Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Many students and faculty members at Tsinghua University, in China, have been stunned to find that "the No. 4 Teaching Building" has been renamed for a corporate supporter, Xinhua reported. The building is now called "Jeanswest Building" after a clothing company. Officials noted that Jeanswest had helped the university financially, but some on campus are saying that the university is "selling itself."

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Yale University announced Thursday that the Reserve Officers Training Corps would be returning to the institution, with a Naval ROTC unit. Yale's new unit will be the only Navy ROTC program in Connecticut and will welcome participants from other colleges in the state. Yale is the latest elite college to invite ROTC back to campus in the wake of the authorization by Congress of the end to military discrimination against gay people.

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

A state jury on Wednesday awarded more than $500,000 to a deaf former professor at Texas Tech University, agreeing that his disability played an illegal role in the university's refusal to renew his employment, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. Texas Tech denied wrongdoing. Michael L. Collier, who had been on the tenure track teaching American Sign Language and courses about deaf culture, presented evidence that Texas Tech violated its own rules. The university states that it deals with any concerns about employees by talking with them informally first, so the concerns can be remedied. In his case, Collier said, he never was told of any concerns until the department chair told him his contract would not be renewed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Pauline Oliveros examines the difference between passive hearing and active listening. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

  • Judy A. Beal, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Simmons College, has been named to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Beth Halloran, assistant vice president for development at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, has been appointed as vice president for development and alumni relations at Grinnell College.
  • Ronald S. Harichandran, chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University, has been selected as dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut.
  • Onye Ozuzu, associate chair and director of dance in the department of theatre and dance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been named chair of the dance department at Columbia College Chicago.
  • Carol Rozansky, professor of education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been chosen as chair of the education department at Columbia College Chicago.
  • Darrell P. Wheeler, associate dean for research and community partnerships at Hunter College of the the City University of New York, has been selected as dean of the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.
  • The appointments are drawn from The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also include a comprehensive catalog of upcoming events in higher education. To submit job changes or calendar items, please click here.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

    The University of Michigan has agreed to pay Andrei Borisov, a former non-tenured faculty member in pediatrics, $550,000, and to remove certain negative statements from his personnel file, to settle his suit against the university, AnnArbor.com reported. Borisov had resigned in 2008, after being told that his behavior was seen as threatening, following inquiries he had been making into possible plagiarism in reports to federal agencies that made grants to Michigan. The university denied wrongdoing in those cases.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

    A state judge has ordered the University of Virginia to release documents produced by Michael Mann, who formerly taught there, to a conservative foundation requesting them as open records, The Washington Examiner reported. Mann is a climate researcher whose work is consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change, but who is doubted by some conservatives. In an e-mail, Mann said: "I think it's very unfortunate that fossil fuel industry-funded climate change deniers ... continue to harass U.Va., NASA, and other leading academic and scientific institutions with these frivolous attacks."

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

    California's public higher education systems have agreed to drop opposition to a state bill that will require much more disclosure of records about their foundations and auxiliary operations. However, the colleges and universities have been assured of provisions that will preserve in most cases the right of donors to be anonymous. With the agreement, the bill is expected to be enacted.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 3:00am

    The board of the University of Vermont has ended the official volunteer role of Rachel Kahn-Fogel, wife of President Daniel Fogel, in fund-raising and other events, The Burlington Free Press reported. The move came amid an investigation into Kahn-Fogel's apparent pursuit of a personal relationship with a senior administrator at the university, Michael Schultz, associate vice president of development and alumni relations. Kahn-Fogel's interest in Schultz became known when Schultz's wife -- who is currently in divorce proceedings with him -- found unopened letters from Kahn-Fogel to Schultz. He acknowledged in the divorce proceedings that he had secured a post office box to receive the letters privately. Fogel released a statement in which he said that he supported the inquiry, and revealing (with his wife's permission) that "she has long been in treatment for serious mental health issues with which she has struggled throughout her life."

    Schultz wrote his doctoral dissertation on issues related to the spouses of colleges and university presidents; Inside Higher Ed has quoted him about the subject and published an essay in which he offered advice to presidential spouses. One of his points: "A good reputation is hard to earn but easy to lose."

    Fogel announced in March that he would step down as president next year, after 10 years in office.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 3:00am

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has agreed to make "fundamental changes" in the way its chapters operate, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit by the parents of a freshman at California Polytechnic Institute at San Luis Obispo who died while pledging in 2008, The Tribune News reported. Details of the settlement were not released. The student's death was attributed to the alcohol in his system. Some members of the fraternity started to drive him to the hospital, but returned to the fraternity house with the idea that he would sleep it off. He died that night.

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