Voters Back Tax to Support New Medical School for UT-Austin

Voters in the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area supported a tax increase proposal on ballots Tuesday that will provide revenue to support a new medical school at the University of Texas at Austin, a longtime ambition for the flagship university that it has struggled to support financially.

The new tax is the final piece of the funding puzzle administrators said they needed secured before they moved ahead on the school. University administrators said Tuesday that they would appoint a committee to choose a dean, select a location for the school, and finalize partnerships. They said they hope to have a medical school and teaching hospital in place for a first class of 50 students by 2015.

Californians approve measure that will avert major education cuts

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Campus, faculty and student groups had pushed hard for Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative, whose failure would have triggered hundreds of millions in budget cuts.

Voters approve bond measures for college facilities

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Voters in New Jersey and in several community college districts approve measures.

Growing populations of underprepared students provide a new challenge for private colleges

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Small private colleges are preparing to deal with demographic shifts in their student populations.

New presidents provosts: Bakersfield Fullerton Palo Alto Roane State UMUC

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  • Sonya Christian, vice president and chief academic officer at Lane Community College, in Oregon, has been selected as president of Bakersfield College, in California.
  • José L. Cruz, vice president for higher education policy and practice at the Education Trust, in Washington, D.C., has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University at Fullerton.

Medical Schools Urged to Seek Different Types of Leaders

The Association of American Medical Colleges plans to launch new leadership training programs to train a new generation of administrators to lead medical education. Darrell G. Kirch, president of the association, announced the effort Sunday during his address at the group's annual meeting. He cited new research on leadership, and said that academic medicine needs to move away from the idea of seeking “one leader with special knowledge to be the 'sage at the top.'" Rather, he said, medical schools need to seek out people who can work to develop a wide base of talent at their institutions.

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Richmond Cuts Men's Soccer, Track to Add Lacrosse

The University of Richmond is eliminating its men’s soccer and track and field teams to make way for a men’s lacrosse team, The Washington Post reported Thursday, for unclear reasons but with help from a $3 million endowment spearheaded by major, anonymous donors. More than 50 students competed on the two teams that are to be cut at the end of this academic year. Only eight of the students -- all men’s soccer players -- were on athletic scholarship. A task force charged with reviewing the university’s sport offerings apparently reported in April that men’s lacrosse be added without eliminating any other sports, though it would have cost $2 million. Athletes and coaches said that they hadn’t been given a proper explanation, that they were misled about the implications of adding lacrosse, and that many students would transfer because they will no longer be able to compete.

(Note: This article has been updated from an earlier version to correct an error.)

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Spanier Indicted Over Failing to Report Sandusky

Graham Spanier, for years a leader in higher education as president of Pennsylvania State University, was indicted Thursday on charges of concealing information about suspected child abuse involving Jerry Sandusky, obstructing the criminal investigation of Sandusky, perjury before a grand jury and endangering the welfare of children. The charges came a year after the scandal involving Sandusky became public. While the former assistant football coach has been convicted of dozens of counts of sexual abuse of minors, Spanier is accused of failing to report Sandusky to authorities. "This is not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment. This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State, working to actively conceal the truth, with total disregard to the suffering of children," said Linda Kelly, Pennsylvania's attorney general, in a statement.

Spanier was fired by Penn State shortly after the scandal broke and has been on sabbatical with the assumption he would soon return to a faculty role. The university announced Thursday that Spanier was being placed on leave, and that Penn State would have no further comment about the legal proceedings.

One of Spanier's lawyers released a statement defending the former president. "Graham Spanier has committed no crime and looks forward to the opportunity to clear his good name and well-earned national reputation for integrity. This presentment is a politically motivated frame-up of an innocent man. And if these charges ever come to trial, we will prove it."

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Saint Louis U. Faculty Senate Votes No Confidence in President

The full Faculty Senate at Saint Louis University has voted 51-4 on a measure of no confidence in the university's president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Faculty members are angry over a proposal (since withdrawn) that they say would have effectively eliminated tenure protections, and there have been a number of clashes in recent years over the university's direction. A faculty compilation of documents and articles about the conflict may be found here. A spokesman for the university called the vote "unjustified," adding that "during the past 25 years, Father Biondi has led SLU through a remarkable era of progress, improving academics, increasing the size and quality of the student body, transforming the campus, and enhancing SLU's national and international reputation."

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President Ousted at State College of Florida

Under pressure from his board, Lars Hafner agreed Tuesday to resign as president of the State College of Florida, The Bradeton Herald reported. Two trustees -- who were not among those who clashed wtih Hafner -- then announced that they were quitting. Hafner's supporters, including many who work at the college, say he was a strong advovate for the institution and helped it expand. His board critics were appointees of Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, and said Hafner had failed to practice fiscal conservatism.


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