Quick Takes: Accreditors Balk at Education Dept. Reviews, Virginia Provost Expected to Be Named UCLA Chancellor, Vice Chancellor Charged With Embezzlement, Alaska Christian Regains U.S. Funds, Florida A

December 19, 2006
  • An Education Department panel is changing its standards for judging the work of accrediting agencies in "unclear and arbitrary" ways, an association of accreditors said in a letter to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings last week. The letter from the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors said that "the many inappropriate actions" taken at a meeting this month of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity showed a "disregard for the values of fairness and integrity," adding: "In an era of calls for increased accountability, is it unreasonable to ask that the process by which accreditors are recognized be conducted within a framework of law? In an era of calls for transparency, is it unreasonable to ask the secretary of education and the department staff and the members of NACIQI to conduct their reviews based on a published and public process and on criteria that are something more than constantly moving targets?"
  • Gene Block, provost of the University of Virginia, is expected on Thursday to be named chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. In May, a search for the UCLA chancellor fell apart when the university could not complete negotiations with Deborah Freund, provost at Syracuse University, over the position.
  • Rodney Harrigan, vice chancellor for information technology at North Carolina A&T University, was charged Monday with creating a slush fund in which rebates for some of the university's computer purchases went into a fund for personal use, The Greensboro News-Record reported. He told the newspaper he was innocent, but couldn't comment in detail on the charges.
  • Alaska Christian College had a $450,000 federal earmark blocked by the U.S. Education Department last year, after the department was sued over allegations that the funds would have violated the separation of church and state. But the college has now gained a $100,000 grant by filing a "corrective" plan showing that it would segregate the funds away from programs with religious goals, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
  • A Florida jury on Friday convicted two defendants and was unable to reach verdicts on three others accused of hazing a student at Florida A&M University, The Tallahasssee Democrat reported. The case dates to April, when the men were arrested after a sophomore said he was beaten in Alpha Xi initiation rituals.
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