administrators

Politicians Request Meeting Records From UNC Board

North Carolina legislators are seeking notes from a closed session of the University of North Carolina governing board in which members gave 12 of the system's 17 chancellors raises.

The request reflects growing frustration of the governing board by legislators, several of whom think the board is too secretive. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger told The News & Observer that the request reflects an "open meetings issue" reflective of "a number of other issues" the Legislature has had with the board.

The UNC board decided Friday to give the Legislature the records, according to the Observer, but some members said it was an intrusion on the board's autonomy.

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NCAA Chief Warns Colleges on Academics

INDIANAPOLIS -- It is the job of universities with big-time sports programs -- not the National Collegiate Athletic Association -- to ensure that athletes are taking real courses and earning high-quality degrees, the NCAA's president told a roomful of public university presidents and other administrators Sunday.

Mark Emmert, the association's president, said that significant increases in the academic preparation of freshmen at many colleges and universities have put athletes -- whose academic profile has changed little -- at a growing disadvantage, creating a "mismatch" on "a lot of campuses." Athletes are competing in the classroom with ever-stronger students while spending "spectacular amounts of time" on their sports. That tension makes it incumbent on institutional leaders to ensure that "we are not cheating young men and women by not providing them academic programs of high quality," Emmert said.

"It's not the role of a national athletic association to say what an English course has to be to have integrity," he said. "Some people somehow think the NCAA ought to be able to walk onto campus" and play that role. "But that’s your job; you have to make sure you’re doing it."

Emmert's comments come at a time when the NCAA is preparing to increase its eligibility standards for athletes, and amid a rash of academic scandals that some attribute to the pressure on colleges to keep academically underprepared athletes eligible.

Court Upholds Right of Towson to Keep Player Off Team

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has upheld the right of Towson University to keep off the football team an athlete who nearly died when on the team two years ago, The Baltimore Sun reported. Gavin Class was on the team when he collapsed. While Class was suffering from extremely high temperature, his heart briefly stopped and his liver failed. He has since restored his health and wants to return to the football team, with support from his medical team. But Towson's medical team maintains that he remains too high a risk, and that the university is not equipped to provide the monitoring needed to assure his safety.

A lower court gave Class the right to return to the team. But the appeals court said, “Giving deference to Towson University’s judgment, as we are required to do, we uphold its determination.”

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Rider, Faculty Union Reach Deal to Avoid Cuts

Rider University and its faculty union have agreed on a deal that will freeze professors' wages for two years so that the university can abandon planned layoffs and program cuts, NJ.com reported. The cuts would have included 14 full-time faculty positions, an unknown number of part-time adjunct slots and more than a dozen majors. Rider said that the two years of faculty salary freezes will free up $2 million.

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Land-grant university group backs adaptive learning with new grant project

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A public university group is backing adaptive learning, with grants to encourage universities to use the personalized digital courseware across multiple introductory courses.

UNC Fires Two More in Scandal Over Sham Courses

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday announced it had fired two more employees in a scandal over fake courses in which many athletes enrolled and received credit despite not doing any work, The News & Observer reported. The dismissals bring to six the number of employees who have lost their jobs in the scandal. A former associate dean was allowed to keep her job as a faculty member, but not to return to an administrative role. That official says the university's findings about her are unfair.

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Mitch Daniels draws praise and criticism for his comments on Yale and U of Missouri

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Mitch Daniels criticizes two universities that have struggled with racial tensions and free speech issues. Some are praising him, but many are angry -- and he'll face a demonstration on campus today.

U of Louisville President Apologizes Again

James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville, has been much criticized (and through a spokeswoman apologized two weeks ago) for posing with his staff wearing stereotypical Mexican clothing and sombreros for a party last month (right). But on Thursday, in a time of heightened scrutiny of college leaders on inclusiveness, he issued a new, personal apology to students and faculty members. He pledged -- by raising new money, not by reallocating -- to provide more funds for financial aid for Latino students and to recruit more Latino faculty members.

He pledged to use his mistake to change the university to be more committed to diversity. "I deeply regret the Halloween costumes worn by my staff and me. We made a mistake wearing a costume that misrepresents the culture of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans and does not foster the inclusion and diversity efforts that we have worked hard to build over the past 13 years on our campus," he wrote. "I, and I alone, take full responsibility for this incident. I have prayed for God’s forgiveness, and I ask for your forgiveness as well. We now have an opportunity to use this incident to bring about meaningful changes that will strengthen us as a campus."

UW Madison TAs Protest Working Conditions

Teaching assistants at the University of Wisconsin at Madison are planning to protest next week over a proposed restructuring of their working conditions and compensation. The students say they were not consulted, but rather learned of the plans to cap their maximum workload at 20 hours from emails directed to faculty members and administrators. The Teaching Assistants’ Association alleges the changes constitute a violation of the university’s promise to uphold its labor contract even after 2011 legislation pushed by Governor Scott Walker challenging public employee unions.

“The proposal to restructure graduate student worker pay is a nonstarter,” association leaders said in a statement. “University administrators' calls for more ‘flexibility’ and a reliance on ‘market forces’ will actually translate into fewer positions and workplace protections for graduate employees. This means that graduate students are going to lose their jobs, along with their paychecks and health insurance.”

John Lucas, a university spokesman, said the student association is wrong in asserting that the changes -- which don’t take effect until 2017 -- will have any impact on their take-home pay or benefits. Rather, he said, the university’s plans relate almost exclusively to a change in the administrative process by which the graduate research assistant stipends are set. “The change will have no impact on the take-home pay or benefits” for research assistants, he said. Lucas said the proposed 20-hour cap applies to international students and is designed to comply with federal requirements.

U of Illinois settles with professor unhired for controversial comments on Twitter

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U of Illinois settles with professor unhired for his controversial remarks on Twitter. He'll get cash but not the job he wanted.

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