Quick Takes: New Group Seeks Resignation at WVU, Possible Fast Track for Veterans' Ed Bill, Adjuncts Unionize at Henry Ford CC, Harvard Law Research Goes Open Access, Howard Names President, Top IT Issues, Felony Hazing Alleged at Tulane

May 8, 2008
  • The pressure continues to build on West Virginia University President Mike Garrison to resign in the wake of a scandal over the granting of an unearned degree to the governor’s daughter and a no-confidence vote from the Faculty Senate. A new faculty-led group, Mountaineers for Integrity and Responsibility, formed Wednesday with a set of goals: to encourage the removal of President Garrison, work toward the installation of a qualified successor, and influence the enactment of legislation to change the selection process for new presidents and members of the Board of Governors, according to Boyd Edwards, a West Virginia professor of physics and the group’s chair. “When I saw President Garrison’s response to the no-confidence vote by the Faculty [in which he indicated plans to retain his post] I thought that we really need to organize ourselves and do everything that we can to restore the good name and the integrity of the university,” Edwards said. The group had between 25 and 30 people at its inaugural meeting, he estimated. Members are planning an all-faculty meeting for Wednesday.
  • Language that would dramatically boost veterans’ educational benefits -- up to the cost of public university in-state tuition, plus room, board and a stipend -- will be included in a supplemental war spending bill that could be considered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives floor today. The inclusion, however, of Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) legislation on veterans’ benefits in the $195 billion bill has provoked ire both from fiscally conservative lawmakers, who are concerned that the bill creates new benefits without offsetting or paying for them elsewhere, as well as veto threats from President Bush, as the Associated Press reports. But the bill that the House will vote on will not contain provisions, sought by many in higher education, to allocate additional funds for research on the physical sciences, which were seen as having been shortchanged in previous legislation appropriating funds for the 2008 fiscal year.
  • Adjunct faculty members at Henry Ford Community College have voted 334-41 to create a union. The new Adjunct Faculty Organization is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, which already has a local at the Michigan college that represents its full-time faculty members.
  • The law faculty at Harvard University on Wednesday announced plans to create an open access repository of all work that the professors publish. Faculty members will also be able to publish the works on their own Web sites and disseminate the works broadly for purposes other than profit. The law school's move follows a similar policy adopted in February by the arts and sciences faculty at Harvard.
  • Sidney A. Ribeau, the president of Bowling Green State University for the last 13 years, was on Wednesday named as the next president of Howard University. Ribeau will succeed H. Patrick Swygert, who achieved considerable fund raising success at Howard, faculty leaders were pushing him to leave last year, criticizing his management style.
  • Security has moved from second to first place in the annual survey by Educause of top strategic information technology issues facing higher education. Other notable changes in the list this year: A category called "staffing/HR management/training" appears on the list of issues for the first time since 2001. And "change management" made the list for the first time.
  • Ten Tulane University students are facing felony hazing charges, and their fraternity -- Pi Kappa Alpha -- has been suspended, following allegations of burning pledges with boiling water, the Associated Press reported. The lawyer for one of the pledges who was burned told the AP that his client requires medical treatment twice a day and has severe burns on over 20 percent of his body.
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