Dismissed Faculty Members Return to General Theological Seminary

Manhattan’s General Theological Seminary welcomed back on a provisional basis Monday seven of the eight faculty members it dismissed earlier this year, the The New York Times reported. The seminary’s Board of Trustees said the faculty members offered their de-facto resignation in September when they went on strike over what they called the poor leadership of the president and dean, the Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle. But the faculty members said they were illegally fired. The move was heavily criticized by alumni, members of the church and others in higher education, and now the seminary says it will work with the faculty members – who have been stripped of their tenure protections and have only been assured jobs until the end of the year – to address their concerns during a mediation process, through June. The one non-returning faculty member accepted a severance package, according to The Times

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How to Get Socially Conscious Students to Get Flu Shots

Research has shown that many college students, even those aware of the health benefits of flu shots, don't ever get them. Further, studies have shown that a financial incentive (say $10) gets many students to actually get the shot.

At Hampshire College, where students are proud of caring about the world, administrators are trying a different approach than a direct payment. For every student who gets a flu shot this week, three administrators will -- from their own pockets -- give $5 to Doctors Without Borders to support the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The funds are coming from Jonathan Lash, the president, Bryon McCrae, the dean of students, and Sara Aierstuck, the health and counseling services director.


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New presidents or provosts: Alamo Fairfield Lewis-Clark Menlo Merced Santiago Tidewater UM-Rochester

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  • Lynn Babington, dean of the School of Nursing at Fairfield University, has been promoted to senior vice president for academic affairs there.

Kentucky State Orders Cuts, Suspends Tenure Promotions

Kentucky State University, facing severe budget constraints due to falling enrollment, has announced a new round of cuts, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Administrative positions are being eliminated and 32 adjunct positions have been eliminated until full-time faculty members all have full course loads. In addition, the university has suspended the awarding of tenure to faculty members. Those on the tenure track but not tenured will undergo reviews to determine whether they can stay. Enrollment at the historically black college has dropped from 2,533 last fall to 1,869 this fall.

Peter A. Smith, a professor of English and president of the Faculty Senate, said this in an email to Inside Higher Ed: "All of the faculty I have spoken with applaud the president's plan to make the university's administrative structure more efficient and to reduce spending that is not critical to our educational mission. Much of what was in his plan was what faculty had been asking the previous administration to do for years. As for the plan to 'review' the non-tenured faculty to decide whether or not to re-employ them, we do have some questions and concerns that we hope will be addressed in the very near future. We will begin discussing these concerns with the administration in anticipation that we can all agree upon on a process that will be fair and focused on our mutual goal of providing our students with the best education possible."

Smith added that the suspension of tenure was not by itself a huge concern, provided that the suspension is for a brief period of time. But he said that faculty leaders had no knowledge that this was going to happen. "The major concern that I heard about that is that it came, quite literally, just as the University Tenure and Promotion Committee was concluding its work and issuing its recommendations," Smith said. "It had never been mentioned to faculty before Friday, so the timing is quite inopportune."


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Former Football Player Sues UNC Over Fake Courses

Michael McAdoo, formerly a football player at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has sued the institution, saying that by guiding him (and other athletes) to fake courses, it deprived him of an education, the Associated Press reported. The suit seeks to become a class action on behalf of other athletes who were steered into fake courses. The lawsuit says that coaches and others "enticed these football student-athletes to sign the agreements with promises of a legitimate UNC education.... Instead, UNC systematically funneled its football student-athletes into a 'shadow curriculum' of bogus courses which never met and which were designed for the sole purpose of providing enrollees high grades."


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Ex-Head of Foundation Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

The former executive director of the foundation that raises money for the Los Angeles Trade Technical College pleaded guilty Friday to felony embezzlement, The Los Angeles Times reported. Jiah "Rhea" Chung, 44, admitted that she took $50,500. She was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 60 days of work for CalTrans. But her lawyer questioned the fairness of the judicial findings. He questioned why some foundation officials denied that they authorized the payments. "The political climate is such that it’s so hard for anybody accused of any public integrity crime to get a fair hearing," the lawyer said. "You’re looking at a woman who really physically can’t fathom being able to withstand even a single day in prison."

Asexual student groups growing more common on campuses

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Some college centers that serve marginalized sexual or gender identities are officially recognizing another in their names and program offerings. 

6 Indiana Basketball Players Cited for Alcohol or Drugs

Six Indiana University men's basketball players have been cited for alcohol violations or have failed drug tests this year, including a student who was hospitalized Saturday after being struck by a vehicle driven by a teammate. That player had also been drinking, and neither student is of legal drinking age. Two other players were cited for underage consumption in April after trying to use false identification to enter a bar during the traditionally raucous weekend of IU's Little 500 bicycle race. One of those same players was suspended from the team this week after failing a drug test, as was a second player. In February, another player was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The news inspired several editorials this week, both locally and nationally, calling for IU coach Tom Crean to get his team under control or to be fired. "This isn't a problem," wrote the Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel. "This is an epidemic. And it falls on Crean for two reasons. One, he recruited these guys. Every one of them. He and his staff identified them in high school, targeted them, got to know them, signed them, brought them here. Screwed that up, clearly.

"Two, he's now their coach. Not their father, but something close to a father figure. As close as it gets on a college campus, honestly. He's their leader, mentor, role model. Or he should be. And if he's not? He's doing something wrong."

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Utah State Fired Administrator for Misconduct With Student

Utah State University fired Marvin Roberts, the university’s assistant vice president of student engagement and diversity, over allegations that he assaulted a student, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. According to a copy of the letter of dismissal, the student -- about 40 years younger than Roberts -- reported feeling pressured into sexual acts with Roberts, and that she stopped him eventually by saying she is a lesbian. He said that the interaction was consensual, and that he stopped short of intercourse when she indicated her sexual orientation. A lawyer for Roberts did not respond to an inquiry from the Tribune. The dismissal letter said that he had not attempted to refute the allegations.


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U. of California Wants to Resume Tuition Increases

Leaders of the University of California System, for the first time in four years, are proposing tuition increases, The Los Angeles Times reported. Officials say that increases of 5 percent a year are needed to provide more funds for a variety of goals, including increasing the number of California residents that the system's campuses admit. The proposal is expected to face skepticism from Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and students.



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