Quick Takes: Another WVU Resignation, Potomac College Sold, Community Colleges Go for Boomers, Full Scholarships for First Med School Class, Sentences in Hazing Case, Jerry Springer as Commencement Speaker, American Academy's New Members

April 29, 2008
  • R. Stephen Sears, dean of the business school at West Virginia University, has announced plans to resign. The decision follows Sunday's move by the provost, Gerald E. Lang, to quit in the wake of a scandal over a degree inappropriately and retroactively awarded to a politically connected business executive (she's the governor's daughter). Mike Garrison, the president of the university, has not made a similar announcement, although many are calling on him to do so. Garrison did issue a statement in which he repeated earlier statements about accepting "full and total responsibility" for the scandal. West Virginia's board issued a statement Monday stating that it was "fully confident" in Garrison's ability to lead the university and to respond to concerns raised by the scandal.
  • Hamilton White Group, a New York investment group, has purchased Potomac College, a for-profit, regionally accredited institution in Washington. A statement from Hamilton White said that it planned to support the continued growth of the college, which recently started a distance education unit.
  • The American Association of Community Colleges has announced a series of grants -- supported with funds from the Atlantic Philanthropies -- to help community colleges develop programs to serve students over 50. Ten community colleges are receiving funds to start programs and five "mentor" colleges, which already have such efforts, are receiving funds to help advise the other institutions.
  • When the University of Central Florida's medical school opens next year, every member of the inaugural class will receive a full scholarship. The university, citing the Association of American Medical Colleges, said that no other medical school has awarded full scholarships to every member of a class. There will be 40 students admitted for the first class, and each will receive scholarships worth $160,000 over four years -- half for tuition and half for living expenses and fees.
  • A judge on Monday sentenced two former fraternity members at the University of Texas at Austin to four-day jail sentences, plus community service, after they pleaded no contest to hazing charges, the Associated Press reported. The case involved allegations of shocking pledges with cattle prods and holding hot irons on their faces.
  • Some Northwestern University law students are upset and embarrassed about their commencement speaker, Jerry Springer, an alumnus whose fame has come from his talk show. But the Chicago Tribune reported that the student panel that helped select Springer is not backing down and he's not either.
  • The American Academy of Arts & Science has named 190 new fellows and 22 foreign honorary members. The new members come from more than 50 universities and other institutions and range in age from 37 to 86.
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