Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University, plans today to celebrate his 60th birthday by becoming a U.S. citizen, The Bloomington Herald-Times reported. McRobbie, who is Australian, came to Indiana in 1997 to become vice president for information technology. He held a series of other senior positions before becoming president in 2007. McRobbie said that, as a permanent resident, he has not faced any difficulties in doing his job. He explained his rationale to the Herald-Times this way: "I've thought of myself as a local for a long, long time now, and so from that point of view, I'm sort of formalizing a situation that already exists.... But it is an acknowledgment that I've settled down here. This is home, and I want to make that formally and legally true in every possible way."

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Richard McCormick, president of Rutgers University, said last week that he reviewed the records of the university's response to Tyler Clementi and that the university handled the situation appropriately, The Star-Ledger reported. Clementi apparently killed himself after learning that his roommate had broadcast video of Clementi's sexual encounter with a man. After the suicide, reports surfaced that Clementi had complained to residence life officials about the situation, and those reports have led to demands that Rutgers release all records about those complaints. McCormick declined to do so, citing privacy concerns. But he said that he had personally reviewed available information, adding that "I have studied the record carefully and I can’t say very much about it.... But I believe Rutgers responded appropriately to the information that we had."

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Authorities are investigating the possibility of spiked drinks in examining why 12 Central Washington University students needed to be hospitalized after they attended a party over the weekend, The Yakima Herald reported. Of those hospitalized, 11 are women. Authorities are investigating a possible rape at the party, based on a police officer seeing a man at the party engaged in a sexual act with a woman who did not appear to be fully conscious and who may not have had the ability to consent to sex.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

The Medical University of South Carolina's board voted Friday to scale back spring tuition increases, in response to an ultimatum by the state board that must approve new building projects that it would block approval at any four-year college or university where tuition increases exceeded 7 percent, The Charleston Post and Courier reported. Average tuition increases for the medical university are 7.1 percent (the increases vary by academic program), so officials said that relatively modest cuts could get the average under 7 percent. Some other public colleges in the state, however, have increases in excess of 10 percent, and it is not yet clear if they will put building projects on hold or will cut spring semester rates.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Seoul National University has changed its governance rules to give one foreign faculty member, who must be fluent in Korean, a seat on the university's council, the Yonhap News Agency reported. The foreign representative will provide input for the council on the views of foreign faculty members and will translate council minutes into English for distribution to the non-Korean faculty.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Full-time faculty members, librarians and counselors at Seminole State College of Florida voted last week to unionize and to affiliate with the United Faculty of Florida, which in turn is an affiliate of both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. The vote to unionize was 115 to 67. The new chapter will be the 25th for the United Faculty of Florida.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Connecticut acknowledged on Friday that its men's basketball team had violated National Collegiate Athletic Association rules through improper recruitment of players -- but continued to challenge an allegation by NCAA enforcement officials that its Hall of Fame coach, Jim Calhoun, had "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance." The university's statements came as it formally responded to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, which its officials received in May.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

Peace College, a women's college in North Carolina, has offered all full-time faculty members buyouts, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Debra Townsley, president of the college, declined to say whether the buyout offers were budget-related. She said that the college is currently reviewing its academic programs, although it is not yet clear where that review will lead. "It's a changing market place," she told the News & Observer. "We have limited resources, and we want the flexibility to be able to implement some of these things."

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Oregon has asserted that it has one of the few big-time athletic programs that are self-sufficient. But an article in The Oregonian revealed that about $8.5 million from the university's general funds has been used to pay for academic support for athletes over the last nine years. University officials said that they viewed that spending as appropriate, but the article noted that other universities that claim self-sufficiency pay for such academic support from athletic funds.

Friday, October 8, 2010 - 3:00am

Many students in California held protests Thursday over budget cuts to higher education. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that thousands of students rallied at the University of California at Berkeley, with some of them occupying one of the campus libraries. While the most recent budget news for higher education in California has been positive, rally organizers said that serious damage had been done to the state's universities in recent years -- well beyond what can be repaired with modest gains this year.

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