David J. Skorton, president of Cornell University, was named Monday as the next secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Skorton, president of Cornell since 2006, will leave the university in 2015. At Cornell, he has helped raise more than $5 billion. Under Skorton, Cornell and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology won a competition to develop a teachnology-oriented graduate school in New York City.
NAACP leaders in South Carolina on Monday said that they would oppose the selection of Lieut. Governor Glenn McConnell as president of the College of Charleston, the Associated Press reported. Currently, McConnell is a finalist for the position. The NAACP noted his long history of revering Confederate history to question whether the college would be seen as a welcoming place to black students. A widely circulated photograph of McConnell shows him at an event dressed as a Confederate general, posing with black people playing the part of slaves. McConnell also has defended the display of Confederate flags, rejecting the idea that they are hurtful. McConnell said that he should be judged by his record, which he said includes support for historically black colleges and for efforts to attract more black men to teaching.
Dartmouth College and the University of California System have announced changes in policies for dealing with sexual assaults.
At Dartmouth, new penalties are being proposed to assure strict punishment. Under rules announced for consideration Saturday, expulsion would be mandatory in cases "involving penetration accomplished by force, threat, or purposeful incapacitation or where an assault involving penetration is motivated by bias," and where a student has previously been found responsible for a sexual assault. In addition, the college said that in "other cases involving penetration, a strong presumption in favor of expulsion."
The University of California on Friday announced new policies for the system on preventing and dealing with sexual assaults, The Los Angeles Times reported. The changes will increase reporting requirements, require new training for many employees and provide victims with more information on the potential punishments of those who have been accused.
Poll finds Americans with college education report higher standard of living than do others, but don't always link standard of living to education. Findings suggest lack of knowledge on private college prices.
Felician College, in New Jersey, has announced that the college will not renew the contracts of 16 faculty members at the end of the academic year, NorthJersey.com reported. Felician does not have tenure. The cuts are due to falling enrollment. Felician's enrollment is 2,000, down from 2,400 in 2010.
Some Pennsylvania legislators are working on a plan that would allow the larger institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to break away and become independent "state related" universities, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The move comes at a time that some system campuses are experiencing enrollment declines and that they all face state budget cuts. System leaders oppose the plan, saying that it would lead to higher tuition rates for those campuses that break away, and would undercut those institutions that remained in the system.
The Santa Fe University of Art and Design has been debating how to respond to graffiti in response to an art project, The Santa Fe Reporter reported. The art exhibit was about female sexuality, and was called "Cliteracy: 100 Natural Laws," by the artist Sophia Wallace. After the exhibit was on campus, one or more people started leaving graffiti on hallways and doors on campus with depictions of certain female body parts and the words "solid gold clit" or the abbreviation SGC. Administrators, unable to find those responsible, said that they would fine every student who lives on campus $250. This angered many, and officials backed down, but they are still left with the costs of removing the graffiti.
Kennesaw State University, under fire for removing an art installation because it would not have been "celebratory" at the opening of a new museum, on Wednesday issued a new statement about its views on the issue. The art that was removed dealt with a woman whose land the university obtained and whose writing have led many to call her an apologist for lynching. The art installation did not focus solely on this issue, but included it among many parts of the woman's story.
The new university statement said: "The exhibit does not exist in a vacuum; it is connected to a sensitive controversy in Kennesaw State’s recent past, which remains extremely raw for many university constituents.Given that the opening of the Zuckerman Museum of Art was intended to be a celebration of new space dedicated to the arts, withdrawing the exhibition was a difficult decision that we knew would not be well received – and one which was unfortunate due to the administration’s late knowledge of the subject matter. This was the result of communications breakdowns in our internal processes, which are being addressed." The statement added that the university is "holding conversations with the artist to explore re-instating" the artwork, "accompanied by related programming."
The artist is Ruth Stanford, associate professor of sculpture at Georgia State University. She said Wednesday that the university called her to talk about restoring the installation "with context," but has yet to provide details on what that means.