Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

The University of Colorado has filed a legal request to recover $52,000 in legal costs from Ward Churchill, the controversial professor it fired for research misconduct and who sued unsuccessfully to get his job back, The Daily Camera reported. Colorado law allows prevailing parties in some court cases to seek legal fees from the losing party. Churchill is appealing a judge's ruling denying him his job back and his lawyer indicated that he disagreed with Colorado's legal bill as well.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

Michael Pollan, an expert on sustainable food and a target of many in the traditional food industry, will not be giving a solo lecture at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, but will instead participate in a panel discussion -- along with a meat-science expert -- to keep a donor happy. The Los Angeles Times reported that the change of plans followed a threat by a donor to call off a $150,000 pledge for a new meat processing plant on the campus.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

The University of California is investigating whether a lecture by a pro-Palestinian speaker -- sponsored by the Muslim Student Union -- violated university rules by becoming a fund raiser, and the university has forwarded to the U.S. Justice Department allegations that some of the funds raised were eventually given to Hamas, The Orange County Register reported. Organizers of the event deny any wrongdoing, and say that the allegations are part of a campaign by pro-Israel groups to limit the activities of groups critical of Israel.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

The University of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that the Southern New England School of Law, a private freestanding institution, has entered into negotiations to donate itself to the university to become part of its Dartmouth campus. Officials from both institutions said that they hoped the talks would succeed, and that the law school could continue its emphasis on educating a diverse student body.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

Saying that controversies over his compensation and home renovation had "created distractions that have made it impossible for me to provide the leadership this institution deserves." Joseph A. Chapman announced his resignation as president of North Dakota State University on Wednesday. Chapman, who has been the university's president since 1999, oversaw significant growth and expansion at the university, which some officials there believed opened him to jealousy-fueled criticisms. But a series of controversies over perceived abuse of his position have led to accusations of arrogance, leading an opinion making newspaper, the Grand Forks Herald, in an editorial about Chapman's "blind spot," to opine that he "acts as if the usual rules pertaining to public officials in North Dakota don’t apply."

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

The State University of New York at Binghamton has placed its men's basketball coach on a paid leave of absence while an outside panel investigates allegations of wrongdoing in the basketball program, the Press & Sun-Bulletin reported. In an e-mail message to a university listserv, the interim athletics director, Jim Norris, attributed the leave for Kevin Broadus to the fact that "[t]here have been continuing incidents of concern related to the men’s basketball program that do not measure up to Binghamton University’s high standards." Broadus has come under fire because several of his recruits have gotten into serious criminal and other trouble, and SUNY has asked a retired federal judge to investigate a wide range of allegations surrounding the program, including that an adjunct professor faced pressure to go easy on athletes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:00am

Iraq's government has suspended classes and barred all political activities and the student union at Mustansiriyah University, in Baghdad, following student protests, the Associated Press reported. Government officials said that they were forced to act because the university was coming under the control of Shiite religious groups.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 3:00am

Brandeis University on Tuesday agreed not to sell any artwork donated by three individuals suing the university to block a controversial plan -- already on hold -- to sell the noted collection of modern art, The Boston Globe reported. Further, the university agreed to give notice of 30 days to the state's attorney general before selling art donated by others. The pledges came during a court hearing in which a judge rejected the university's bid to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 3:00am

A federal jury has awarded $435,678 to a Massachusetts executive who says he was deceived by the University of Pennsylvania into thinking a master of technology management program he enrolled in and completed was affiliated with the Wharton School, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. University officials declined to comment, but have denied wrongdoing. Court records indicate that while the program had been described as being "co-sponsored" by the Wharton School, the degree awarded came from the engineering school, and the only Wharton recognition students received was a "certificate of completion" signed by deans of Wharton and the engineering school.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 3:00am

While the University of Michigan saw record numbers of applications and enrolled students this year, it also saw an 11 percent drop in the number of black, Latino and Native American freshmen, The Detroit News reported. Michigan has been the center of much public discussion about affirmative action in higher education -- both because the university led a national effort to defend affirmative action before the U.S. Supreme Court and because the state's voters in 2006 barred state entities from considering race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. With this year's decline, under-represented minority students make up 9.1 percent of the freshman class, compared to 10.4 percent last year and 12.6 percent for the last class admitted prior to the 2006 ban.

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