Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

Keiser University has suspended Matt McEnany as president of its Daytona Beach campus after police said he was mugged and had his car stolen when he tried to have a "sexual rendezvous" with two women, The News-Journal reported. McEnany told police he was trying to pick up the two women, named Luscious and Brittany, from the homes of their grandmothers, and that when he got out of his car to meet them, he was struck from behind, robbed and had his car stolen. Authorities indicated that they did not believe the story about seeking to give two women a ride and that they believed he was meeting them for purposes of a "sexual rendezvous." McEnany did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

Two Mississippi State University students are facing charges of attempting to provide support for a terrorist group by trying to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, the Associated Press reported. They were arrested Saturday attempting to travel abroad. Family members said that they were stunned by the charges.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard University, a prominent advocate for open-access technology and government reform, and director of the university's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. He's also considering an unusual campaign for the U.S. presidency.

"I will run to be a referendum president if two conditions are met: if we hit our fund-raising target by Labor Day and the leading candidates in the Democratic primary fail to make citizen equality the first priority of their administration," Lessig said on his exploratory committee website. "The key challenge now is making the fund-raising goal. That’s up to you and people like you. If we can raise $1 million for this campaign by Labor Day, then I will run with every ounce of my being."

His candidacy would be of the single-issue variety, and how. Lessig said he would represent a single referendum in his run: to reform the political process. As a candidate and president, he said he would push the U.S. Congress to reduce the influence of money in politics, to eliminate gerrymandering and to prevent roadblocks for people to vote. After that legislation is passed, Lessig said he would resign as president.

"The best presidents are collaborators. They work with Congress as partners over long periods of time. I don’t want to collaborate with these people, and I don’t want to be their partners. I want to force them to act on this issue and then get the hell out of the White House," he said. "This reform needs someone willing to burn as well as build bridges, if need be. I’m running to be that SOB."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

Five retired NBA players are receiving scholarships to attend Kaplan University and study online to earn certificates, bachelor's or master's degrees.

The players -- Adonal Foyle, Joe Smith, James Donaldson, Kevin Loder and Eldridge Recasner -- received the scholarships during the National Basketball Retired Players Association annual conference in Las Vegas.

"Like most Kaplan University students, retired athletes are juggling a lot of competing responsibilities. They're older, raising families and also want to make a lasting difference not just in their own lives, but in the larger community," said Craig Collins, senior vice president of Kaplan University Corporate Development, in a news release. "So a university like Kaplan, which today is helping some 41,000 adult learners pursue their education and career goals, fits into their playbook, because of its convenience."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

The University of Akron has denied repeatedly in recent weeks that it is eliminating its university press, although many on campus and off don't believe the university, because it eliminated the jobs of all press employees, including the director. On Tuesday, the university's provost, William M. Sherman, sent an email to the campus saying that that "Jon Miller, associate professor of English, has agreed to serve as transitional director for the University of Akron Press. Dr. Miller has published two books with UA Press; served on the Faculty Senate's Library Committee for six years, including the last two as its chair; and has significant experience as a scholarly editor of journals, an encyclopedia and critical editions."

The email went on to say, "Dr. Miller will work with Tom Bacher, current UA Press director, and Phyllis O’Connor, interim dean of university libraries, to manage the current activities of the UA Press (acquisitions, editing, marketing, distribution, etc.) and recommend a staffing and operational plan to meet obligations for previously published and currently contracted publications. As part of this process, they will determine how the press’s future operations are incorporated into the ongoing strategic planning relating to university libraries."

Some skeptics noted after the announcement was sent that it doesn't pledge to continue publishing beyond those works already under contract.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

Eastern Michigan University is dropping a Huron logo that has appeared on its band uniforms, The Detroit Free Press reported. In 1991, the university stopped using Hurons as the name of its athletic teams, replacing that name with Eagles. Many Native American groups have said it is offensive to relegate their tribal names and traditions to team names and mascots. But three years ago, the university put the Huron logo back on band uniforms, although Eastern Michigan has faced criticism for doing so.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Matthew Xu-Friedman, associate professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, discusses his research on nerve cells. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 3:00am

Data prepared by Thomson Reuters show a significant spike since 2009 in the number of scientific papers with many, many authors -- at least 50 and more than 1,000, The Wall Street Journal reported. One recent physics paper had 5,154 authors, perhaps a record.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 3:00am

A task force at the University of Texas at Austin has called for several statues on the campus, including those of Confederate figures, to either have explanatory plaques added to the statues or to have one or more statues moved to a different area of campus, the university announced Monday. The committee, which was created by President Gregory Fenves in June, included leaders of the student government at UT-Austin, faculty members and administrators. It met six times since June and presented its findings to the president today. Two public forums were held on the presence of the statues in July, and more than 3,100 people responded to an online questionnaire about the statues. The president will review the report before making a final decision.

Three of the statues, which are all of Confederate leaders, including the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, were vandalized in June. A UT-Austin spokesman said the graffiti on the statues was cleaned off the day it was discovered and university policemen regularly patrol the area where the statues are located.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 4:26am

Muscatine Community College, in Iowa, announced Friday that it is ending intercollegiate athletics, The Muscatine Journal reported. The college will seek to shift resources that have gone to baseball and softball to programs in which more students will be able to participate.

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