The University of Michigan has reportedly offered Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League, a six-year $48 million contract to become head football coach at Michigan, Sports Illustrated reported. The article noted that there are several reports about the $48 million figure, and one report of a $49 million figure. Assuming the former would mean $8 million a year. That would be more than the $6.9 million a year paid to Nick Saban of the University of Alabama, currently the college football coach earning more than any other.
The student government at the University of Redlands has cut funding for its student newspaper amid a controversy over a disputed quote in an article about a major gift, The Redlands Daily Facts reported. The article was about a $35 million gift for scholarships, and one quote (now contested) suggested that the funds were likely to go to "rich, white males." The original article can be found here. The leaders of the student paper, The Bulldog Weekly, have on Facebook accused the administration of censoring the publication by working with the student government to cut off funds and suspend publication. University officials say that the suspension of operations reflects many concerns about the paper, not just those over a single quote.
Marcia Welsh, president of East Stroudsburg University, is being both criticized and defended for posing -- while delivering holiday cookies to students in dormitories -- with a group of shirtless male students whose group raises money through dancing in the style of the film "Magic Mike," PennLive.com reported. Welsh posed for a photo and posted it to Twitter. Critics say that Welsh is making light of legitimate concerns about sexual harassment on campuses, and that a male president would not pose with a similarly clad group of female students. Defenders say that critics are just trying to attack the president because of administration-faculty disputes.
Submitted by Jake New on December 18, 2014 - 3:00am
West Virginia University's athletic director, Oliver Luck, is leaving the university to join the National Collegiate Athletic Association as its executive vice president of regulatory affairs, the NCAA announced Wednesday. The newly created position brings all of the national office's regulatory functions -- including academic affairs, eligibility, and enforcement -- together "under one umbrella," the NCAA said. Mark Emmert, the association's president, first announced the new position when Jim Isch, the NCAA's chief operating officer, retired in August. Luck will effectively replace Isch, as Emmert took the COO's retirement as an opportunity to restructure his staff, eliminating that position to create the new regulatory affairs role.
Luck, who supports paying college athletes for the use of their likeness and was a respected athletics director among the Power Five conferences as they've sought a greater level of autonomy, said Wednesday that "this is a time of fundamental change" in intercollegiate athletics. “The challenges both internal and external to the NCAA present a unique opportunity to help shape the landscape for hundreds of thousands of young men and women," he said. "It is an honor to join President Emmert, the NCAA staff, and our member institutions in this journey."
Alamo Colleges is backing down for now from a controversial plan to eliminate majors from students’ degrees, Fox 29 reported. Earlier this fall, faculty members at all of Alamo’s San Antonio campuses received word that the colleges’ longstanding, non-vocational academic programs – something like majors – would be restructured and would no longer appear on students’ diplomas. Instead, Alamo said it would issue two more generic degrees: an associate of arts and an associate of science, with no additional program information. Administrators said the change was aimed at improving the student rate of transfer to four-year institutions, but opposed faculty members and students said the change made Alamo degrees less meaningful and marketable, and was decided without their input.
Students campaigned against the change throughout the fall with the help of local community groups, Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance, bringing their concerns to the colleges’ Board of Trustees, Fox 29 and several instructors said. Prior to a board meeting this week, Leslie sent an email to faculty members saying he would reinstate some arts and science degrees. He said postponing the plan provides an opportunity to “reset” and allow for “additional time to engage student, faculty, staff and other stakeholder leadership across the Alamo Colleges."
Leslie did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. In an interview, a tenured faculty member at San Antonio College -- who did not want to give her name or discipline, citing concerns about job security -- said faculty members were “optimistic but extremely cautious” about the announcement. The instructor said faculty members, many of whom previously opposed a proposal by Leslie to require a class on Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, haven’t been successful in their opposition to various changes on campus, “because we’ve been so demonized in our district.” But, she said, “When you bring the students into it, it changes the chemistry of the whole thing.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an adjunct instructor of English at Baruch College of the City University of New York to be suspended, following the instructor’s arrest this weekend for allegedly assaulting two police officers during an anti-policy brutality protest on the Brooklyn Bridge, the New York Observer reported. De Blasio also reportedly said that Eric Linsker, the instructor, should be “removed from his position” if found guilty. Linsker was charged with assault in the second degree, rioting in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to the Observer. He allegedly tried to throw a metal garbage can at officers, who tried to arrest him before protesters intervened and injured the officers. Linsker did not return a request for comment.
Via email, a Baruch spokeswoman said that the college supports the “exercise of freedom of speech while deploring violence of any kind.” She said the investigation into Linsker’s actions is ongoing, but as of right now Linsker is scheduled to teach next semester (the fall term already is over). “The college will review all of the facts as they become available in order to decide if any additional action is warranted,” the spokeswoman said.
The Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s faculty union, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of University Professors, and other labor groups, said in a statement that it “vigorously defends” its members rights to due process under the union contract. “While we recognize that Mr. Linsker has been arrested and charged with serious unlawful acts, he has not yet been tried or found guilty of any crime,” the union said. “It would be premature and inappropriate for CUNY to take disciplinary action against him at this time.”
Ball State University’s Board of Trustees are worried that a controversial plan to weed out low-performing tenured faculty members is moving along too slowly, The Star Press reported. Terry King, Ball State’s provost, said last academic year that an official policy would be submitted by this fall, but he told trustees this month that the university needs more time. King said a “very small” number of problem professors already have been removed from their classrooms. But even if they don’t improve through mediation, they can’t be terminated without an official policy. A Ball State spokeswoman said the university has no additional comment.
Submitted by Jake New on December 17, 2014 - 3:00am
Legislation that would ban the unionization of college athletes passed the Michigan Senate Tuesday. The bill would require all college athletes to be classified as "students," preventing them from being classified as employees of the state's public universities. “The issue of student athletes and unions is one that will require study, and the governor will give the bill a thorough review once it is presented to determine whether or not he should sign it into law,” said David Murray, a spokesman for Michigan's governor, told Michigan Live.
There's been no indication that such an attempt to unionize was taking place at Michigan's public universities, Michigan Live reported, and the legislation was apparently in response to the ongoing unionization efforts of athletes at Northwestern University, a private university in Illinois. “The Republican Legislature has done so much union busting over the years that now they've resorted to busting unions that don’t even exist," a spokesman for Progress Michigan, a progressive marketing group, said.