A growing number of colleges have created student aid programs that direct small amounts of money, sometimes as little as $300, to students who are struggling to pay for tuition or a financial emergency. NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education on Wednesday released a study on emergency aid programs at 523 institutions from various sectors of higher education.
Common forms of such aid include emergency loans, campus vouchers, food pantries and completion scholarships, according to the report. Most of the emergency aid programs (82 percent) have been in place for at least three years. But colleges tend not to advertise emergency aid beyond word of mouth, according to NASPA, and the need for such programs outstrips available funds. The study included five suggestions for improving the administration and impact of emergency aid:
A common language to describe and discuss emergency aid
More policy guidance for administering emergency grants and loans
Standardized procedures to guide the development of new and existing programs
Improved data usage to identify students who need aid and to assess the effect of programs on student success
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville will pay $2.48 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by eight women against the university's football program, The Tennessean reported Tuesday.
The women reported that they had been assaulted by six athletes -- including five football players -- and that the university and its athletic department largely ignored the behavior. University officials found five of the athletes to be responsible for sexual misconduct but allowed them to remain on campus, graduate or transfer to other colleges. Two of the players are currently awaiting trial but have pleaded not guilty to the rape charges. The lawsuit also accused Butch Jones, the university's head football coach, of calling a player a traitor after he helped one of the women who said she had been raped.
The university admitted to no wrongdoing in the settlement but will allow a special independent commission to review how it responds to sexual assaults, including the university's use of the Administrative Procedures Act, a disciplinary process criticized for favoring athletes. The university also agreed to no longer provide football players with a list of attorneys when they are accused of assault.
As part of the settlement, the women will withdraw two federal complaints over the university's handling of sexual assaults filed with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, though that does not mean the office will necessarily end its investigation.
Anthony Beebe, president of San Diego City College, has been named superintendent/president of Santa Barbara City College.
Roger W. Davis, associate vice president of instruction and academic services at Rockland Community College, has been appointed executive vice president and provost at Community College of Beaver County, in Pennsylvania.
Kansas State University must investigate accusations of sexual assault at off-campus fraternity houses, the federal government stated in documents filed Friday in support of two students who are suing the university.
In their federal lawsuits, two female students said they were raped at two fraternity houses in 2014 and 2015 and that the university violated Title IX -- the gender discrimination law that instructs colleges how to handle accusations of sexual assault -- when officials did not investigate the claims. The university argued in court that the lawsuits should be dismissed because it is not responsible for reports of rape at off-campus locations.
But the U.S. Department of Education stated in a 2011 Dear Colleague letter that Title IX does require colleges and universities to investigate such cases, specifically citing university-recognized off-campus fraternity houses.
“The continuing effects of a student-on-student rape, including the constant fear of exposure to one’s assailant, can render a student’s educational environment hostile,” the government filings said, according to The New York Times. “Thus, a school must respond to allegations of sexual assault in fraternity activities to determine if a hostile environment exists there or in any other education program or activity.”
The Democratic National Committee last Friday released a draft party platform that included no surprises on higher education. The draft's roughly 500 words on the issue follow the broad brush strokes of proposals Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee, has made on the campaign trail, including plans to make community colleges free and to "simplify and expand" access to income-based repayment while also cutting interest rates for federal student loans. Also included were pledges to strengthen minority-serving institutions and to crack down on for-profits, with the draft mentioning the unaccredited Trump University, which was not eligible to receive federal aid, in its section on for-profits.
Loyola University Chicago has fired Sheryl Swoopes as women's basketball coach, after some players complained about what they saw as mistreatment and others left the team, The Chicago Tribune reported. Five former players told the Tribune in April about their problems with Swoopes. They said she threatened players with taking away their scholarships, and that her dealings with them led them to leave the team. Players also described Swoopes as crying during halftimes and practices, and once sitting on a chair in silence for an entire practice.
Swoopes issued a statement through a public relations firm defending herself. "There is nothing in my behavior, past nor present, as a coach or professional that reflects anything other than structure, encouragement and respect for others," she said. "In the recent months, there have been accusations and false attacks made of my character and coaching. I stand proudly in my values, actions and intent of representing the best interests for students -- as athletes, but more importantly as individuals."
Some professors at Temple University are protesting the decision to remove Hai-Lung Dai as provost this week without any public explanation, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Faculty members say the university should explain its actions. A university spokesman said Temple doesn't comment on personnel matters, but "we do not take these matters lightly." A petition organized by faculty members states that "actions of this magnitude must be explained and cannot seem to be made arbitrarily."