Michael Hogan's decision to leave the University of Connecticut's presidency for that of the University of Illinois is receiving considerable criticism in Connecticut, where politicians and others are questioning whether it is appropriate to leave after less than three years in office. The Connecticut Post quoted a statement from Gov. M. Jodi Rell: "Many, including myself, are deeply disappointed that he is leaving the university at such a critical time, particularly on the heels of the landmark financial investment we have just made to the UConn Health Center. We had assumed President Hogan's commitment to UConn was a long-term one; it should have been." Even more critical was a blogger for The Hartford Courant, who wrote: "I don't begrudge University of Connecticut President Michael Hogan for wanting to trade up to a larger, Big 10 school. That's what these job-shopping, opportunist college presidents do. But you don't leave before you get the job done."
Higher Education Quick Takes
Some conservative groups are attacking Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court nominee, for her ties to Thurgood Marshall, for whom she was a law clerk on the Supreme Court. Among those defending Kagan is the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, which raises money for scholarships for students at public historically black colleges. Johnny C. Taylor, president and CEO of the fund, issued this statement: "We, at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, are extremely supportive of Ms. Kagan’s nomination for a number of reasons; but two stand out as particularly meaningful – she served as a law clerk to Justice Marshall and she served on the Board of Directors of the college fund bearing Justice Marshall’s name. Ms. Kagan’s career has embodied the meaning and tradition of Thurgood Marshall’s life’s work to support the Constitutional mandate of inclusion and equal protection under the law for all Americans, particularly in higher education.”
A federal judge on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order to stop New York State from imposing a one day furlough next week on state workers, including those at the four-year institutions of the City University of New York and the State University of New York. The faculty unions of those two systems, along with other state employee unions, are suing to block the furloughs, arguing that they violate existing contractt and aren't necessary. A statement from Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, the CUNY faculty union, said: "The furlough legislation was never about closing the budget gap. Furloughs were expected to produce $250 million in savings for the state -- yet the budget deficit is more than $9 billion. I hope the governor and the legislature will stop playing with people’s lives and get down to business."
It's the time of year -- after one class has been admitted and before the next year's cycle is fully under way -- that colleges tend to announce they are ending standardized testing requirements. And Southern New Hampshire University has just done so -- becoming the second institution this month in in the state to make such a shift.
John T. Casteen III, president of the University of Virginia, met with Gov. Bob McDonnell Tuesday to urge reforms in state law so colleges would be informed of the off-campus arrests of their students, The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported. Casteen noted that the university was never informed of an incident in which the student who is facing murder charges in the death of another student this month was arrested in 2008 and allegedly threatened a police officer. “Information of that kind would have lit up our system,” Casteen said. “Students who do those sorts of things would find themselves suspended immediately … In any event, I would like to know if one of my students threatened to kill a police officer.”
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a scholarship reform bill, arguing that it does not go far enough, the Chicago Tribune reported. The legislation concerns scholarships that legislators are allowed to award the scholarships to whomever they want in their district -- and critics have noted for years that these scholarships frequently go to the relatives of political contributors. The legislation that the governor vetoed would have banned the awarding of scholarships to anyone whose family could be linked to a contribution in the previous five years, but Quinn said that was not enough. "A scholarship program that is not based on need or merit, I don't think is a proper thing for our state. That's why I vetoed this bill and urged the legislature to abolish this program," he said.
John McHugh, secretary of the Army, has withdrawn as commencement speaker at the State University of New York at Oswego, telling officials there that "it is clear my presence at the ceremony might well have a disruptive effect." Some students planned to wear buttons and others to engage in potentially louder protests of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The university stood by the invitation, amid criticism of some on campus. “Civic responsibility is demonstrated as much in free expression as it is in listening to different views on important subjects,” said Deborah F. Stanley, the president. She added that she “regretted missing a chance to see our free society in meaningful and educational exchange.”
A national survey of college students has found them to be worried about job prospects, but maintaining strong levels of support for President Obama. The survey was conducted by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, at California State University at Monterey Bay. Only 64 percent of the students are confident in their ability to find good jobs -- a record low level. While President Obama's approval ratings have fallen among students and the public, they remain quite high among students: 66 percent, compared to about half of all Americans.
Michael Hogan, president of the University of Connecticut, was named Tuesday as the next president of the University of Illinois system. Prior to going to UConn in 2007, Hogan held senior positions at Ohio State University and the University of Iowa. Hogan replaces B. Joseph White, who resigned as Illinois's president last year amid a scandal over admissions preferences for the politically connected.
Arizona State University has lost about 15 to 20 faculty job applicants since the passage of an immigration law that is widely viewed as encouraging ethnic and racial profiling, The Arizona Republic reported. Michael Crow, president of the university and a critic of the law, cited the figures in an interview. He also said that the university has received calls from officials "all over the world asking if it's still safe to send students," he said. "We say everything will be fine."