Quick Takes: President Backs Sex Offender, Allegations at E. Stroudsburg, Title IX Violations at San Diego Mesa, Free Tuition for Vets at Rochester, Wesleyan Analyzes Police Incident, Football Arrests at Coastal Carolina, Protest on Resumption of Classes

September 17, 2008
  • Jerry Farley, president of Washburn University, is facing criticism for writing a letter -- on university stationery -- asking a judge for leniency for a convicted sex offender. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that three members of the university's board have criticized the decision. Farley wrote on behalf of a man who pleaded no contest to charges of sexually soliciting a 13-year-old girl. Farley said he wrote on behalf of the man because the sex offender's wife is an office worker Farley knows. The judge rejected the request for probation and sentenced the man to 32 months in prison. Regents who objected to the letter said it would have been fine on Farley's own stationery, but was problematic on university letterhead, and signed "president."
  • Five young men have come forward with complaints of inappropriate behavior by Isaac W. Sanders, vice president of advancement at East Stroudsburg University and executive director of its foundation, The Pocono Record reported. The men allege that Sanders, who did not comment on the latest allegations but who has been placed on paid leave, offered scholarships and gifts that were linked to unwelcome touching and physical contact, the newspaper said. In addition, there are allegations about irregularities in the payouts from some scholarship funds. University officials said that they were cooperating with an investigation by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and cautioned against reaching conclusions before that inquiry is complete.
  • The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has found that San Diego Mesa College violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 through "disparities" in the treatment of men's and women's teams in scheduling, use of locker rooms, the availability of training facilities and other policies that "collectively" ignored requirements for gender equity, the Associated Press reported. The college agreed to policy changes to settle the complaint, but claimed victory because the department rejected other complaints. Many of the complaints were brought by two former women's coaches who have sued the college, saying they were dismissed after a local news outlet identified them as lesbians. The college has denied the allegations in the suit.
  • Many colleges and universities recently have been announcing new scholarships for veteran, hoping to build on the expanded federal education benefits Congress recently enacted. Only a handful of private colleges, however, have announced scholarships that would effectively make tuition free across undergraduate programs for all veterans. Today, the University of Rochester plans to make such an announcement; its scholarship would accompany admission to the institution's undergraduate programs (and would fill the gap beyond other aid for which veterans are eligible). One of the other private institutions making such a pledge is Rochester's neighbor, Nazareth College.
  • Wesleyan University has released an analysis of an incident in May in which local police used dogs, Tasers and pepper spray to break up a student street party. The Hartford Courant reported that the statement notes the differing perspectives of those involved and how those differences make it difficult to deal with the issues raised by the incident. Student leaders say the study doesn't go far enough in outlining when campus security officers should call on local police for help, as they did in May.
  • Nine football players at Coastal Carolina University have been arrested in the last 13 months, leading many to question the institution's management of the team, McClatchy Newspapers reported. The arrests included: assault and battery, weapons offenses, drug offenses, third degree sexual assault, driving under the influence (three times in nine months for one player), and disorderly conduct.
  • About 1,000 students at Miami University of Ohio took to the streets Monday night to protest the institution's decision to resume classes on Tuesday, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Classes were called off Monday because storm damage left many people in the area without power. The protesting students said that many of those living off campus still lacked power. But the university noted that the campus was available, with power, for those who needed study space or essentials, and that many people in Texas face far worse conditions.
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