Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne is suspending or eliminating a number of academic programs as part of an academic prioritization process, a state agency’s recommendation that the institution become a Purdue-only campus and an attempt to close a several-million-dollar budget gap, caused in part by declining enrollment, The News-Sentinel reported. Degree programs in French, geology, German, philosophy and women’s studies are suspended, effectively immediately. Eight additional majors within existing departments, six teaching programs and four graduate programs have been shut down. The university is planning a teach-out program for currently enrolled students. Tenured faculty members in affected programs will be reassigned to different departments. The future of the campus’s nursing, dental education and medical imaging programs is still under discussion. Degree programs in environmental geology and environmental policy were cut previously, in July.
“To use a real estate analogy, Purdue is in a position where it will be acquiring properties,” Andy Downs, professor of political science and Faculty Senate president at Indiana-Purdue, told The News-Sentinel. “They want to make sure they get good properties. [Indiana University] knows what it's getting.”
An online petition with more than 1,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon seeks to save the women’s studies program, saying that it is “growing in size, with more majors than ever. It also generates more than twice in revenue than what it costs to operate the program. This is clearly not about cutting costs.” In a letter announcing the changes to faculty members, Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management at Indiana-Purdue, said that after a meeting last week with state university system leaders, he “had failed to recognize or appreciate previously … that in the minds of the trustees these two processes [of campus realignment and academic prioritization] are inexorably linked.”
Alcorn State University improperly certified 28 athletes in 11 sports as eligible for competition when they should not have been, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday in penalizing the university. The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions handled the case through the association's summary disposition process, which is used when the NCAA and the institution generally agree on the findings of wrongdoing.
In this case, the NCAA said, Alcorn State officials did not fully understand the rules and certified credit hours that were not related to the athletes' degrees. The infractions panel fined the university $5,000 (but let Alcorn State put the funds toward rules compliance education) and required the vacation of records for games in which the ineligible athletes competed.
The faculty union for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education announced a strike, starting this morning. The banner at right is from the union's website.
The union has been operating for more than a year without a contract. System officials and union leaders negotiated through the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday, and the union had vowed to strike today if no agreement was reached. The system -- with 14 universities and more than 110,000 students -- presented what it called its "last best offer" on Tuesday night. The union's representatives for negotiations remained at the table on the chance the system would resume negotiations. Both sides dispute details about the public statements made by the other.
The system characterizes itself as having made numerous proposals that would help faculty members, and says it is being as generous as financial conditions allow. The union -- the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties -- has said that many parts of the system plan would endanger academic quality.
The union president issued a statement Wednesday morning -- shortly after the strike was called -- offering to return to the bargaining table at any time. “At 11:35 p.m., we made a last attempt to negotiate through back channels,” said the president, Kenneth M. Mash. “We waited until 5 a.m. We are headed to the picket lines, but even on the picket lines, our phones will be on, should the state system decide it doesn’t want to abandon its students. They'll know where to find me at 5:30 a.m. I'll be outside the chancellor's office at the Dixon Center on the picket line.”
The system has said that students are required to show up for classes unless advised otherwise by campus officials. One campus, Kutztown University, issued a statement Tuesday that "students are to report to all classes as usual on Wednesday, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations." West Chester University issued this guidance: "Students should plan to attend their scheduled classes every day and may leave if a professor does not arrive."
The University of Maryland at College Park has agreed to add staff members to the division responsible for investigating allegations of sex assaults, The Washington Post reported. The decision came after the student government approved the idea of a new student fee to pay for more investigators. Many experts said that the idea of students paying for what federal law requires struck them as unusual and inappropriate.
Struggling to meet the rising demand for mental health services on campuses, colleges turn to online platforms and text messaging services. Experts are divided on the effectiveness of these approaches.
University blocks student paper from publishing column criticizing Trump. Liberty says it acted because the piece was "redundant" with another. The blocked column may be found at the end of this article.
The College of New Rochelle’s president has resigned after its Board of Trustees recently learned of “significant unmet financial obligations” that have the institution preparing for major budget cuts and possible financial exigency, it announced Tuesday.
President Judith Huntington resigned Saturday, the college said. Her resignation came shortly after the board learned in September of financial obligations that had built up over time. The college did not share the size of the obligations but said that they emerged after its controller retired at the end of the last academic year.
The college said in an online posting that it is investigating why it did not learn of the unmet obligations until recently and why a “nationally known outside firm that routinely audited the college’s financial statements” did not discover them. It also said trustees are exploring bridge financing to stabilize short-term finances. Budget cuts that could hit staff and faculty are also likely.
Trustees put in place a chief restructuring officer, forensic accountant and outside law firm to perform an investigation. Board of Trustees Chair Gwen Adolph said in a statement that more details will be provided when the investigation is complete.
“We have made these changes because we are looking in new directions to protect and preserve the mission of the College of New Rochelle,” Adolph said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that our students have the opportunity to complete their education and take advantage of life’s opportunities.”
Adolph told faculty and staff that the investigation has so far not shown evidence of “self-enrichment,” according to The Journal News. The newspaper reported that the college, which enrolls about 4,000 students and employs about 1,300 people, operated at a loss from 2011-14, drawing down its net assets from more than $30 million to $25 million.
Traditionally a women’s college, New Rochelle generated mixed feedback in December when it announced it would admit men in the fall of 2016. It operates five satellite campuses in New York City boroughs.