Conflicts of interest

UF says professors can be paid experts. They're suing anyway

U of Florida says three professors can now testify as experts in an elections lawsuit, and accept customary payment for their time. The professors are suing the university anyway. UF’s faculty union describes a larger pattern of apparent political interference in academic matters.

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Unusual donor agreement at UNLV raises questions about fund-raising and governance

UNLV president signed a gift agreement that said a $14 million pledge was valid only if he was in the job. He's leaving, and the pledge has evaporated. Agreement raises questions on governance and fund-raising ethics.

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Presidents of public universities criticized for joining boards of for-profit university

In California and Arizona, two college presidents joined the board of for-profit education company. After widespread criticism, one quit and another is facing demands that she do the same.

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Dartmouth investments in board members' firms raise questions about disclosure requirements

Allegation that Dartmouth's board behaved unethically when it invested with firms managed by members raises questions about whether disclosure laws should do more to discourage such behavior.

Argosy students lose out as millions of dollars in federal aid goes missing

In a possibly unprecedented case, Argosy University fails to distribute millions in federal aid to students as its campuses are on the brink of closing.

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Bryan Trustee Resigns Over President's Actions

A trustee has resigned from the board of Bryan College, a small Christian college in Dayton, Tenn., over his concerns with the president’s actions, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Wayne Cropp’s resignation is just the latest disturbance attributable to Stephen Livesay, the president of Bryan College.

Eight trustees resigned in 2014, around the time the faculty overwhelmingly voted no confidence in Livesay. The next year, the college changed its requirements so that it became extremely difficult to call a faculty meeting. In the years since, four vice presidents and many faculty members have also left the university.

Cropp is a graduate of Bryan and had served on the board for almost a decade. Several people told the Times Free Press that he was the only trustee who tried to hold Livesay accountable. Cropp resigned because he could not tolerate the administration’s lack of transparency and the president’s conflicts of interest, he said.

"I have come to conclude that I have not been effective, and cannot be effective in the future, in holding the leadership of Bryan College accountable to certain principles that I consider important for a not-for-profit institution and especially a Christian institution," Cropp wrote in his resignation letter.

In his letter, Cropp mentioned the transfer of land worth $6.9 million from the National Association of Christian Athletes to Bryan College.

Livesay was chairman of the NACA board and named so many Bryan trustees to serve on it that they soon made up a majority. When the board voted to transfer the land to Bryan last summer, Cropp voted against it and acknowledged Livesay’s conflict of interest. Because of the land transfer, Livesay was able to show a major asset boost in his performance review, which included an examination of the college’s financial state.

"But for the transfer of NACA property to Bryan College in June 2016, Bryan College would have finished the year with a deficit," Cropp wrote in his letter.

The university did not return a request for comment from Inside Higher Ed.

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A professor's termination raises questions about free speech at Weber State

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A lawsuit filed against two labs founded by UT-Austin professor raises questions of conflict of interest and academic freedom

Eastman Chemical's lawsuit raises issues about academic and corporate research and conflicts of interest.

U. of Pennsylvania drafts guidelines to keep professors from competing against it online

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In an effort to prevent online companies from competing against it using its own faculty, the University of Pennsylvania drafts new guidelines for faculty.

Gotcha Student Journalism

A new publication at the U. of Tennessee is focusing -- in a very personal way -- on allegations of a professor-student affair.

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