The president of the University of North Carolina System and the chancellor of North Carolina State University have called on Mary Easley, wife of the former governor, to resign from a position at North Carolina State that has come to be seen as political patronage, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Easley was hired to direct a speakers series, but was given additional duties and a five-year, $850,000 contract during a period of budget constraints at the university. The controversy has already led to the resignation of the university's provost and of the a university trustee. Easley has not indicated if she will quit.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Career Education Corp. announced Monday that its American Intercontinental University subsidiary, which had regained approved status from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after two years on probation, has been granted initial accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, another regional accreditor. Despite its battles with the Southern accrediting association, American Intercontinental said it had made the switch because more of its students are served by its online operation, which is based in the North Central accreditor's geographic region.
The faculty union at Robert Morris University, in Pennsylvania, has agreed to cut the size of the raise it was assured under a contract for the next academic year so that the university can devote more money to financial aid. Under the contract, professors were to have received raises of 2.75 percent. But more than half of that total (1.45 percent of base salaries) will be given up, producing an extra $180,000 in scholarship funds. The union is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. In a statement, Gregory G. Dell’Omo, the university's president, said: "Our faculty were under no obligation to take this action, which is a testament to how deeply they care for their students."
In the seven weeks that Stanford University has made available free videos of a course on applications for the iPhone and iPod, it has received more than 1 million downloads, the university announced. According to Apple, seven weeks is the fastest time ever for a course on iTunes U. to reach 1 million downloads.
The Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, is considered a purchase of BPP, the only for-profit higher education entity in Britain with degree-granting authority, The Times Higher reported. Both government officials and educators in Britain view the potential purchase as significant, as it could be a springboard for Apollo's ambitions in the country.
For most of the academic year that just ended, Lambuth University has experienced administrative turnover and evidence of severe financial problems. Now, for the second month in a row, the university has failed to make payroll on time, The Jackson Sun reported. University officials said that a wire transfer was delayed, making it impossible to meet payroll on time, but that they hoped to be only a week late.
The former girlfriend of Mike Burden -- until recently associate head coach of the University of Maine men's basketball team -- says she warned the university that he posed a danger unless he received counseling, The Bangor Daily News reported. Burden resigned last week after being charged with unlawful sexual conduct with one woman and assault against another who was trying to help the first woman. The coach's former girlfriend posted her story as a comment on the newspaper's story about the charges that were issued against Burden. A university spokesman confirmed that the letter had been received and said that Burden's supervisors discussed it with him, but declined to discuss whether any actions were taken as a result of the letter.
A statue of President James A. Garfield was decapitated last week, shortly after it was placed in a prominent location at Hiram College. The Record-Courier reported that the statue dates to 1914, and was recently brought to the campus after a trustee found it. The statue was placed in front of the college's Garfield Institute for Public Leadership, and the head was apparently removed sometime between 10 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday. The Record-Courier article features before and after photographs. Garfield attended the college and later taught there.
For all the raised voices (and a few arrests) over President Obama's appearance at the graduation ceremony of the University of Notre Dame Sunday, he was well received by the graduates and the audience, who gave the president repeated ovations. At one point early in the speech, hecklers shouted, but they were quieted. Obama spoke at length about the role of Notre Dame -- and of the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, its legendary former president, who was in the audience -- as an inspiring force in American society. Most of the criticism of Obama's appearance came from anti-abortion groups who said that the university was abandoning its Roman Catholic traditions by honoring a president who defends abortion rights. The Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, noted the controversy in his introductory remarks, and explicitly said that the Catholic teachings differ from the president's views on abortion and stem cell research. But Father Jenkins praised Obama, and noted that he had accepted the invitation to Notre Dame even knowing that not all of his views are shared there. In his remarks, Obama noted the differences of views on abortion, but called for Americans to consider the views of those with whom they disagree on the issue. "Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son's or daughter's hardships can be relieved," he said. The text of Obama's address may be found here.
Just after the last diploma was presented Saturday at the commencement of Green Mountain College, a small group of students streaked across the stage, with bandanas or masks as their only clothing, The Rutland Herald reported. While audience members -- especially trustees on stage who received the best views -- appeared surprised, the newspaper suggests that perhaps they should not have been. Streakers appeared last year so it appears that this may be a tradition in the making. A college spokesman told the newspaper: "Well, freedom of expression is part of a college experience.... What we are really concerned with is teaching the sorts of values spoken about today like environmental sustainability and that's something our students take very seriously."