College President Challenges Students on Madden NFL

Scott Dalrymple, the new president of Columbia College in Missouri, is marking his forthcoming inaugural in an unusual way. He is organizing a student match on the popular sports video game Madden NFL. Then he will play the winner, and if the student wins, Dalrymple will pay for all of his or her textbooks for a year. Dalrymple issued his challenge in the video below, which moves quickly from "Pomp and Circumstance" to trash-talking about teams that the president (a Buffalo Bills fan) does not favor.



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Florida State Faculty Continue to Oppose Politician as Next President

Faculty at Florida State University are continuing a months-long struggle against a well-connected politician who may become the university's next president. 

Faculty have long said John Thrasher, a state senator and former speaker of the House who is also chairman of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s reelection campaign, has benefited from his connections and back-room dealings. Now, Thrasher, whose name has been in the mix all summer, is one of four finalists. The Faculty Senate approved a motion Wednesday that called upon the Board of Trustees "not to hire Senator Thrasher as the next president of FSU. Senator Thrasher lacks the stated qualifications required for the position, whereas the other three finalists meet those qualifications."

Thrasher has a law degree, the other three finalists have Ph.Ds. They are: Richard Marchase, a vice president at Alabama at Birmingham; Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System; and Michele Wheatly, the former provost of West Virginia University. 

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Steven Salaita speaks out about lost job offer at Illinois

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In his first public remarks since losing his job offer, controversial scholar says he still wants to teach at U. of Illinois.

Princeton Weighs Ideas to Help Low-Income Students

Princeton University may soon take several steps to create a campus that is more inclusive to lower-income students, including featuring socioeconomic diversity in freshman orientation and diversity programming, incorporating sensitivity to socioeconomic status in residential housing assignments, and forming a standing committee of administrators to consider polices that affect the educational and social experiences of low-income and first-generation students. The steps are part of a list of recommendations issued Tuesday by a working group appointed by former President Shirley Tilghman and chaired by Valerie Smith, Princeton's undergraduate dean.

While the group found that Princeton's admission and financial aid polices "enabled students from across the socioeconomic spectrum to participate fully in the academic and residential life of the university," it also identified academic challenges that have a "disparate impact on students from lower-income backgrounds." The report noted that students from those backgrounds also faced financial constraints that shut them out of some aspects of campus life, leading them to feel less accepted at the university. The group also recommended:

  • Considering alternative systems for measuring academic performance during freshman year, such as "covering" first-year grades by providing students with complete grades but only reporting on transcripts whether they passed or failed a course.
  • Centralizing systems for monitoring students' academic difficulties.
  • Highlighting the existence of courses that address issues concerning social and economic inequality.
  • Ensuring that panels during the university's Freshman Families Weekend feature socioeconomically diverse students and address concerns most pressing to less prosperous parents.

"Some of the recommendations are already being implemented, and Dean Smith and her colleagues are pursuing some of the others," Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton's president, stated. "Some of the recommendations would require additional consideration before we could decide whether to proceed with them, and in some cases we would need to raise the necessary funds."

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Court Backs Right of Oklahoma to Suspend Athlete

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has backed the right of the University of Oklahoma to impose a one-year suspension on a football player, Frank Shannon, who was accused of sexual assault, NewsOK reported. A lower court gave Shannon a stay of the suspension, but the Supreme Court said that there was no authority to do so, and that the university was within its rights.


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NCAA lifts Penn State's postseason ban two years early

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The NCAA has reduced some of its sanctions against Penn State, allowing the university's football team to participate in postseason games two years earlier than originally decided.

Despite ban, paid fantasy sports leagues still popular among NCAA athletes

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Eight of 10 college athletes don't think participating in paid fantasy sports leagues is a violation of NCAA rules. They're wrong.

Trustee Sorry for Saying Faculty Who Write Anonymously 'Can Go to Hell'

Garth Lovvorn, a trustee of Alabama's Athens State University, has apologized for saying that faculty members who send anonymous letters of complaint "can go to hell," The Times Daily reported. Many faculty members -- with and without their names attached -- have been complaining about the way the university is run. In an email to the campus, Loworn apologized for his "outburst." He said that he was trying to say "that I wanted cohesiveness between the administration, the faculty and the board and together we can turn the morale problem around."


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Hazing Death Leads Northridge to Shut Down Fraternity

California State University at Northridge has shut down the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity after completing a report on a student's death during the summer, The Los Angeles Times reported. The student was on a long forced hike without adequate water, the report found. "Hazing is stupid, senseless, it is dangerous and it is against the law in California," said Dianne F. Harrison, said. "It is a vestige of toxic thinking in which somehow it is O.K. to degrade, to humiliate and potentially harm others.... It will not be tolerated."

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Advice on interviewing gay candidates for academic jobs

Karen M. Whitney and Jon Derek Croteau offer guideposts for interacting with candidates and finding the best talent for key academic positions.

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