Stillman cuts illustrate financial challenges for athletics at black colleges

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Recent athletics cuts at several HBCUs raise questions about the role of sports at small, private colleges.

Public Universities Seek to Redesign First-Year Experience

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities this week announced a project to work with 44 of its member institutions to substantially change students' experience during their first year of college. The project is aimed at improving college completion rates, with a particular eye at helping low-income and first-generation college students, as well as members of minority groups. The public university group said the work would feature several proven methods of improving student retention and success.

"We know a lot of things that work," said George Mehaffy, the association's vice president for academic leadership and change. "The logical place to start was the first year."

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USA Funds are contributing funds to the project. The work will include a focus on "institutional intentionality," Mehaffy said, such as through changes to the administrative structure and budgeting process of participating colleges. It also will include elements of curriculum redesign and changes to the roles of faculty members, staff and students.

One likely outcome, said Mehaffy, would be degree maps and narrower, more defined pathways for students to get to graduation.

"There are too many choices for students," he said, which can be "paralyzing."

(Note: This article was taken down temporarily to comply with an embargo.)

UC Riverside faculty survey suggests outrage at cluster-hiring initiative

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UC Riverside faculty survey suggests outrage at early phases of a massive cluster-hiring program there.

Suffolk U board moves to fire president, despite her backing from students, professors and alumni

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Board of Suffolk U seeks to fire Margaret McKenna, institution's fifth president in five years, seven months into her tenure. Students, professors and alumni rally behind her.

Over Faculty Objections, Cornell Creates Business College

Cornell University's Board of Trustees voted to establish a College of Business, the university announced Saturday.

The new College of Business will include Cornell’s three existing accredited business programs: the School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Cornell administrators hope the decision will spur more collaboration between the schools while also strengthening the university’s reputation.

The decision came amid protests from Cornell faculty and alumni. After the change was first announced, a group of alumni created a petition in opposition to the idea, some saying that it would affect their donations to Cornell. And the Faculty Senate, worried about shared governance issues with the program being created before academic issues had been determined, asked the Board of Trustees to table the proposal. Instead, the board voted unanimously in favor of the change.

Many of the details of the new college -- like governance and academic processes -- will be finalized over the next few months by leaders and faculty members from the three existing schools.

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Rhodes Statue to Remain at Oxford's Oriel College

The University of Oxford has decided not to take down a statue of Cecil Rhodes at its Oriel College despite alumni threats to withdraw millions in donations, the college announced. The statue, like a plaque about Rhodes elsewhere on the campus, has been caught up in the debate that has swept campuses in Britain, the U.S. and elsewhere about honoring historical figures whose pasts included racist or other detrimental acts or statements.

Rhodes, the British imperialist whose bequest endowed the Rhodes Scholarships, has been at the center of the debate in Britain. In December, Oriel College officials said they had begun the process of removing the plaque honoring Rhodes and would review the status of the statue, describing the plaque's wording praising Rhodes as "inconsistent with our principles."

But in the announcement Thursday, Oriel officials said the "listening exercise" the college had undertaken in December had elicited an "enormous amount of input," overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the statue in place. "The college believes the recent debate has underlined that the continuing presence of these historical artifacts is an important reminder of the complexity of history and of the legacies of colonialism still felt today. By adding context, we can help draw attention to this history, do justice to the complexity of the debate and be true to our educational mission."

British newspaper reports indicated that Oxford and Oriel have received threats to withdraw millions of dollars in gifts if the statue was removed, though the college's statement dismissed the idea that financial considerations were a factor.

Rhodes Must Fall, the student group leading the opposition, said in a statement on Facebook that the college's decision "breached the undertakings it gave to all students in its December statement. In December, Oriel said that the plaque's display was 'inconsistent with' the college's 'principles.' It seems that Oriel no longer believes this to be the case. This recent move is outrageous, dishonest and cynical. This is not over."

Oregon State among few institutions to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits

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Earlier this month, Oregon State University began accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at campus grocery stores. Few other colleges participate in the program.

Rhode Island Settles for $1.45M in Baseball Player's Death

The University of Rhode Island has agreed to pay $1.45 million to the family of a baseball player who died after collapsing during a team workout in 2011. The family's lawyer told the Associated Press that the settlement ends a "hard fought" wrongful death lawsuit first brought against the university more than three years ago. The university also announced that it will establish a scholarship in the player's memory.

While advocating for legislation that would mandate automated external defibrillators be readily available at all Rhode Island athletics events, the player's mother, Michele Ciancola, said her son died of heatstroke and because Rhode Island athletic trainers did not have access to a defibrillator. She said her son's body temperature spiked to 107 degrees, and he was resuscitated five times before dying three days later at a hospital.

"This horrific chain of events provides you with a description of the pain and suffering that my young, healthy son endured," Ciancola said.

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Former College Football Player Sues Fantasy Sports Websites

A former Northern Illinois University football player filed federal lawsuits Thursday against DraftKings and FanDuel, alleging that the two fantasy sports companies have unfairly profited off the names of college football and basketball players.

The lawsuit also states that fantasy sports websites have "immeasurably altered the college football and basketball environment" and left athletes in a state of "fear and concern of the risk of being contacted by speculators who have a financial interest" in their performances and who may pressure athletes into cheating.

"In addition to the reasonable concern that speculators may urge that [football and basketball players] adjust their performance in response to the speculators' stated desires," the lawsuit argues, "Defendant's unlawful business model puts [athletes] at unwanted risk of contact with speculators whose interests align with corruption in the form of fixed outcomes and point-shaving."

The former football player, Akeem Daniels, is seeking $5 million in damages from each company, as well as a ban on the companies using the names of college athletes.

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New presidents or provosts: Albany Antioch Delaware Fort Valley Santa Monica Southern Mississippi SEMU Spartanburg Texas State Wooster

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  • Dennis Assanis, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has been chosen as president of the University of Delaware.
  • Sarah Bolton, dean of the college and professor of physics at Williams College, in Massachusetts, has been named president of the College of Wooster, in Ohio.


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