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Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that the operators of Gigats.com agreed to settle deception charges.

Gigats.com is an education lead-generation company based in Orlando, Fla., that claims to prescreen job applicants for employers. However, the company was instead gathering information for for-profit colleges and career training programs, according to the FTC.

The federal agency alleges that consumers who provided Gigats with personal information typically requested in a job application were directed to call "employment specialists" who steered consumers to enrolling in education programs that paid Gigats for consumer leads.

"The FTC alleges that these so-called advisers falsely claimed to be independent education advisers but in fact only recommended schools and programs that had agreed to pay the defendants, typically from $22 to $125, for consumer leads that met their enrollment requirements," according to a news release.

A proposed court order imposes a $90.2 million judgment that will be suspended upon payment of $360,000. Gigats is operated by Expand Inc., which also does business as EducationMatch and SoftRock Inc.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 4:20am

The University of Hartford is facing increasing criticism over its plan to sell a significant collection of political artifacts, The Hartford Courant reported. The university says that it can't afford to maintain and display the collection, and so it looking for an auction house. The collection reportedly will bring in several million dollars. But critics say that the university took the collection as a gift and has an obligation to preserve it. Further, they note that the university obtained funds from Congress for a museum that it briefly used before converting the building to another purpose.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

Mary Bauman announced Friday that she will step down as chair of the Hope College board after a meeting this month. She said that the board needs new leadership as it works to improve its relationship with President John C. Knapp. Bauman has been among the board leaders reportedly seeking to oust Knapp, but who have held off amid strong support for Knapp from students, faculty members and alumni.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

The University of Louisville and the city of Louisville announced Friday that a monument (at right) that salutes Confederate soldiers from Kentucky who died in the Civil War will be removed from the university campus and eventually placed elsewhere. “We are not here to erase history, but we are here to announce that this statue should be situated somewhere more appropriate than a modern campus that celebrates its diversity,” said a statement from James Ramsey, the university's president. “Kentucky certainly played a unique role in the Civil War, but it is the culture of inclusion we strive for each day at U of L that will define our future. Over the years, our campus has grown to encircle this monument, which does not symbolize the values of our campus community or that of a 21st-century institution of higher education.”

Many have been pushing for years for the statue's removal. A recent essay by Ricky L. Jones, professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at Louisville, said, "Let me be clear about what the battle flag, statues and other symbols of the Confederacy are. They are representations of hate, emptied-out ideas of racial superiority, inhumanity and devilishness. The Civil War was not a war of 'northern aggression' fought by sympathetic, victimized Gone With the Wind characters. It was a war about slavery -- plain and simple. It was a conflict the South started to maintain its right to continue playing pharaoh and endlessly force its black brutes to make bricks out of straw. Every battle flag, T-shirt and monument to these inhumane traitors reminds us of that fact."

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

Black students -- backed by many others -- are protesting Yale University's announcement last week that it is retaining the name of Calhoun College, a residential college named for John C. Calhoun, who was among the most notable political defenders of slavery in the United States. Yale said that removing the name -- as many minority students have demanded -- "could have the effect of hiding the legacy of slavery," and pledged to do more to provide context for the Calhoun name.

Students aren't accepting that. At a protest Friday, they referred to Calhoun by other names and planted signs on campus with other names or referring to "the college formerly known as Calhoun."

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Friday announced that the city will provide free community college tuition to graduates of the city's public high schools who meet certain conditions. To be eligible, students must earn a 2.2 grade point average in high school, be able to complete community college on a two-year schedule, be eligible for Pell Grants and place out of developmental classes. The program applies at either Bunker Hill Community College or Roxbury Community College. The program will be funded by the Neighborhood Jobs Trust, which collects fees from large-scale commercial developments in Boston.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

The Education Writers Association on Sunday released "State of the Education Beat 2016," an examination of trends in journalistic coverage of all levels of education. Among the findings:

  • Reporters are far more likely to be covering both higher education and elementary and secondary education than they are to have a beat focused entirely on higher education.
  • Ninety-five percent of education journalists believe that their work has a positive impact on education.
  • Seventy-one percent of journalists who cover education are women.
  • Seventy-eight percent of journalists who cover education are white.
Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

James G. Neal, the former vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, on Friday was narrowly elected the next president of the American Library Association. Neal edged out Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Christine Lind Hage, director of the Rochester Hills Public Library in Michigan, by a few hundred votes. A member of the ALA since 1976, Neal will assume the presidency following next year's annual conference.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

Part- and full-time faculty members at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles voted 54-7 to form a union affiliated with the American Association of University Professors, they announced Friday. Many instructors are working filmmakers and members of other industry unions. The conservatory did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:00am

Today on the Academic Minute, Chris Hernandez, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, delves into how bones heal themselves and return to their original function, which could give machines in faraway places a chance to last longer without replacement parts. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


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