Ohio State Spent $4.4 Million on Football Playoff Trips

Ohio State University spent more than $4 million to travel to two college football playoff games last season, according to financial numbers reported to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and obtained by CBS News. The University of Oregon, which lost to Ohio State in the final playoff game, spent $3.8 million. The University of Alabama spent $2.6 million on its semifinal loss to Ohio State, spending $580,000 more on that one trip than Ohio State despite traveling from a closer distance. Florida State University spent $2.3 million on its loss to Oregon.

The amounts, however, don't factor in the record payouts the colleges will receive from the playoff's media contracts. ESPN pays the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences about $470 million per year to broadcast the games.

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U of Akron Won't Change Its Name

Scott L. Scarborough, president of the University of Akron, issued a statement Monday that the institution will not be changing its name. Scarborough has been encouraging a process by which the university considers how to refine its mission and identity, and part of that process has included discussion of becoming identified as a polytechnic institute. That has led to reports that the university would name itself the Ohio Polytechnic Institute -- an idea that students and alumni have been campaigning against. Scarborough's statement said: “We are not proposing a name change. But we are seriously discussing how to reposition the University of Akron for greater distinction.”

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For-profit Kaplan University expands its competency-based offerings with new transcript

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Kaplan University creates new "competency reports" for all 45,000 students, a move that adds momentum, and risks, for competency-based education's spread. 

Report Details Racial Stereotyping at U of Illinois

More than half of students of color who responded to a survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said they have experienced stereotyping, according to a new report from the university's Racial Microaggressions Project.

The report is based on an online survey of 4,800 students of color during the 2011 academic year. About a quarter of respondents said they felt their contributions in the classroom "have been minimized because of race" or that they were "made to feel inferior because of the way they spoke." About 40 percent said they felt uncomfortable on campus because of their race, with "fraternity- and sorority-certified housing" being cited as the most uncomfortable locations on campus.

The report also includes several anecdotes from students of color who have experienced racial microaggressions, which are described as “daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights and insults that send hostile, derogatory or negative messages to people of color." The respondents described how other students seemed hesitant to sit near them in class, how affirmative action was frequently mentioned by nonminority students as the reason racial minorities were able to attend the university, and how they were often called on specifically to provide a racial minority perspective during discussions.

A similar report was published in January by Harvard University’s Voices of Diversity project.

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Report: Most College Football Concussions Happen in Practice

Most concussions in college sports occur during practice, not during games, according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine. The study examined the 262 concussions recorded by the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance Program during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The researchers found that 57.6 percent of those concussions happened during practice. "Concussions during practice might be mitigated and should prompt an evaluation of technique and head impact exposure," the report states. "Although it is more difficult to change the intensity or conditions of a game, many strategies can be used during practice to limit player-to-player contact and other potentially injurious behaviors."

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Swarthmore, Despite Protests, Won't Sell Fossil Fuel Holdings

Swarthmore College's board announced Saturday that the college will not sell holdings in companies in the fossil fuel industry, a move sought by a long student sit-in and endorsed by many other students and faculty members. An email to the campus from Gil Kemp, chair of the board, said that "the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College reached consensus not to divest from fossil fuels. The sense of the meeting was to reaffirm its investment guidelines, which since 1991 have stated that the 'Investment Committee manages the endowment to yield the best long-term financial results, rather than to pursue other social objectives.'"

The email did note that the college has undertaken numerous projects to become more sustainable, and that the college will create a fund that does not invest in fossil fuels. This will allow alumni and others to donate to the college without having any of those funds invested in fossil fuels.

Swarthmore Mountain Justice, the student group that led the divestment campaign and held a 32-day sit-in and numerous protests this academic year, issued a statement criticizing the board's decision. "Swarthmore risks being left behind and remembered in history for its failure to take leadership at this critical moment. This crisis is real, in the here and now. Lives are at stake. Our generation’s future is at stake," said the statement.

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Howard U Turns to Alumni to Help Students Pay Bills

Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University, last month sent an appeal to alumni on behalf of 180 seniors who were on track academically to graduate this month, but who would be blocked from doing so because they owed money to the university. The Washington Post reported that Frederick described the seniors' circumstances (hometowns, majors, grades and debts) without giving their names. Their balances ranged from $313.50 to $27,871.75. The students collectively owed about $380,000 when Frederick sent out the appeal. So far the university has received $160,000 in response.


Ex-President to Pay $185K to Settle Spending Dispute

Evan Dobelle has agreed to pay $185,000 to settle claims of inappropriate spending while he was president of Westfield State University, The Berkshire Eagle reported. Dobelle has previously denied wrongdoing and sued the university. As part of the settlement, he has agreed to drop that suit. He left the presidency amid reports about billing the university for expensive travel, the purpose of which was questioned by many on campus. Another part of the settlement: Dobelle is barred from working at colleges and universities in Massachusetts.


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Reports: Obama Picks U of Chicago for His Library

While there has been no official announcement, President Obama has selected the University of Chicago as the host of his presidential library, The Chicago Tribune and USA Today reported. Their reports followed other news reports that President Obama has picked a location in Chicago, but not necessarily one of those proposed by the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago has been the favorite from the start of the competition -- the Obamas lived in its neighborhood before he was elected president and both the president and first lady once worked at the university. But zoning disputes for a time appeared to be a major obstacle, leading to speculation that the library could end up at Columbia University.


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Sanders enters presidential campaign and touts free tuition plan

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Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, enters Democratic presidential race with a pitch for his free tuition plan, possibly putting some pressure on Hillary Clinton's left flank.


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