Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, March 5, 2010 - 3:00am

The Utah Legislature on Thursday formally approved a merger between Utah State University and the College of Eastern Utah, a two-year institution, the Deseret News reported. The Utah Board of Regents endorsed the merger in December, and Utah State has already begun the process of searching for a new chancellor for Eastern Utah.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 3:00am

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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 3:00am

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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 3:00am

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."

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 3:00am

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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 3:00am

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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 3:00am

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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 3:00am

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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 3:00am

The Atheist Agenda at the University of Texas at San Antonio has found a way to attract converts away from religion (or at least to publicize that cause). The San Antonio Express-News reported that the group has attracted considerable attention with a "smut for smut" offer in which students who turn in a Bible or another religious text can receive a free pornographic magazine. The atheists say that the "smut for smut" title is appropriate because the Bible includes passages about violence and torture.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 3:00am

Towson University fired an adjunct last week after he called himself, in class, a "nigger on a corporate plantation," The Baltimore Sun reported. Allen Zaruba, the adjunct, made the comment in a discussion of controversial works of art. Zaruba, who is white, told the Sun he realized that he shouldn't have made the remark and that he apologized for the comment, and didn't think it unsettled his class. But at least one student and parent complained and Zaruba was fired.

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