Alcorn State Violated NCAA Eligibility Rules

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.

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University presidents join in statement calling for next U.S. president to embrace diversity and diplomacy

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Eight university presidents join statement on values they and others hope to see in next U.S. president. The statement doesn't name a candidate, but it's hard not to see who is being talked about.

Women academic leaders and impostor syndrome (essay)

As high-achieving women in academe, we are not impostors, writes Claudine Keenan, but have earned our way -- regardless of the pathways we have followed.

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Faculty Strike at 14 Pennsylvania Campuses

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."

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Maryland Adds Staff to Investigate Sex Assaults

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.

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Study finds large gap between graduation rates of black, white football players

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New report finds big-time college football players at wealthiest programs graduate at rates lower than their nonathlete male peers. For black players, the gap is even bigger.

Colleges turn to online, text messaging services to help with counseling demand

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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.

Liberty blocks its student paper from publishing column critical of Trump

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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.

President Quits; Board Cites 'Unmet Financial Obligations'

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.

Harvard and TAs Agree on Union Election

Harvard University and its would-be graduate student union, affiliated with the United Auto Workers, on Tuesday agreed on terms of a union election, to be held Nov. 16-17. The election agreement is similar to one made between Cornell University and its American Federation of Teachers- and National Education Association-affiliated graduate student union organizers ahead of a major decision in August from the National Labor Relations Board. That decision, which involved a graduate student union bid at Columbia University, paved the way for graduate student unions at private institutions.

Both the Cornell and now Harvard decisions are significant because they signal that the administrations of both institutions will accept the outcome of any union election, and that both sides will avoid potentially lengthy legal oversight by the NLRB. Administrations at some other private institutions have signaled that they will fight graduate student union bids following the NLRB’s August decision. Both teaching and research assistants at Harvard are seeking representation by the UAW.

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