Impressive Arrival at a Presidential Investiture

Fritz Erickson's investiture as president of Northern Michigan University featured such traditional moments as an inaugural speech and the board chair presenting the chain of the office. But the ceremony started with a video showing a more innovative way to arrive on the scene.



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Three Killed Near UNC Chapel Hill

Three people, including students at University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University, were shot and killed near UNC's Chapel Hill campus Tuesday. The university sent out a number of safety alerts throughout the evening, though police and UNC offered little detail into the nature of the shootings. "We are sensitive to the impact an incident of this nature has on campus and in the community," the university stated. "We understand you want to know the facts as quickly as possible. At the same time, we must respect the job our Chapel Hill police have as they investigate this crime."

Police released the names of the victims early Wednesday, and charged 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks with first degree murder. The victims were identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, a UNC dentistry student; Yusor Mohammad, Barakat's wife and a prospective UNC student; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, a student at NC State. All three victims are believed to have been Muslim, fueling speculation that the students may have been targeted for their religion and prompting a number of Twitter users, frustrated at what they believe to be a lack of media coverage, to begin tweeting out the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter. Hicks identifies as an atheist, and is vocally anti-religion.

In a statement Wednesday, police said they believe "the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking," but that they are investigating whether religion played a role in the killing. “We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case," Chris Blue, chief of the Chapel Hill Police Department, said. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these young people who lost their lives so needlessly."

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Students criticize Columbia's new sexual assault prevention efforts

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Columbia is introducing a new "sexual respect" education program -- said to include writing poetry and reflection papers -- but activists say the program will do little to prevent sexual assault.

Institute aims to give faculty primer of higher-ed economics

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A project from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest tries to bridge the divide between administration and faculty with primers on college finances.

Competency-Based Education Network Adds Members

The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) announced Monday that it has added 15 new college members. The Lumina-funded group now features 30 institutions and 4 public college systems, all of which either offer competency-based degrees or are creating them. The C-BEN was created for participants to share information on the emerging form of higher education. New members include several community colleges, a midsized for-profit chain and large universities, including the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Texas System.

Booking Agency Blacklists University

A booking agency that represents musician Jack White has reportedly blacklisted the University of Oklahoma after the student paper printed excerpts of White's contract ahead of a concert there last week. The Oklahoma Daily wrote two articles after obtaining the contract through the state's open records law. One article highlighted White's $80,000 fee while another, snarkier article detailed his tour rider, a document that included stipulations for a steak dinner, "aged salami with a sharp knife" and "FRESH HOME-MADE GUACAMOLE" for the band ("we want it chunky"). The rider also included a detailed recipe for the guacamole and a ban on bananas, stating that "this is a NO BANANA TOUR."

In response, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment -- the agency that booked White at the university and that also represents acts like the Foo Fighters, Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys -- told the university's Campus Activities Council that it will no longer book artists at Oklahoma until its "policy is modified not to disseminate private information," according to The Oklahoma Daily. William Morris Endeavor Entertainment did not return a request for comment. 

White's management, Monotone, Inc., released a statement Friday saying it and White have not blacklisted the university and clarifying that White did not write the rider himself. "We're not even sure he likes guacamole," Monotone stated. The company also referred to the actions of the student newspaper as "unfortunate, unprofessional and very unwelcoming."

"His contract wasn’t something we leaked," Emily Sharp, the newspaper's assistant arts editor, wrote on Wednesday, after White also called out the staff during the concert. "It is public information that any of you could request. Many newspapers show contracts of celebrities that come into town; this isn’t something The Daily did that’s out of the ordinary. It’s not a hidden document, and it’s not something we had to dig to get. It is available to the public."


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Iowa players file Title IX complaint over dismissal of field hockey coach

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Four field hockey players charge U. of Iowa fired a winning coach because her tough, demanding style -- standard for coaches of male athletes -- was viewed as inappropriate for women.

Colleges start new efforts, rules to confront spread of measles and other contagious diseases

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In response to measles outbreak, colleges make new push on vaccinations. Meanwhile, norovirus spreads in Virginia.

Union sets 'aspirational goal' for adjunct pay

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It's widely acknowledged that adjunct instructors are underpaid, but just how much do they deserve? A new union proposal shocks some, but others say it's appropriate.

2 Providence Students Hospitalized With Meningitis

Two students at Providence College have been hospitalized with meningitis, The Providence Journal reported. Antibiotics are being provided to those who came into contact with the students. Guilford College also reported this week that a student was diagnosed with meningitis.


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