administrators

Provost Pick Upsets Professors at College of Charleston

Many faculty members questioned the decision of the board of the College of Charleston last year to appoint Glenn McConnell as president. Now faculty leaders are questioning McConnell's selection as provost, Brian McGee, The Post and Courier reported. Faculty leaders said they repeatedly asked for a chance for input into the provost choice, and were delayed and largely ignored. McGee has been serving as provost and was previously chair of communications. Professors question his role in two controversial tenure cases -- a subject he declined to discuss. McConnell defended the selection, praising McGee for his performance while serving as interim provost.

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Size and Strength of Higher Education as Lobbying Force

An article in The Wall Street Journal explores higher education as a lobbying force and find colleges have large and effective representation in Washington. Based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the article finds that higher education had 1,020 lobbyists in 2014, third among industries (after pharmaceuticals and electronics). In terms of effectiveness, the article notes the extent to which the Obama administration pulled back on its initial plans for rating colleges.

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Chancellor Joins President in Quitting at U of Missouri (Update)

UPDATE: The chancellor of the University of Missouri's flagship campus at Columbia will resign, the University of Missouri System's Board of Curators announced hours after the system's president amid intense student and other protests over racial tensions.

The governing board said that Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin would leave his position running the flagship and become the system's director for research facility development. Although most of the attention and criticism from minority students in recent weeks had focused on President Tim Wolfe, who resigned earlier Monday (see below), some faculty and staff members called for Loftin's resignation Monday.

The board's chairman, Donald Cupps, issued a forthright apology for the university's perceived inattention to the concerns expressed by students and others about the racism they perceive at the institution.

“To those who have suffered, I apologize on behalf of the university for being slow to respond to experiences that are unacceptable and offensive in our campus communities and in our society,” Cupps said in announcing the resignations. “Significant changes are required to move us forward. The board is committed to making those changes.”

Inside Higher Ed will have more on this situation tomorrow morning.

***

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday morning in response to ongoing racial tensions at the flagship campus, which is located in Columbia.

Students began calling for his resignation last week, culminating in black players on the football team promising to boycott games until Wolfe left campus. A graduate student also staged a hunger strike, saying it would last until Wolfe's resignation. The student, Jonathan Butler, announced shortly after Wolfe's resignation that he was ending his strike. And on Monday many faculty were encouraging students to walk out of their classes in protest of Wolfe's presidency. The Missouri Student Association formally called for his resignation on Monday.

Wolfe's detractors say he has not done enough to deal with racist incidents on campus.

“The frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don't doubt it for a second,” Wolfe said at a press conference announcing his resignation. “I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.”

Black students at the university have reported being on the receiving end of racial slurs. Many said that not enough was being done to recruit and retain black students. Students are also angry with Wolfe because when minority students approached his car during a homecoming parade, he declined to talk to them. Some say the car struck them. Wolfe has since apologized for the incident.

“Use my resignation to heal and start talking again,” Wolfe said during a brief address where he choked up several times. “Let’s move forward for a bright tomorrow.”

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Georgia chancellor wants to merge historically black Albany State with Darton State

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Georgia chancellor wants to combine historically black Albany State U with nearby Darton State, where most programs are at the associate-degree level.

UNC Faculty Upset by Raises for Chancellors

A dozen of the University of North Carolina System's 17 chancellors were given raises this year -- ranging from 8 to 19 percent -- by the Board of Governors, and several faculty aren't happy, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The chancellors' raises come at a time when faculty pay is stagnant. The recently passed state budget provides for a onetime, $750 bonus to all university system employees and faculty.

The East Carolina University Faculty Senate passed a resolution expressing “disapproval of the taxpayer-funded pay raises for top management at a time of stagnant taxpayer-funded wages for the rank and file who are major contributors to the work of the university.” And, according to the News & Observer, 270 people have signed an online petition that asks chancellors to reject the raises, with some petitioners calling the raises “shameful” and “greedy.”

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Wittenberg President Abruptly Resigns Amid Cutbacks

After leading Wittenberg University through two rounds of major cuts since she joined the institution in 2012, Laurie Joyner abruptly resigned from the presidency of the private Ohio college Tuesday. 

Upon her arrival, Joyner was tasked with improving the university's finances, and recently the college announced a plan to cut $6.5 million from its budget, according to an article in the Springfield News-Sun. “This decision to leave Wittenberg has not been easy,” Joyner said in a news release announcing her departure.

Added Wittenberg governing board chairperson Thomas Murray, in a statement: “Dr. Joyner is leaving Wittenberg University in a much stronger financial position and with talented staff members to continue the progress begun during her tenure.”

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Milwaukee technical college board under fire for lack of minority representation

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At Milwaukee Area Technical College, some students, faculty and community members feel the new, pro-business appointment process to the institution's board disenfranchises minorities.

NCAA: 86 Percent of Division I Athletes Graduate

College athletes are graduating at record rates, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association's metric known as the Graduation Success Rate. Eighty-six percent of Division I athletes who entered college in 2008 graduated within six years, according to new data released Wednesday by the NCAA. That's two percentage points higher than last year.

Men's basketball players earned a 77 percent GSR, up three points from last year, and women's basketball players earned a GSR of 89 percent, up two points. Football Bowl Subdivision football players graduated at a 75 percent rate, and 76 percent of Football Championship Subdivision players graduated within six years. The rate for white athletes increased one point this year to 90 percent, and African-American athletes graduated at a rate of 73 percent, up three points from last year.

The record rates come after a year of high-profile academic scandals involving big-time college athletics, including cases of academic fraud that may stem from the increasing pressure on colleges to improve the academic performance and graduation rates of their athletes. While NCAA critics question the accuracy of the association's academic measurements, Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, said in a statement that there's no question that athletes are graduating at higher rates than ever.

“Student athletes continue to make important gains in the classroom, and the NCAA and its member schools are thrilled with their success,” Emmert stated. “We also are proud of the role academic reforms have played in helping students earn their degrees. We will continue to support rules and policies that encourage students to progress toward graduation.”

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Northwestern philosophy professor resigns during termination hearing over sexual harassment findings

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In an unexpected move, a Northwestern professor found guilty of sexual harassment resigns during his termination hearing.

Court: Harris-Stowe State U Owes $4.85 Million to White Former Professor

Harris-Stowe State University must pay a former full-time education instructor $4.85 million in damages related to her racial bias claims, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. A St. Louis circuit court ruled that the historically black university discriminated against Beverly Wilkins, who is white, when it fired her in 2010.

Wilkins said one administrator in particular, Latisha Smith, a former dean and department head, failed to follow a reduction in force policy in pegging her for termination over several other black faculty members. The lawsuit alleges that Smith purged the department of all white faculty members, except one protected by tenure, and that she covered up her bias by deleting incriminating emails. Smith blamed budget cuts for Wilkins’s termination, but continued to hire additional faculty members -- including two to cover Wilkins’s classes, who together were paid more than her salary -- Michael Meyers, her lawyer, told the Dispatch.

Ronald Norwood, chairman of the Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents, called the ruling “regrettable” in a statement, and said the university was dedicated to moving forward after key leadership changes.

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