The University of Texas at Austin last week unveiled a new bottled water - H2Orange -- in bottles shaped like the university's main tower -- as a way to raise money for scholarships. But on Friday, protesters held a rally to criticize the use of plastic instead of refillable aluminum bottles, News 8 reported. University officials said that the plastic being used can be recycled and that there are plans for reusable bottles in the future.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Centenary College, in New Jersey, is closing business programs it operates in Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan after finding rampant cheating among students there, The Star-Ledger reported. The college is also withholding degrees from 400 students at the programs -- giving them the choice of taking an exam to qualify for their degrees or receiving tuition refunds.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Friday called for the elimination of the central office of the Connecticut State University system. Governor Rell's statement followed earlier suggestions she made -- thus far rejected by the system's board -- to rescind raises of more than 8 percent for the system chancellor and presidents. University officials have defended the raises as "equity" measures needed to keep the system competitive. The governor's statement said: "Frankly, I am at a loss to understand why, in these difficult times, the trustees would approve salary increases of as much as 8 percent, 10 percent or 10.27 percent for people who are paid between $285,000 and $360,000 a year."
Trinity College, in Connecticut, is celebrating a significant increase in its alumni giving rate, encouraged by an anonymous donor. The Hartford Courant reported that the donor offered $5 million a year ago -- but only if the giving rate among living alumni hit at least 55 percent. The rate was 47 percent in 2008-9. Following a year of intense organizing, Trinity's rate is now just over 55 percent.
The University of Provence Aix-Marseille has called off a conference on Mediterranean literature after some participants said that they wouldn't interact with an Israeli author scheduled to appear, Haaretz and the Associated Press reported. The university's president, Jean-Paul Caverni, said that the institution would not "hold a conference with those who excluded dialogue."
University of Colorado at Boulder announced Thursday that all study abroad programs in Mexico have been suspended for summer and fall due to continuing safety concerns. Boulder sponsors programs in Mexico in Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Oaxaca and Monterrey. The university's office of international education will work with students planning to go to Mexico this fall to find alternate locations for a study abroad experience.
The San Jose/Evergreen Community College District has agreed to pay $100,000 to June Sheldon, who lost her job as an adjunct biology instructor after students complained about her answer to a question about homosexuality and genetics. Some students accused her of making anti-gay statements, while she said she had provided factual answers that were not accurately described. Under the settlement, the district maintains it did nothing wrong, but it also will remove references to Sheldon having been dismissed from her file.
One of the incidents that will lead to a trial by a U.S. House of Representatives panel of Rep. Charles B. Rangel involves a gift to a college, The New York Times reported. Specifically, Rangel is accused of maintaining a lucrative tax break that helped an oil executive in return for a pledge of $1 million to a center named for Rangel at City College of the City University of New York. Rangel has denied wrondoing.
Sodexo has agreed to pay $20 million to settle issues raised by an investigation by Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State's attorney general, into allegations that the company overcharged the State University of New York System and 21 school districts in the state. The dispute involves a pledge by the company to provide goods at cost -- a pledge that the state says the company violated by failing to acknowledge significant rebates from suppliers.
The University of California at San Diego has announced that it has authorized 33 new faculty searches for 2010-11 -- and that 12 of the searches will be focused on hires who will "contribute to diversity, equity and climate of inclusion at UC San Diego." An additional 7 slots beyond the 33 will be available for "opportunities that emerge throughout the year," with a focus there on diversity and inclusiveness as well. The move follows a year in which the university faced several racial incidents and debates over its climate.