U.Mass. Faces $3B in Debt

The University of Massachusetts System, like many colleges and universities, has used debt financing in recent years to add and renovate facilities. But an article in The Boston Globe raises questions about the impact of using so much debt. The current debt level is $3 billion. This year, the university will pay $203 million in debt and interest, up from $137 million five years ago.


Bob Jones Chancellor Sorry He Urged Stoning of Gays

The chancellor of Bob Jones University on Saturday apologized for a statement he made in 1980, while president of the university, that gay people should be stoned to death. At the time, Bob Jones III told a reporter, "I'm sure this will be greatly misquoted, but it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel's day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands."

For several years, a group urging Bob Jones University to stop discriminating against gay people has been gathering signatures on a petition to ask Bob Jones III to apologize. On Saturday, he did, posting this on the university's blog: "I take personal ownership of this inflammatory rhetoric. This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago. It is antithetical to my theology and my 50 years of preaching a redeeming Christ who came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger -- were my name not attached. I cannot erase them, but wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners."

As the statement suggests, the university continues to call gay sexuality sinful, in violation of university rules for students or employees. The relevant university policy states in part: "Bob Jones University believes that any form of sexual immorality -- such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s biological sex -- is sinful and offensive to God."

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Adjunct writing instructors advocate for a new kind of activism at annual meeting

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Adjunct writing instructors argue that current activism focuses too much on what adjuncts lack, rather than what they bring to the composition classroom.

U.S. universities dominate in international patents

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American universities continue to dominate in numbers of applications, but submissions from other countries are going up.

California Announces Winners in $50 Million Innovation Awards

The office of California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday announced how it plans to distribute a new $50 million fund for innovation in higher education. The idea was to pick the best ideas that bubbled up from faculty and administrators at the state's public institutions. College were directed to submit proposals that attempt to increase degree production, encourage the acceptance of transfer credit and help students graduate on time. Brown's office picked 14 winners, with awards ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million.

Yeshiva Merges Faculties of Men's, Women's Colleges

Yeshiva University announced Thursday that it is merging the faculties of its men's undergraduate college (Yeshiva College) and its women's undergraduate college (Stern College for Women). At the same time, the two colleges will maintain separate campuses and separate courses. But until now, each college had its own departments. Now merged departments will serve both colleges. A spokesman said that the merger of the faculties would not lead to job cuts, but that financial difficulties at the university could lead to a small number of cuts.

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Napolitano Apologizes for Calling Protest 'Crap'

Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California System, on Thursday apologized for a remark caught on tape the day before in which she called a student protest "crap," The Los Angeles Times reported. Napolitano made the remark when students interrupted a Board of Regents meeting, standing on chairs, shouting, taking off their shirts and throwing fake money. On Thursday, Napolitano apologized, saying, "I’m sorry for using a word I don't usually use," and asking for "empathy and understanding" about the context of a remark she thought was a private comment to a regent.

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New York U. hires Oxford leader as its new president

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New York University picks head of Oxford University to replace longtime president John Sexton.

Keiser University to Buy Northwood University Campus

Keiser University announced Wednesday that it will buy Northwood University's campus in West Palm Beach, Fla. Keiser is a nonprofit university with 18 campuses across Florida. It converted from a for-profit to a nonprofit in 2011, and now enrolls roughly 20,000 students. Northwood is a Michigan-based nonprofit institution. All of Northwood's almost 600 students at the West Palm Beach campus will have the opportunity to become Keiser students later this year, the university said.

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Obama Wants More 'Fluid' College Hoops

President Obama gave an interview to ESPN as part of the unveiling of his picks for the N.C.A.A. men's basketball tournament. In the interview he called for the N.C.A.A. to change the rules of the game by shortening the shot clock to 30 seconds from the current 35, as well as to move back the three-point line, which would allow perimeter players to drive inside more easily. The president said his preferred changes would make the college game more like that of the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.).

"The fact of the matter is I like how basketball is going in the N.B.A. because it's fluid," he said. "What [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich did with San Antonio I think is being replicated now with Atlanta and Golden State, and you're seeing a lot of teams move in that direction. I'd like to see college basketball get back to that. It's a fast game -- let's get it down to 30 seconds at minimum."

Obama's bracket had the undefeated University of Kentucky team going all the way and beating Villanova University in the final. He picked the University of Arizona and Duke University to join those two teams in the Final Four.

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