U of Georgia Apologizes for Contract With Rapper

Greg McGarity, athletic director of the University of Georgia, has apologized for the terms of the contract with Ludacris (at right), a rapper who performed at the university's spring football game, The Athens Banner-Herald reported. Speaking at a meeting of the athletics department's board, McGarity said that “I do want to take this opportunity to apologize to our board for mistakes we made with certain aspects of the details of an entertainment agreement." The comment was a reference to the contract with Ludacris. He was paid $65,000 for a 13-minute performance. But much of the criticism has focused not just on the fee, but on all of the items that the contract required the university to provide Ludcris, including six Hanes t-shirts, two bottles each of cognac and vodka, one bottle each of red and white wine, two cases of Snapple and a box of condoms. Deadspin published the full list.


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NYU Broke Pledges to Those Who Donated Bodies

For years, some bodies donated to the medical school of New York University ended up in mass graves, despite promises by the university that the bodies would not be disposed that way, The New York Times reported. NYU officials have apologized and said that the practice has been halted.


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Traditional theological schools explore mergers and campus sales amid financial pinches

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Mainline Protestant theological schools are exploring mergers and campus sales as they feel a prolonged enrollment and financial pinch, but experts see smaller institutions bubbling up under different faiths.

Jury Sides with Virginia Wesleyan in Rape Lawsuit

A jury ruled Thursday that Virginia Wesleyan College was not liable for the 2012 rape of a female student. The former student filed a lawsuit in 2014, seeking $10 million and alleging that the university "turned a blind eye" to the fact that "male students were drugging female students, rendering them incapacitated and raping them." The alleged rapist was a member of the college's lacrosse team. The university found that the man had assaulted the female student and originally dismissed him, according to the lawsuit, but later allowed the athlete to withdraw voluntarily, instead, and play lacrosse at another institution. 

"The jury correctly rejected [the] claim that Virginia Wesleyan College failed to take reasonable and adequate steps for the safety of its students," the college said in a statement. "The college is pleased with the jury’s affirmation of its efforts to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all of its students."

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On Average Day, 1.2 Million Students Drink Alcohol

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has issued an updated version of "A Day in the Life of College Students Aged 18 to 22." Some of the key findings are that, on an average day in the last year:

  • 1.2 million full-time students (of a possible 9 million) had at least one alcoholic drink.
  • Just over 700,000 full-time students used marijuana.
  • Of the 2 million part-time students in the study, 239,000 had an alcoholic drink and 195,000 used marijuana.
  • More than 2,500 students used alcohol for the first time.
  • More than 1,500 students used an illegal drug for the first time.



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Petition Demands Ken Starr Remain Baylor's President

Nearly 1,500 people have signed a petition demanding that Kenneth Starr remain president of Baylor University. Facing pressure from the university's Board of Regents, Starr is expected to resign after months of allegations that the university has continuously mishandled sexual assaults committed by football players and other students.

"Ken Starr is a wonderful genuine leader," one Baylor alumna wrote on the petition. "Anyone that has ever met him can say the same and has. No one has gone through life without making mistakes. That does not take away from his heart and his intentions. Ken Starr loves Baylor and the students, so sincerely. I can't and don't want to imagine Baylor without him."

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Akron abandons advising experiment with outside start-up after 1 year

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University of Akron abandons its partnership with untested start-up company to provide "success coaches" after one year.

DeVry Buys Anti-Money Laundering Group for $330M

Becker Professional Education, a subsidiary of DeVry Education Group, this week announced it is buying the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists for $330 million. The membership association, among other things, provides online and in-person training and credentialing on financial crimes prevention. It offers a widely used certification in the field.

DeVry, a publicly traded for-profit, earlier this week said its CEO, Daniel Hamburger, had departed and been replaced by Lisa Wardell, a member of the company's Board of Directors.

Instructor Allowed to Return After Forced Leave

A sociology instructor who helped lead a faculty union vote of no confidence against the president of Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota says he may now return to campus after a three-month banishment, the Star-Tribune reported. Dave Berger was put on a paid investigative leave in February after an unidentified complaint was filed against him but was this week notified that the investigation is “reaching conclusion,” according to the Star-Tribune

Berger sued the college and its president, Tim Wynes, along with the Minnesota State Colleges and University System, two weeks ago, alleging (among other counts) that Wynes defamed him by publicly stating that the charges against Berger related to sexual harassment. Berger says his leave had nothing to do with harassment. The college has previously said that Berger’s leave had nothing to do with his union activities. Berger’s union, Inver Hills United, has campaigned for his return, and other supporters have created an online petition and Facebook page to “Bring Berger Back.”

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Report on Federal Aid and Affordability

A new report from the Center for American Progress looks at how federal health care and housing benefits address affordability and how those programs could help inform a rethinking of federal financial aid in higher education.

"The result of an expectation-light approach to college affordability is that the ability of federal postsecondary benefits to achieve their desired aims is completely dependent upon the choices made by schools, governors and legislatures across the country," the report said. It adds that "changing federal financial aid benefits to guarantee recipients can purchase a specific set of goods, not just receive a set amount of money, will better conform these programs to the rest of the U.S. social safety net."

Key points from the comparison, the center said, are:

  • Areas such as health care set distinct affordability policies for the most vulnerable individuals that result in minimal to no expectations for out-of-pocket spending.
  • The federal government limits which products within a market it will make affordable, refusing to subsidize the priciest options.
  • Related to this sense of limits, the federal government also creates affordability standards -- specifically, when it deals with debt in areas related to housing -- to protect consumers from unaffordable payments.
  • The federal government does not always pursue affordability on its own. For crucial items such as health insurance, it enlists the help of states and employers to achieve its aims.


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