Quick Takes: Athletic Oversight Found Lacking at Rutgers, College Blasted Over Use of Bond Funds, Gift Doubles Le Moyne Endowment, IPO for For-Profit College, Tenn. State Bans 'Juicy' Web Site, Conversation Monitors at a Canadian University

November 20, 2008
  • As Rutgers University has moved into big-time college athletics, it has faced a series of controversies over spending and the power of athletics officials, leading the university to appoint a panel to examine the various issues. Its report, released Wednesday, found that the university lacked basic oversight of its athletic programs. The university lacked "internal controls," suffered from poor communication, and experienced "limited presidential leadership," the report said. The president didn't oversee athletic operations and key matters were not brought to the board's attention, it added. On many issues, it wasn't even clear what procedures the university had for deciding what required board oversight. Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers, released a statement pledging to carry out the panel's recommendations.
  • California auditors are blasting San Joaquin Delta College for using bond funds that were supposed to pay for vital academic facilities to instead build a state-of-the-art athletic facility and two large electronic message boards. There could be "no rationale" for supporting such projects, based on information provided to voters who decided to approve the bond measure, the auditors' report found. College officials responded by saying that the spending was appropriate and necessary.
  • Le Moyne College on Wednesday announced a $50 million gift that will double the size of the Syracuse, N.Y. institution's endowment. The funds, which come from the estate of a couple that long supported Le Moyne and Jesuit education, will be used for computer science, information processing, physics and religious philosophy.
  • Grand Canyon Education Inc., the holding company for Grand Canyon University, which has expanded rapidly since being transformed from a nonprofit institution into a for-profit college, will begin operating as a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock market today, the Phoenix Business Journal reported. Grand Canyon had announced several months ago that it would make an initial public offering, and it did so Wednesday, selling 10.5 million shares at $12 a share, down from an anticipated $16 a share, the business journal reported. The IPO is the first by an American company in four months, and comes despite the shaky financial situation on Wall Street.
  • Tennessee State University has banned Juicy Campus, the popular and controversial gossip Web site, from its network, The Tennessean reported. Juicy is known for allowing students to trash fellow students, often related to sex and with names named (of the person mocked, not the person providing the gossip). Tennessee State said that the site wasn't consistent with the university's mission. While many colleges would likely feel the same way, Tennessee State is the first public institution to take the step of barring Juicy. Matt Ivester, founder of the site, said of the decision: "It's just shocking that the school administration will not allow it. It's censorship and insulting. They are basically saying they don't trust their students."
  • Queen's University, in Canada, is hiring students to serve as "facilitators" who will join conversations when they hear offensive words like "homo" and "retard" used in student conversation, and try to point out why people can be hurt by such terms, The Globe and Mail reported. Some students are criticizing the program as an invasion of privacy.
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