Two Toyota managers have resigned from an advisory board for an automotive technology program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale after a professor there criticized the company at a Congressional hearing about the auto manufacturer's safety issues, Bloomberg reported. University officials said that Toyota had indicated that it would have liked to review the professor's work before it was presented to Congress. But company officials said that they weren't trying to be "punitive" in quitting the board. Their resignation letters said that they were leaving "in view of recent events."
Higher Education Quick Takes
Lake Michigan College has barred enrollment on any of the community college's campuses of students who have been convicted of sex crimes involving children, the Associated Press reported. The rule was adopted after a man who tried to enroll indicated that he was a sex offender whose crime had involved a child. The man was barred. College officials noted that they have child-care facilities and also programs that involve young children, but some are questioning whether the policy is too broad. The college will allow the sex offenders to enroll in online programs.
Baylor University today will announce a pledge of a $200 million bequest that will finance research related to aging in the university's College of Arts and Sciences, School of Social Work and other programs. The donor, who comes from a family that has made other gifts to the university, is anonymous. The gift is the largest in the university's history.
A police officer at the University of Florida shot Kofi Adu-Brempong, a 35-year-old doctoral student in geography from Ghana, Tuesday night. A statement from the university said that a resident of the family housing unit where Abu-Brempong lives "called police after hearing the student screaming in his apartment. Officers tried to negotiate with the student for about an hour after he barricaded himself into his apartment. The student threatened officers with a pipe and a knife." The Gainesville Sun reported further details and published police reports about the incident.
Officials at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and St. Norbert College are investigating "white pride" fliers that turned up at both campuses recently, the Associated Press reported. Authorities are investigating and do not believe a student or employee is responsible.
Leaders of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church voted Wednesday to fire most of the board of Erskine College, the church's only college, according to unofficial notes taken by some at the meeting and an account in The Index-Journal, a South Carolina newspaper. Church and college officials did not respond to inquiries late Wednesday about the latest developments in a dispute over the future of the college, a well regarded liberal arts institution where many faculty members believe their academic freedom may be endangered by the church's increasing involvement in educational decisions. The move by church leaders follows a study they commissioned that found that existing board members were not doing enough to make sure church views were dominant at the college. Interim board members were selected with the idea of a reconstituted board, more closely tied to the church, following.
The recession is leading more adults in their 40s and 50s to seek additional training and education at community colleges. And the recession is leading more students who are traditional college ages to enroll at community colleges. An article in the Chicago Tribune notes a result of these two trends: more courses at community colleges in which parents and children are both enrolled.
Even as thousands of students at the University of California's campuses prepare for massive rallies Thursday over state budget cuts, they continue to be roiled by racial incidents. The University of California at San Diego, which has seen a series of incidents, had a new one Monday night when authorities found a white pillowcase on a statue outside the library, making the pillowcase appear to be a Klan-style hood. Police are investigating the incident. Meanwhile, at the University of California at Santa Cruz, officials were denouncing a drawing of a noose on a bathroom door, in apparent reference to a recent noose incident at the San Diego conference.
Universities from around the world have pledged a total of $350,000 to the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which promotes the concept of colleges and universities making course materials available online and free. The popular effort was originally supported by foundation grants and some have worried about whether funds would be found to replace the expiring grants. Among the institutions pledging support are China Open Resources for Education, Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Open Universiteit (the Netherlands), Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Tufts University, Universia.net (Spain), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), University of California at Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of the Western Cape (South Africa).
Four members of Kansas' Congressional delegation have written the U.S. interior secretary expressing their concerns about how Haskell Indian Nations University is being run and whether federal money is being misspent. The letter to Secretary Ken Salazar from Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback and Reps. Lynn Jenkins and Dennis Moore suggests that the Interior Department's decision to reassign the president of the tribal college in Lawrence, Kan., to other institutions had left "no clear line of authority" at Haskell Indian Nations. "The resulting lack of leadership has caused chaos and confusion to the detriment of HINU employees and the students, who are our primary concern," the lawmakers wrote.