A strike by faculty members led Vancouver Island University to cancel all classes Thursday, The Vancouver Sun reported. Faculty members are pushing for more job security at a time that provincial funds for higher education are being cut.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education, facing yet another round of massive budget cuts, will hear a proposal Friday that would entail closing or merging four of the system's eight campuses, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Threatened in the plan are Nevada State College, the system's nine-year-old four-year college, the Desert Research Institute, Western Nevada College and Great Basin College, according to the newspaper. Governor Brian Sandoval's budget would require the university system to cut $162 million by 2013, almost 30 percent of its 2011 allocation.
Moises Salinas, a former professor and chief diversity officer at Central Connecticut State University, pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of sexually assaulting one of his students, The Hartford Courant reported. The judge in the case gave Salinas a suspended one-year jail sentence and also ordered that he resign his job and not teach again. The position Salinas held at the university included investigating charges of sexual assault or harassment.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has placed Southern Methodist University on probation for two years for committing major violations of the association's recruiting rules in men's basketball. In the case, which was concluded through the NCAA's summary disposition process (which is used when there is no dispute about the findings or penalties), SMU's coaches sent impermissible text messages to parents of at least seven men's basketball recruits, after getting erroneous advice from a former compliance officer about the propriety of doing so. The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions and the university agreed on a series of recruiting restrictions this year and next as punishment for the violations.
A faculty panel at the Widener University School of Law has recommended that the institution stop trying to fire Lawrence J. Connell, a law professor, over hypothetical examples he used in class involving the killing of the law dean, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Connell has maintained that the use of hypothetical examples -- even ones involving violence and known individuals -- is common and is part of the teaching process. He also has said that he is facing ouster because he is a conservative. He outlined his views on the controversy in an interview on the website of the National Association of Scholars.
Hoping to tap into Governor Scott Walker's interest in giving more independence to the state's flagship university in Madison, University of Wisconsin System leaders on Thursday released a proposal that would give similar autonomy to all of the public colleges and universities in the UW system. The "Wisconsin Idea Partnership," as the plan is called, would "build on" Walker's controversial plan to offer "new operational freedom to UW-Madison," while "extending the new flexibilities to all UW campuses as part of a unified system," the system's Board of Regents said.
A husband-and-wife team of professors -- Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko -- were charged by Georgia authorities Wednesday with fraud for allegedly billing the Georgia Institute of Technology for their pay and other expenses while they had already moved to accept faculty positions in public health at the University of Minnesota, the Associated Press reported. Through their lawyer, Sainfort and Jacko said that they hid nothing, were open with Georgia Tech about their plans and did work for Georgia Tech during the time they were paid.
The University of Notre Dame has announced that it will use remote video, rather than elevated scissor lifts on which a person can film, to capture video of football practices. A student was killed in October when a lift fell, prompting a debate on their use.
Daniel S. Papp, president of Kennesaw State University, is defending Timothy J.L Chandler, whom Papp recently selected as provost, amid criticism of a paper Chandler wrote that cites Marx several times. Local critics have questioned the selection of Chandler because of a paper he published in The Journal of Higher Education in which he quoted Marx and Marxist ideas in a critique of the way colleges and universities have applied or failed to apply the ideas of Ernest Boyer's Scholarship Reconsidered. (The first page of the article is available on JSTOR, and JSTOR subscribers can read the article there.)
In Papp's statement, he said that "I am convinced that Dr. Chandler is neither Marxist nor anti-American, as some have alleged." Papp added that in his discussions with Chandler, his provost pick "expressed appreciation for the support for his appointment that he has received from the academic community, and declared that 'attacks on my character, including the suggestion that I am undemocratic, are baseless.' Further, Dr. Chandler said that he is 'not inclined to withdraw from the provost position under the cloud of a Red scare.' "