During a commencement ceremony at Palo Alto College, Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie was photographed sitting on stage, scrolling through his phone.
The photos attracted criticism on social media, and Tony Villanueva, president of Palo Alto's American Association of University Professors chapter, said that Leslie had his phone out for at least 30 minutes. "Somebody next to me timed it," he told the San Antonio Express-News.
Leo Zuniga, an Alamo Colleges spokesman, said the chancellor did not give a reason for using his phone during the ceremony. “He was on the cellphone, and he apologizes that people were offended by it,” Zuniga said.
Sanjay Gupta, former assistant professor of plant science at the University of Idaho, has settled with the university for $400,000, according to information from the Idaho Federation of Teachers. Mediation followed a district judge’s ruling in favor of Gupta, who said he was wrongfully dismissed for alleged sexual harassment of a lab employee. Gupta denied the harassment, and the judge found that Idaho denied Gupta due process and engaged in breach of contract in not considering a faculty appeal board’s decision in his favor. A university spokesperson acknowledged the settlement but did not provide further comment.
Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at Ithaca College voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Tuesday. Members hope to bargain collectively with part-time, non-tenure-track instructors at Ithaca who voted to unionize last year, according to information from SEIU.
The college said in a statement that it remains “committed to working in partnership with all of our faculty within a system of shared governance to best serve the educational needs of our students.” It said it will bargain in good faith with the union once the election results are certified, but it remains committed to the position that full-time, non-tenure-track faculty not be included in the same bargaining unit as part-timers, “as those groups are separate and distinct.”
The Century Foundation on Wednesday published a report that is critical of state policies that link funding of public colleges with measures of their performance, such as graduation rates and degree production numbers. Roughly 35 states are either developing or using some form of performance-based funding for higher education.
The new report's author, Nicholas Hillman, an assistant professor of education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who has studied such state-based formulas, argues that performance-based funding is rarely effective.
"While pay for performance is a compelling concept in theory, it has consistently failed to bear fruit in actual implementation, whether in the higher education context or in other public services," Hillman wrote. "Performance-based funding regimes are most likely to work in noncomplex situations where performance is easily measured, tasks are simple and routine, goals are unambiguous, employees have direct control over the production process, and there are not multiple people involved in producing the outcome."
The University of California at Los Angeles and Under Armour on Tuesday announced the largest college sponsorship deal in the history of intercollegiate sports. The deal will pay the university's athletic department $280 million in cash and apparel over 15 years, or about $18 million per year. UCLA's previous deal, with Adidas, was worth $7.5 million per year.
Daniel Hamburger, the CEO of DeVry Education Group for the last nine years, left the company on Tuesday. His departure was effective immediately, DeVry, a large for-profit chain, said in a written statement. Lisa Wardell, a longtime member of the company's Board of Directors, is the new CEO.
Last year the company announced that its flagship DeVry University would close 14 campus locations amid other consolidations and a rebranding. The university had struggled with sagging enrollments and revenue. And the Federal Trade Commission last year sued the university and its parent company over allegations of deceptive claims about job-placement rates and graduates' wages. DeVry has contested those allegations.
DeVry Education Group has fared well overseas in recent years, particularly in Brazil, and the company's overall enrollment numbers are up.
Wardell mostly recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the RLJ Companies, an asset management company. Hamburger left DeVry to pursue other opportunities, the company said.
“The Board of Directors believes that Lisa Wardell provides a strategic vision and road map for the rapid acceleration of DeVry Group’s diversification initiatives,” Chris Begley, the company's board chair, said in a written statement. “Lisa is the right person to lead DeVry Group through this transformational period in higher education while remaining true to our mission of successful student outcomes.”
Raymond Burse announced Monday that he is resigning as president of Kentucky State University after two years in office, Kentucky.com reported. This is the second time Burse has served as president of the historically black college. Burse earlier this year said budget cuts could force the university to shut down, but he has indicated that he no longer believes the situation to be that dire.
Thomas Pogge, a professor of philosophy at Yale University who’s built his career on ethics and global justice, retaliated against a former student for resisting his advances and has been accused of sexually harassing numerous other young women, according to a federal civil rights complaint first reported on by BuzzFeed. Inside Higher Eddetailed some of the allegations against Pogge without naming him in 2014, but the recently filed complaint under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prevents gender discrimination in education, sheds new light on his alleged pattern of harassment.
In the 1990s, for example, a student at Columbia University, where Pogge was then teaching, accused him of sexually harassing her; the university eventually forbade Pogge from entering the philosophy department when the student was there, according to an affidavit from a Columbia professor included in the new complaint. Pogge moved on to Yale and allegedly harassed a student named Fernanda Lopez Aguilar, who eventually filed a Title IX complaint after reading additional allegations against Pogge by a third woman in a 2014 essay. The essay, which alleged that Pogge specifically targeted women from other countries who were unfamiliar with harassment reporting channels and were otherwise at the opposite end of the power dynamic he derided in his professional work, didn’t use Pogge’s name. But many philosophers assumed it was him, and recordings between the author and Pogge obtained by BuzzFeed suggest he read it and agreed with its premise.
Lopez Aguilar’s complaint alleges that Pogge offered her a salaried position in his Global Justice Program but rescinded it after she rejected his sexual advances during a trip to Chile. A hearing panel at Yale found that there was “substantial evidence” that Pogge had acted unprofessionally and failed to uphold standards of ethical behavior, but that there was insufficient evidence of sexual assault. Lopez Aguilar says Yale nevertheless attempted to buy her silence for $2,000.
The recent talk of Pogge’s alleged behavior -- which has for some time been an open secret in philosophy, according to professors interviewed by both BuzzFeed and Inside Higher Ed -- has yielded at least nine additional allegations of harassment from women in various countries, according to Lopez Aguilar’s complaint. Most allege offers of job offers, hotel rooms, plane tickets and other assistance from Pogge, even though he knew little about them or their work, beyond their physical appearance.
Thomas Conroy, university spokesperson, declined to comment for the article, and Pogge reportedly did not respond to initial requests for comment. (He did not respond to requests for comment from Inside Higher Ed in 2014.) But over the weekend, after the Buzzfeed story was published, Pogge posted a response on a university blog denying the allegations by Lopez Aguilar. He said her claims contained “various provable falsehoods and inconsistencies" and blamed the "familiar phenomena" of what he called false allegations in part on the “the intensely competitive worlds of academia and university politics."