Newspapers in Texas are reporting that Francisco Cigarroa will today announce that he is stepping down as chancellor of the University of Texas System. A surgeon and a medical professor before rising through administration, Cigarroa reportedly will become the head of the pediatric surgery unit at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Cigarroa has been chancellor since 2009. In recent years he has been under (and resisted) intense pressure from some members of the Board of Regents who are close to Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, to fire Bill Powers as president of the flagship campus at Austin. Powers has been defended by many students, faculty members and alumni.
Incorrect tax reporting by Harvard University -- suggesting that employees earned millions more than they really did -- has cost those employees considerable sums in overpaid taxes, The Boston Globe reported. Harvard acknowledged the errors on Friday and said that it would either reimburse employees or help them file amended tax returns to receive refunds. But the university acted only after two law professors circulated a letter saying that earlier communication from Harvard has been "misleading as to both the scope of the problem and the university’s responsibility to make some 11,000 employees whole for a monumental mistake by the central administration."
Loyola University New Orleans on Friday laid off 18 non-faculty employees as part of a plan to deal with a deficit caused by much lower than expected freshman enrollment in the fall, The Times-Picayune reported. In addition, the university announced that the contracts of 12 non-tenured faculty members would not be renewed.
The board of the Southern University System has voted, 9 to 6, not to renew the contract of James Llorens as chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported. Llorens will leave office at the end of June, following a three-year tenure. Ronald Mason, the president of the system, had urged the board to renew Llorens' contract for one year, on the condition that he agree to a plan to make “necessary financial and organizational changes.” But Llorens rejected that idea, saying it would strip him of the authority needed to do his job effectively.
Legislative leaders in South Carolina have proposed and are backing a bill to merge the College of Charleston with the Medical University of South Carolina, with the idea of creating a new research university for the state, The Post and Courier reported. But some at the two institutions have raised questions about the wisdom of the idea, noting that the college -- a public liberal arts institution -- and the medical university both have strong reputations, but have little in common except being located in the same city.
A year ago, Bob Jones University hired GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), a Virginia firm, to investigate whether the university had properly handled any abuse allegations it received over the years. With GRACE wrapping up its investigation and preparing to write its report, the university fired the firm, The Greenville News reported. A university statement said that "we grew concerned about how GRACE was pursuing our objectives.” A statement from GRACE said that organization was taken by surprise and was concerned about the impact of its firing on those who came forward during the investigation. “We grieve with those whose hopes will be crushed should this independent process remain incomplete," said the GRACE statement.