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Quick Takes: Iowa President Fires 2, Why Prof's Secret Was Revealed, Accreditor Approves Unauthorized Degrees, Uneven Growth in Career Ed, President Arrested for Drunk Driving, Independence for Utica, Cornell Honored for 50+ Employment, Too Much Skin

September 24, 2008
  • Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa, announced Tuesday that she has fired the university's vice president for student services, Phillip Jones, and the vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, Marcus Mills. Mason said that she asked for their resignations earlier in the week and terminated them when they declined to quit. The two officials were criticized in an outside report into the university's handling of sexual assault charges brought by a female student against male athletes. The victim's mother has accused university officials of not taking the charges seriously enough and of failing to protect her daughter from retaliatory harassment.
  • An e-mail tip led Connecticut College to find out this month that Lan-Lan Wang lacked the degrees she claimed to have, ending the noted dance scholar's career at the colleges. Many wondered who tipped off the college, and why. A columnist for The Day, a New London, interviewed the tipster. In a column called "Sweet Revenge at Conn College," David Collins writes that the whistle blower was a student at the University of California at Los Angeles when Wang taught there, and that the two had disagreements there. The woman told Collins that when she wrote to the college, she suspected that Wang didn't have the claimed degrees, but didn't have evidence.
  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has reversed itself, and will recognize 25 degrees awarded by a branch campus of North Carolina Central University, set up without permission of North Carolina officials or the accreditor, in violation of numerous regulations. When the story broke, the accreditor said it would not recognize the degrees awarded at the campus, run in a church outside of Atlanta. But Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern association, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I didn’t want to hurt the students because the university failed to follow procedure."
  • Public community colleges award a majority of pre-baccalaureate certificates in career and technical education. But a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics finds that the rate of growth in recent years has been greater in for-profit programs.
  • Randolph Flechsig, president of Davenport University, in Michigan, was arrested Sunday for drunk driving, The Grand Rapids Press reported. A spokesman for the university said that Flechsig "believes his condition when arrested was the result of a diabetic reaction and blood tests will substantiate this." In the last three years, three other college presidents have been arrested for drunk driving.
  • Utica College, which was created by Syracuse University and has been affiliated with it since 1946, is now negotiating with Syracuse to achieve full independence by 2016. A joint Utica-Syracuse statement noted that, from the college's founding, independence has been the goal, and that Utica has been moving gradually in that direction.
  • The AARP announced Tuesday that Cornell University is the top employer nationally for workers over 50. Cornell was praised for its wellness programs, health counseling, flexible work scheduling, phased-in retirement options, and various other policies and programs. Other colleges on the AARP's list of top employers include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No. 14), Virginia Commonwealth University (No. 24), George Mason University (No. 31) and Harvard University (No. 34).
  • Officials at the University of Idaho have decided that its cheerleaders' new two-piece uniforms show too much skin, and have ordered less revealing outfits, the Associated Press reported. Fan reaction to the uniforms was split. But an adviser to the squad said it was cheerleaders' needs that led to the change. "Girls are just bigger these days, not everybody’s a size 0,” she said. “We’re not being a bunch of prudes.”
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