Suffolk U board moves to fire president, despite her backing from students, professors and alumni

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Board of Suffolk U seeks to fire Margaret McKenna, institution's fifth president in five years, seven months into her tenure. Students, professors and alumni rally behind her.

Over Faculty Objections, Cornell Creates Business College

Cornell University's Board of Trustees voted to establish a College of Business, the university announced Saturday.

The new College of Business will include Cornell’s three existing accredited business programs: the School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Cornell administrators hope the decision will spur more collaboration between the schools while also strengthening the university’s reputation.

The decision came amid protests from Cornell faculty and alumni. After the change was first announced, a group of alumni created a petition in opposition to the idea, some saying that it would affect their donations to Cornell. And the Faculty Senate, worried about shared governance issues with the program being created before academic issues had been determined, asked the Board of Trustees to table the proposal. Instead, the board voted unanimously in favor of the change.

Many of the details of the new college -- like governance and academic processes -- will be finalized over the next few months by leaders and faculty members from the three existing schools.

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Rhodes Statue to Remain at Oxford's Oriel College

The University of Oxford has decided not to take down a statue of Cecil Rhodes at its Oriel College despite alumni threats to withdraw millions in donations, the college announced. The statue, like a plaque about Rhodes elsewhere on the campus, has been caught up in the debate that has swept campuses in Britain, the U.S. and elsewhere about honoring historical figures whose pasts included racist or other detrimental acts or statements.

Rhodes, the British imperialist whose bequest endowed the Rhodes Scholarships, has been at the center of the debate in Britain. In December, Oriel College officials said they had begun the process of removing the plaque honoring Rhodes and would review the status of the statue, describing the plaque's wording praising Rhodes as "inconsistent with our principles."

But in the announcement Thursday, Oriel officials said the "listening exercise" the college had undertaken in December had elicited an "enormous amount of input," overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the statue in place. "The college believes the recent debate has underlined that the continuing presence of these historical artifacts is an important reminder of the complexity of history and of the legacies of colonialism still felt today. By adding context, we can help draw attention to this history, do justice to the complexity of the debate and be true to our educational mission."

British newspaper reports indicated that Oxford and Oriel have received threats to withdraw millions of dollars in gifts if the statue was removed, though the college's statement dismissed the idea that financial considerations were a factor.

Rhodes Must Fall, the student group leading the opposition, said in a statement on Facebook that the college's decision "breached the undertakings it gave to all students in its December statement. In December, Oriel said that the plaque's display was 'inconsistent with' the college's 'principles.' It seems that Oriel no longer believes this to be the case. This recent move is outrageous, dishonest and cynical. This is not over."

Oregon State among few institutions to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits

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Earlier this month, Oregon State University began accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at campus grocery stores. Few other colleges participate in the program.

Rhode Island Settles for $1.45M in Baseball Player's Death

The University of Rhode Island has agreed to pay $1.45 million to the family of a baseball player who died after collapsing during a team workout in 2011. The family's lawyer told the Associated Press that the settlement ends a "hard fought" wrongful death lawsuit first brought against the university more than three years ago. The university also announced that it will establish a scholarship in the player's memory.

While advocating for legislation that would mandate automated external defibrillators be readily available at all Rhode Island athletics events, the player's mother, Michele Ciancola, said her son died of heatstroke and because Rhode Island athletic trainers did not have access to a defibrillator. She said her son's body temperature spiked to 107 degrees, and he was resuscitated five times before dying three days later at a hospital.

"This horrific chain of events provides you with a description of the pain and suffering that my young, healthy son endured," Ciancola said.

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Former College Football Player Sues Fantasy Sports Websites

A former Northern Illinois University football player filed federal lawsuits Thursday against DraftKings and FanDuel, alleging that the two fantasy sports companies have unfairly profited off the names of college football and basketball players.

The lawsuit also states that fantasy sports websites have "immeasurably altered the college football and basketball environment" and left athletes in a state of "fear and concern of the risk of being contacted by speculators who have a financial interest" in their performances and who may pressure athletes into cheating.

"In addition to the reasonable concern that speculators may urge that [football and basketball players] adjust their performance in response to the speculators' stated desires," the lawsuit argues, "Defendant's unlawful business model puts [athletes] at unwanted risk of contact with speculators whose interests align with corruption in the form of fixed outcomes and point-shaving."

The former football player, Akeem Daniels, is seeking $5 million in damages from each company, as well as a ban on the companies using the names of college athletes.

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New presidents or provosts: Albany Antioch Delaware Fort Valley Santa Monica Southern Mississippi SEMU Spartanburg Texas State Wooster

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  • Dennis Assanis, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has been chosen as president of the University of Delaware.
  • Sarah Bolton, dean of the college and professor of physics at Williams College, in Massachusetts, has been named president of the College of Wooster, in Ohio.

Groups seek stronger role for employers in the accreditation process

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Businesses should have a stronger voice in accreditation, while also developing their own alternative to the process, say the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USA Funds.

Duncan, Tagliabue Join Knight Commission on Athletics

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics now counts among its members a former National Football League commissioner and a former U.S. secretary of education. The commission on Wednesday announced three new appointments: Paul Tagliabue, who was commissioner of the NFL for nearly two decades; Arne Duncan, who recently stepped down as U.S. secretary of education; and Anna Spangler Nelson, a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors who is also chair of Spangler Companies, a private investment firm.

"The Knight Commission understands very well both the economics of higher education and the escalating costs of intercollegiate athletics," Tagliabue said in a statement. "I look forward to participating in its work that can help shape new policies re-emphasizing the educational opportunities and priorities for student-athletes."

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Study: 1 in 4 College Athletes Show Signs of Depression

Nearly one quarter of college athletes participating in a study reported "clinically relevant" levels of depressive symptoms, according to a new article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Female athletes were about two times more likely to experience the symptoms than their male peers.

Researchers at Drexel University and Kean University surveyed 465 athletes at an anonymous Division I institution over three years and assessed the data using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Nearly 30 percent of female athletes showed symptoms of depression, compared to 18 percent of male athletes. Female track and field athletes had the highest prevalence of symptoms.

"This study shows that the rates of depression among athletes are probably comparable to rates in the general college population," said Eugene Hong, the study's principal investigator and an associate dean at Drexel University College of Medicine. "And it highlights the need for increased mental health screening for athletes as part of standard sports medicine care."

Earlier this month, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Sports Science Institute released new guidelines instructing colleges on how to best address mental health concerns of athletes. Increased mental health screenings were among the suggestions.

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