The Medill Innocence Project of Northwestern University's Journalism School is known for its successful efforts to clear the names of the wrongly convicted. But prosecutors and Northwestern are looking into allegations that the project secretly (and potentially illegally) taped a witness, the Chicago Tribune reported. The director of the program says that he does not believe any laws were violated. In the past, prosecutors have frequently been critical of the project's work.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Supporters of Quinetta Shelby released documents Wednesday suggesting bias in her tenure denial at DePaul University. Shelby is the only black faculty member in the chemistry department at the university, and while she was rejected by her department, a university appeals panel found that she was treated unfairly. Among other things, the appeals panel found that her department changed policies after the review started, refused to consider some of her publications and awards even though they met criteria that had been established, and seemed to focus on minor negative issues in otherwise positive portions of her tenure file. The "numerous procedural violations" raised significant questions of fairness, the appeals panel found, suggesting that the negative departmental recommendation be set aside.
The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, DePaul's president, has declined to reverse the decision.
A university statement acknowledged that in the last year, six minority candidates were denied tenure, but the statement said that standards are applied equally and that in the previous three academic years, DePaul University awarded tenure to minority faculty at the same rate (84 percent) as white scholars. Still, the university is conducting a study on best practices in helping candidates prepare for tenure. "Denials of tenure are sad days in a university community, precisely because a well-known colleague is not granted lifetime employment. That is true in the case of our colleague Dr. Shelby as well," the statement said.
The national job market for new college graduates is likely to be a little healthier this year, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. While overall hiring is expected to increase by 3 percent, bachelor's level and M.B.A. level hiring both are expected to go up by 10 percent. Even with these gains, however, new grads should expect a tough time -- and nothing like the relatively healthy markets of the 1990s and early part of this decade.
Full-time faculty members at Cuyahoga Community College have voted no confidence in Jerry Sue Thornton, president there since 1992, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. Thornton appears to have strong board support, and she attributed the anger to difficult negotiations with the faculty union. But faculty leaders say that they are frustrated by an administration that is too large and by a reliance on part-time faculty members.
The student leaders of Canada's Carleton University are threatening to cut off funds to an anti-abortion group, Maclean's reported. The student government says that the anti-abortion group would violate regulations barring support for "actions such as any campaign, distribution, solicitation, lobbying, effort, display, event etc. that seeks to limit or remove a woman’s right to choose."
The Faculty Senate at the State University of New York at Albany has voted to condemn the administration's plans to phase out degrees in French, Russian, Italian and classics, The Albany Times-Union reported. The Senate passed resolutions calling for the decision to be reversed, and also criticizing the way the university made the decision in the first place. At the time Albany announced the plans, officials said that faculty had been consulted, but declined to specify how that took place. Some faculty members at the Senate meeting called for the university to finance languages through cuts in athletics budgets. A spokesman for the university said that officials would review and consider the Faculty Senate's views.
Many University of California campuses are expanding their efforts to recruit out-of-state students, the Los Angeles Times reported. For the first time this summer, UCLA sent admissions officers to 10 cities around the United States, while others visited China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Santa Barbara, Davis and Irvine campuses also started their first out-of-state recruitment drives. The goals? The extra $23,000 in tuition revenue an out-of-state student brings.
The University of Hawaii is gearing up to make a bid for the Obama presidential library, even if his term is not over and he hopes to win a second, the Associated Press reported. Obama's roots in Hawaii have the university hopeful, and it has been looking at potential sites and meeting with federal archives officials to plan. The University of Chicago has also expressed interest in hosting the library of Obama, who taught there and whose Chicago home was in the university's neighborhood. No comment from the White House.
The National Federation for the Blind has filed a complaint with the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights charging that technology-based services at Pennsylvania State University lack access for blind students, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The complaint is broad-based and covers everything from the library catalog to course-management software. University officials said that they hadn't yet reviewed the complaint and so could not comment on it. The complaint comes at a time of increased scrutiny by advocates for the blind of technology services in higher education.
After five years without a single student suicide, the College of William and Mary has had three this year, leading to much campus discussion and new efforts to reach students who may be experiencing depression, The Washington Post reported. Much of the discussion focuses on the high standards students set for themselves, and fear that students who have been academically successful may not feel comfortable seeking help.