Students have been occupying the Graduate Student Commons at the University of California at Santa Cruz for a week now, protesting deep budget cuts being carried out at public colleges and universities in California. University officials have to date expressed concern about the situation but have not attempted to remove the protesters, The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. A statement on the protest Web site, Occupy California, says: "We are occupying this building at the University of California, Santa Cruz, because the current situation has become untenable. Across the state, people are losing their jobs and getting evicted, while social services are slashed. California’s leaders from state officials to university presidents have demonstrated how they will deal with this crisis: everything and everyone is subordinated to the budget. They insulate themselves from the consequences of their own fiscal mismanagement, while those who can least afford it are left shouldering the burden. Every solution on offer only accelerates the decay of the State of California. It remains for the people to seize what is theirs."
Higher Education Quick Takes
Andrew Hamilton, the new vice chancellor of the University of Oxford, wants to bring major scholarships to the university to assure access at a time of rising tuition, The Guardian reported. Hamilton, formerly the provost at Yale University, said that the aid policies of elite American institutions should be a model for Oxford, but the newspaper noted that his embrace of the approach of private American universities may raise fears of also following that model on tuition rates.
Students who live at Dunster House at Harvard University are angry that bars have been placed in front of the rare books in the Dunster library, preventing anyone from handling the books, with at least one graduate student suggesting that the change appeared to be an "anti-intellectual" move. The reason for the change, university officials told The Boston Globe, is that several of the books in the prized collection had been stolen, and the university needs a security plan.
An adjunct at the State University of New York at Binghamton, who in February was quoted in The New York Times as saying she received pressure to go easy in grading basketball players, has lost her position at the university, the newspaper reported. Sally Dear has taught human development at Binghamton for 11 years and said that this week she received notice that she would have no courses to teach, effective next semester. "I'm fired for being ethical," Dear told the Times. The Binghamton basketball team has achieved unprecedented (for the university) athletic success, but many have questioned whether the program was advancing in ways that hurt the university's strong academic reputation. The university dismissed six athletes last week. A university spokeswoman, noting that the SUNY system is facing deep budget cuts, denied any link between Dear's statements about the athletic program and the loss of her position.
Some college presidents work hard to set examples for students. At Northampton Community College, in Pennsylvania, Arthur Scott not only got a flu shot, but let himself be filmed doing so (with the video going to YouTube) to encourage students to get the shots. Meanwhile, Jeff Olson of North Arkansas College is trying to publicize a new lottery in the state that will support college scholarships. The Harrison Daily Times reported that he expressed his support by spending $10 on tickets (alas, without a win). Another college president, Allen Meadors of the University of Central Arkansas, spent $10 on tickets and made a total of $21. He pledged to give the $11 he gained to the university's foundation.
Raymond Vance Fulkerson, facing 15 counts of sexual misconduct involving 13 alleged victims, has resigned his tenured position as theater professor at the University of Northern Colorado, The Denver Post reported. University officials said that they did not pay Fulkerson to quit, and that he will receive only the standard benefits, such as retirement accounts, to which he would normally be entitled. The university is also investigating Fulkerson. As reported earlier by the Post, a number of students filed complaints about Fulkerson, a theater professor, over what they considered inappropriate sexual advances, and some believe that the university did nothing to stop the pattern. The former students described incidents involving Fulkerson -- and one former professor confirmed that complaints were filed and nothing happened -- in the wake of his arrest in July, based on a complaint that he had a video monitoring system set up in the bathroom at his home. The Post reported that Fulkerson told police the video system was for use with paid models. But former students reported that Fulkerson would -- during private voice lessons at his house -- encourage them to go to the bathroom to urinate while singing (allegedly claiming that this would help their singing) and that he filmed them there without their knowledge. Others reported that he took them on trips to events that then didn't take place, promising separate hotel rooms that became one room, and made advances, frequently after drinking with the students. Fulkerson is expected to enter a plea in the case in November.
Increasing numbers of young Americans are choosing to enter postsecondary education through community colleges -- but too many of them are having to work and attend part time and too few of them are leaving with degrees as a result, the think tank Demos argues in a report released Tuesday.
With journals -- including back issues -- widely available in digital form, many college and university libraries are weighing whether they need to devote extensive shelf space to print copies. A new report -- “What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization” -- offers advice on the issue, analyzing the qualities of various journals that may make many of them appropriate to remove from shelves without endangering access. The report is from Ithaka, a research organization that focuses on technology and scholarly communication.
A federal judge has ordered a Lawrence, Kan., store owner to pay the University of Kansas more than $660,000 for repeatedly infringing on its trademark by selling t-shirts and other apparel promoting the university's sports teams, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The court's finding represents the second time that the U.S. District Court in Kansas has ruled against Joe-College.com, which has a storefront in the university's home town. A spokesman for Kansas' athletics department told the newspaper that Kansas Athletics, Inc., the university's licensing arm, makes $2 million a year in fees from merchants who sell Jayhawk merchandise "the right way."
Scores of students protested at Bethune-Cookman University Tuesday after a sprinkler system went off in a dormitory and the students weren't allowed back in, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Some television stations called the incident a riot, but other reports said that was a stretch. But the Sentinel did report that at one point, students were charging toward a dean's office, and that someone threw a chair through a window. A statement from the university said that the sprinkler system went off after a student placed clothing on a sprinkler. The statement said that the incidents were being investigated. A student blog -- Cookman Rebels -- offers a more critical look at the day's events.