Three female employees at Alabama State University have filed a lawsuit charging that they were the victims of repeated incidents of sexual and racial harassment, and that senior administrators condoned the actions, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. University officials counter that the suit was prompted by a former trustee who, they claim, is trying to unsettle the insittution.
Higher Education Quick Takes
In a relatively rare move in higher education, Syracuse University has appointed a pagan chaplain, ABC News reported. As of last year, there were only 11 student pagans at the university, but they hope their numbers may grow now that they have a chaplain.
Gretchen Bataille's many supporters remain confused and upset by her ouster last month as president of the University of North Texas, with only vague statements having been issued about why she was forced out. The Dallas Morning News, based on a review of e-mail records obtained through an open records request, reports that there may have been no single dispute between Bataille and system leaders, but that she differed with Chancellor Lee Jackson on a series of issues, including tuition, organizational matters and a branch campus.
The online journal archiving system JSTOR announced today that it has signed on the University of Chicago Press to its Current Scholarship Program — a project that aims to supplement JSTOR's deep repository of back issues from over a thousand journals. The idea behind the project, which is scheduled to open next year, is to help academic publishers leverage JSTOR’s connections to libraries in 145 countries in order to broaden their subscriber bases. Meanwhile, JSTOR will be able to increase its own appeal by advertising itself as a portal to current publications, not just back files. (The publishers would set the prices and collect the revenue from the subscriptions to current publications.) Chicago is the 11th university press to sign on to the project, joining the University of California Press, among others.
The National Book Critics Circle on Thursday announced winners of its annual book awards:
- Ficton: Hilary Mantel, for Wolf Hall
- Nonfiction: Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder
- Autobiography: Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End
- Biography: Blake Bailey, Cheever
- Criticism: Eula Biss, Notes From No Man's Land
Poetry: Rae Armentrout, Versed
Erskine College sued the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Wednesday accusing the religious denomination that created the college of violating its bylaws and attempting to gain inappropriate control, The Index Journal reported. A judge issued a temporary restraining order against the church, blocking it from taking actions against Erskine, pending further hearings. The legal action results from last week's move by the college to fire board members of the college. Church leaders say that the college and its board have not stayed true to the faith, but many faculty members believe that the church is trying to impose ideological control on everyone at the college, and accreditors are raising questions about the church's actions.
Iowa State University is considering a change in its policy on the dismissal of tenured faculty members, The Omaha World-Herald reported. Currently, tenured faculty members may be dismissed only in cases of "extraordinary financial crisis," but a proposed change would also permit dismissals if their programs are eliminated. The change is being considered as more colleges violate the standards of the American Association of University Professors by dismissing tenured faculty members without declaring "financial exigency."
The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association on Wednesday published a draft of proposed "common core standards" that are designed to help states reach consensus on what it means to be "college ready." Most states have agreed in principle to embrace the standards once they are agreed on, and groups of college faculty members in English and mathematics plan to assess the standards.
Bart Hildreth, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, said that he was told to resign for speaking out against the idea of merging the school with another college at the university, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Georgia's public colleges are currently in the midst of considering a range of proposals to deal with deep budget cuts that they face already -- and the prospect of still more on the way. A spokeswoman for the university said that while officials disagree with the former dean's characterization of events, they were not speaking out in detail out of respect for the confidentiality of personnel matters.
Eleven former athletes have joined a suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association over the use of their likenesses without their authorization, The New York Times reported. While the additional plaintiffs do not change the legal issues, the lawyers involved in the suit say that this bolsters their case -- a contention disputed by the NCAA.