The Georgia Board of Regents on Tuesday approved a plan to merge 8 of the 35 institutions in the University System of Georgia. The consolidations of four pairs of colleges will take 12 to 18 months, said the system's relatively new chancellor, Henry (Hank) Huckaby. The system hopes to increase academic offerings and cut back on administrative costs with the mergers. Some jobs will be eliminated.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Wisconsin authorities have charged an inmate with -- while behind bars -- running a diploma mill, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. In one case, the inmate convinced a fellow inmate to have his mother mail in a check for $1,700 so he could be enrolled in what was a fake university.
In the wake of Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to eliminate the California Postsecondary Education Commission, the state's college and university systems have stepped in to fulfill some of the agency's duties in ways that threaten to elevate institutional interests over state needs, California's Legislative Analyst's Office said in a report issued last week. The report recommends more direct legislative oversight and the establishment of another formal oversight body when the economic situation permits.
Although Joe Paterno was ousted as football coach at Pennsylvania State University last year, he is still giving to the university. The Centre Daily Times reported that Paterno and his wife donated $100,000 recently to the university to two non-athletic programs with the Paterno name. They donated $50,000 to the library and $50,000 to a fellows program in the College of the Liberal Arts.
Morgan State University on Sunday indefinitely suspended its head basketball coach, Todd Bozeman, after the president of South Carolina State University and a number of other people said they saw Bozeman punch a player during a late timeout in the road game Saturday. But, The Baltimore Sun reported, Bozeman, who is on paid administrative leave, has maintained that witnesses exaggerated the interaction, which he described as “accidental” and like “coming around a corner and bumping into someone." Now, Bozeman’s lawyer is accusing university administrators of violating the coach’s contract and the university’s discipline policies by refusing to allow an appeal of the suspension. Morgan State hired Bozeman after he emerged from an eight-year ban for National Collegiate Athletic Association recruiting violations at the University of California at Berkeley.
Protests and political battles are creating tensions and leading to evictions at Sri Lanka's universities, BBC reported. Students complain about a range of government policies and proposals to create private universities, a move they see as one that would end a tradition of free higher education in the country.
In her first extensive interview since her work was dropped from Newt Gingrich's next book, Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, defended climate science and criticized the politicization of the issue. Hayhoe spoke to The Guardian, saying: "I really, really deplore the politicization and polarization of this issue. There are these increasingly unprincipled attempts to polarize the science when the science is fact -- like the sky is blue, the grass is green and the temperature of our planet is increasing."
Gingrich is getting ready to publish a collection of essays on environmental issues, and Hayhoe had been included. But she was dropped after Rush Limbaugh criticized her inclusion. National Journal published an article about, and video of, Gingrich being approached by a would-be supporter who had heard Limbaugh's criticism, and who was reassured when Gingrich assured her that the essay would be removed from his book.
The Board of Governors of the California community college system on Monday voted to endorse recommendations from a state task force that seeks to improve student success amid a backdrop of deep budget cuts. The recommendations include more of an emphasis on first-time students who are on-track to a degree or credential, a controversial shift for a system that has long been steadfastly committed to open access. But the task force and system leaders argue that the 112 colleges are already rationing slots, having turned away 140,000 students in a recent year, with an estimated 200,000 who will be frozen out this year. California's Legislature is scheduled to consider the recommendations in the next two months.
Flawed efforts to restructure Washington's higher education governance and skyrocketing tuition have the state's college and university system "adrift" at a crucial time for its high-tech economy, according to the second in a series of analyses of state higher education governance and policy by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, "Policy and Leadership Vacuum Undermines Higher Education in Washington," was produced by the State Review Project at Penn's Institute for Research on Higher Education, which released an analysis of Illinois in November.