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Saint Rose Faculty Call for President's Ouster

Faculty at the College of Saint Rose voted last week to request that its president, Carolyn Stefanco, be removed from her position, The Times Union reported.

After calling for her ouster by a more than two-to-one margin, the faculty asked the Board of Trustees to dismiss the president. In response, however, the trustees announced their “unwavering support” for Stefanco.

The faculty said it had lost confidence in Stefanco’s leadership because she created an “atmosphere filled with fear of retaliation” at the private New York college.

Since filling the position in summer 2014, the president has overseen dramatic cuts to academic programs and faculty member positions. When the college was facing a $9 million deficit in December 2015, Stefanco suggested slashing 23 faculty positions and 27 academic programs.

At the same time, many faculty and administrators have left the university of their own accord, according to The Times Union. Three of the four deans at the college have said they are leaving.

“Morale is low among everyone at the college,” said Kathleen Crowley, a professor who voted for Stefanco’s ouster.

From the trustees’ perspective, Stefanco has navigated many difficult situations in her three years with Saint Rose. She oversaw the largest first-year class in the college’s history last fall as well as new master’s and bachelor’s programs.

"President Stefanco is leading this institution through a changing environment impacting higher education institutions throughout the nation," the trustees said in a letter to the faculty after last week’s 63-29 vote for Stefanco’s removal.

"Change is difficult, but this is the time for the administration and the faculty to get together behind the strategic plan we have charted to help our college succeed."

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Student Kicked Out of Gym for Crop Top

A College of Charleston student was kicked out of the campus recreational center last week for wearing a crop top during her workout, The Post and Courier reported.

Sarah Villafañe wrote in a Facebook post last Wednesday that she was repeatedly asked to “put on a shirt” at the gym but given no further explanation. She was wearing a cropped tank top, which extends slightly farther down the midriff than a sports bra.

“I’ve worn this same outfit all day. Went to three classes and spoke personally with each of my professors today and they didn’t have a problem,” Villafañe wrote in a Facebook post that has been liked more than a thousand times and shared and commented on by hundreds of users.

“But when I walked into the gym, they asked me to put on a different shirt,” she wrote. “Obviously I didn’t bring an extra shirt to the gym and wasn’t about to wear my flannel while working out.”

By Villafañe’s description, three separate employees, including the “boss,” came up to her and asked her to find a different shirt or to leave the gym.

“What is the issue? Why can’t I work out in this outfit? Is my belly button distracting to the general 85 percent male demographic that your gym serves?” she wrote. “I’m forced to leave, why? Honestly I’m so floored that I just got kicked out for this. Do better, College of Charleston.”

The George Street Fitness Center requires patrons wear “athletic attire” but does not specifically note the rules surrounding bare midriffs. A university spokesperson said the gym asks its attendees to wear T-shirts to reduce skin contact with exercise equipment for “sanitary reasons.”

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More colleges look to replicate CUNY's accelerated two-year program

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Community colleges in New York and California are hoping to replicate the success of the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, which has doubled completion rates.

Science, Engineering and Health Ph.D.s: Where Are They Now?

The National Science Board, the policy arm of the National Science Foundation, Wednesday released an interactive infographic designed to help educators, students, policy makers and business leaders understand career opportunities for those with doctorates in science, engineering and health fields. The graphic allows users to see the number of Ph.D.s working in 26 fields within academe, government and industry, and how career paths change over time. Demographic breakdowns include those by gender and ethnicity. Data on job duties and satisfaction also are available.

Geraldine Richmond, Presidential Chair of Science and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon and chair of the board’s National Science and Engineering Policy Committee, said during a news conference that she and her colleagues believe the nation benefits from having trained scientists working in all sectors of the economy, and that the graphic will hopefully shed light on the “wide variety of career paths” scientists may pursue. Data are taken from the National Survey of Doctorate Recipients, 1993 to 2013. Key findings include that more than half of science, engineering and health doctorates are employed outside academe within 10-14 years of graduating -- and that’s been true for more than 20 years. Some 90 percent of respondents report job satisfaction 15 years or more after getting their Ph.D.s. The majority of recent doctoral graduates engage in research and development, regardless of employment sector, while their more senior counterparts engage in other activities, such as management.

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Is New York's decision to spend $8 million on OER a turning point?

Inside Digital Learning asked ed tech experts if New York State's decision to pour millions of dollars into open education resources represents a breakthrough for OER. Here are their responses. Do you agree?

Creative Course Finder: students train on with realistic 3D organs

University of Rochester provides graduate students clinical training using 3D organs. The body parts are so realistic they fool skilled surgeons.

Trial and Error: Franklin University boosts retention with data

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Lumen and Follett team up to deliver open course content through bookstores

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Pearson enters partnership with Chegg on textbook rentals

Student-services provider Chegg is the first company to work with Pearson on a new textbook-rental program the publisher announced in January, according to a report in Inside Higher Ed last week.

New academic programs online

Introducing a new feature: a list of new online programs colleges and universities are starting.

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