Jury convicts former Penn State president on one count of child endangerment and finds him not guilty on a second count, and not guilty of conspiracy. UPDATE: Penn State says verdict reflects "profound failure of leadership."
Tallahassee Community College wants to do away with its Faculty Senate now that the faculty is represented by a union, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Jim Murdaugh, college president, is reportedly disbanding the senate at the end of the month, despite objections from faculty members who say the senate and union have different functions. Murdaugh wrote in an email to faculty members earlier this month that they should think about creating some other representative body to handle issues not addressed in union contracts, such as academic affairs and curricula.
“Under Florida law, the college is now required to deal exclusively with the [union] on all matters relating to wages, hours and working conditions,” he wrote. “Inasmuch as the [union] is now the official voice of faculty on those matters, the continuation of Faculty Senate and the reassigned time afforded to and stipends paid to the chair and chair-elect are no longer necessary.”
The campus chapter of the United Faculty of Florida is affiliated with both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. Chapter president Jen Robinson, a professor of art history, told the Democrat that despite Murdaugh’s statement, many institutions operate with a union and a Faculty Senate. “You’re basically cutting off an avenue for any kind of academic discussion,” she said, noting the decision could have a disparate impact on part-time faculty members not included in the contract. “He’s taking away the voice of our adjuncts. I don’t know where they would go to address their issues.”
The University of Cincinnati placed its College of Law dean on administrative leave Wednesday shortly after she blamed deficit-closing efforts for upsetting faculty members who had been organizing against her leadership.
Dean Jennifer Bard was placed on leave after just 21 months on the job. Peter E. Landgren, Cincinnati’s provost and interim senior vice president for academic affairs, announced the move in an email addressed to the College of Law community, saying he is firming up a transition plan for the college. He said his decision followed a “thorough evaluative process,” according to the email, which was posted by TaxProf Blog.
Bard was surprised by the move and is reviewing her legal options, she said in a statement, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. She said the law school had improved its bar passage rates, fund-raising, reputation and number of applicants under her leadership.
The development comes shortly after efforts to seek Bard’s removal by a group of at least nine of the UC College of Law’s roughly 40 faculty members became public. The Cincinnati Business Courier obtained emails from the faculty members in which they discussed holding a vote of no confidence in Bard as early as November 2016. Bard signed a six-month plan to “restore mutual trust and respect” with the faculty in January.
Bard had said she upset a small group of faculty members while making progress in cutting a multimillion-dollar deficit at the College of Law, and that faculty members tried to stop her by taking advantage of a leadership vacuum created by interim leaders at the university. Controversial savings proposals included consolidating the UC law library into the university library system, requiring pre-travel approval and requiring the submission of travel receipts. Bard was hired to eliminate a deficit at the law school, she told the Business Courier in a statement this week.
Bard was hired to become the law school’s dean under a five-year contract in 2015. She had been special assistant to the provost for academic engagement at Texas Tech University, where she directed the university’s J.D./M.D. program and its health law concentration program.
Stillman College, a small private historically black institution in Alabama, is facing a financial crisis, WBRC News reported. Cynthia Warrick, the interim president, recently sent a letter to alumni stating that the college needs $275,000 to make a loan repayment by April, or the institution could be forced to shut down. The college borrowed money in 2012 and has been having difficulty making payments on the debt. Currently, the college enrolls 570, and it needs to enroll 250 additional students so that tuition payments would contribute enough money for loan repayments.
Two separate phishing scams led to the theft of more than $1 million from Coastal Carolina University, The State reported. The thefts happened after individuals claiming to be affiliated with companies with which the university does business requested changes in bank account information. The university has recovered some of the money.