- if not fully explained -- secret. In December, the association announced that Bowen would be focused on fund raising, while Ernst Benjamin, who was general secretary from 1984-94, would lead day-to-day management. Bowen has also been named as a finalist for several college presidencies. Sources close to the AAUP have said that some of the association's leaders have had concerns about Bowen's management of the association, which has struggled with membership and financial issues in recent years. During his tenure, Bowen also won praise from association members as an articulate defender of academic freedom and faculty interests. The AAUP announcement said that Benjamin would become interim general secretary on July 1. Cary Nelson, president of the AAUP, said via e-mail that it was important for the association's council to discuss the general secretary's position before a national search starts. For now, he said, the AAUP could rely on Benjamin as a "a genuinely skilled and dedicated person" to lead the national office.
  • In the latest twist to the case of Marilee Jones, The Boston Globe and The Albany Times Union reported today that the woman who quit as admissions dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in fact did have a college degree, but never reported it. Jones earned a bachelor's degree from the College of Saint Rose, the newspaper confirmed, but she never listed that degree on her MIT applications or biographies. Instead, she listed degrees she never earned from Albany Medical College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union College. The Globe also reported that -- counter to a statement from Jones that she had listed the unearned degrees when she first was hired at MIT in 1979 -- she added the Albany Medical College degree some time later.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association placed West Virginia University's men's soccer team on two years' probation and imposed other penalties on the institution and its former coach after finding that they committed major violations of the association's rules. The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions found that the former head coach had used a job coaching an outside amateur team to audition players for West Virginia, breaking NCAA recruiting rules. The association also found that the former coach had engaged in unethical conduct, and said that he would have to appear before the panel and face possible restrictions on his duties if he sought to work at another NCAA member college in the next four years.
  • The college presidents and others on the board of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation approved a resolution Tuesday that criticized the stance the U.S. Education Department has adopted in a recent negotiating session over possible changes in federal rules governing accreditation. The statement argues that the department's proposals would give too much authority to a department panel that reviews accreditors and "position accrediting organizations as government contractors tasked with imposing government standards of quality."
  • Delaware County Community College, outside Philadelphia, is scheduled to open today, under tight security, after being closed for five days because of threats received last week by eight faculty members. A statement from the college said that law enforcement officials no longer view the threat as credible.
  • Missouri State University agreed to pay $185,000 to Michael Hendrix, who agreed to give up his job as a professor after it became known that he had been convicted of raping a child 25 years ago, The Springfield News-Leader reported.
  • The National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday announced the election of 72 new members.
  • A Sallie Mae subsidiary on Tuesday announced plans to offer loans to British students.
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