Thousands of high school students in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., received email from the University of California at Santa Cruz this week congratulating them on being admitted. But The Washington Post noted that these students never applied. The university sent acceptance emails to thousands who were on a list of admissions prospects, not actual applicants.
For the second time, a jury found that the University of Iowa didn’t discriminate against an applicant for a faculty position in the College of Law because he was too old, The Gazettereported. Donald Dobkin, an administrative law attorney who is now 62, first sued the university for age discrimination after he was denied a faculty position in 2008. The job went to a younger candidate with what Dobkin said were inferior qualifications, but a jury sided against him in 2012. He was denied a new trial and lost an appeal.
Dobkin launched a second suit that same year, based on a failed second attempt at a faculty job in 2010 (the job went to a 40-year-old, less experienced applicant, according to the most recent suit). Dobkin alleged discrimination based on age and employment, as well as retaliation for the first suit, but a jury sided against him this week. The university said in a statement that it was “pleased with the jury ruling and the recognition that the law school did not discriminate and did not retaliate.” Dobkin could not immediately be reached for comment, according to The Gazette.
A former professor of architecture at Catholic University won $1 million in damages this week after a jury found that the institution attempted to scare her out of suing it for discrimination, The Washington Postreported. After a four-week trial, a jury in D.C. Superior Court rejected Rauzia Ruhana Ally’s claim that she was fired because she is a Muslim Indian woman, but determined that administrators engaged in an email campaign to get her to drop a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Ally was fired in 2012, a year after taking on a job as director of a university project, according to the post. The university said she was insubordinate and failed to keep project costs down, but Ally alleged discrimination. Ally’s attorney during the trial presented emails from Randall W. Ott, dean of Catholic’s School of Architecture, accusing the former professor and her husband of stealing a desk-size model home and discussing a plan to press charges. Ally said she never removed the model, and charges were never brought, but Ott in an email to another administrator referred to the proposed charges as a “threat.”
Elise Italiano, university spokesperson, told the Post that in “both policy and practice, the university is committed to fair and equal treatment of every employee. We have respect for every employee and a rich compliance and ethics program.” She denied that Ott’s emails were malicious but said the university was reviewing standards about how managers communicate.
Nearly 60 percent of California college students interviewed for a recent survey could not define the term "credit score." The survey, released Tuesday by student loan website LendEDU, included responses from 668 students at both two-year and four-year institutions. More than 40 percent of students said they did not believe that student loan debt was included in a credit report or score.
The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced Tuesday that it has rejected an appeal from Melissa Click, an assistant professor at the university's Columbia campus, of the board's February decision to fire her. Click was given the right to file an appeal, which she did. She was fired based on two incidents, both videotaped. In one, she blocked the access of a student journalist to campus protesters even though they were in an open area on a public campus. In the other, the board determined that she interfered with a police officer trying to maintain order amid a protest during a parade.
Pamela Henrickson, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, said that “in the board’s view, her appeal brought no new relevant information to the curators.” The board’s full rejection of the appeal may be found here.
In her appeal, Click wrote in part, “In my participation and in my actions on both days I firmly believe I was exercising my protected rights as a United States citizen and a citizen of the state of Missouri. I steadfastly believe it would be a violation of my First Amendment rights and my rights to academic freedom to suggest that my interactions on either day provide grounds for the termination of my employment. Additionally, I believe that your decision to terminate my employment without due process in the form of a fair hearing by a faculty body violates my contract of employment with the University of Missouri.”
The American Association of University Professors has questioned the decision to fire Click, and many observers expect the case to end up in court.
The captain of Yale University's men's basketball team, who was expelled earlier this year for allegedly assaulting another student, will sue the university for making him "a whipping boy." The lawsuit was announced Monday in a statement by the player's lawyers.
Jack Montague, the former captain, was expelled in February after the university ruled against him in the sexual assault case. Earlier this month, his teammates wore his nickname and number on their shirts while warming up before a game. The show of support sparked anger and debate at Yale. Posters were found around campus urging the men's basketball team to "stop supporting a rapist." The team later apologized.
"Last week, the media widely reported on statements made by Yale students and posters put up on campus, which condemned Jack Montague directly as the named culprit and as a rapist, thus slandering him with this accusation," Montague's lawyers said in a statement. "He was never accused of rape and Yale took no steps to correct these actions. As a result, Mr. Montague has no choice but to correct the record."
The U.S. Senate has confirmed John B. King Jr. as the nation’s 10th secretary of education.
Lawmakers on Monday voted 49 to 40 to approve King’s nomination. The Senate education committee signed off last week.
King has been serving as acting education secretary since Arne Duncan stepped down at the end of December. After initially indicating that it was satisfied with keeping King on in an acting capacity, the White House reversed course last month and submitted his nomination to the Senate.
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the Republican who leads the Senate education committee, had urged the White House to select a permanent replacement for Duncan and supported King’s nomination.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democrat, supported King’s nomination in committee last week but had threatened to withhold her support on the final vote over what she said was the Education Department’s inadequate response to her questions regarding student loan servicing and debt relief for students at for-profit colleges. Warren voted in favor of King’s nomination on Monday.
Senators voting against King’s nomination mostly cited his policies on K-12 education. As New York’s education commissioner, King sparred with teachers’ unions and parents over standardized testing and implementation of Common Core standards, among other issues.