Higher Education Quick Takes
Millersville University of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that it would discontinue three of its 22 sports teams because of budget constraints. Officials at the public institution, which like many colleges in the commonwealth has faced significant cuts in state funding, said the elimination of men's cross country and of indoor and outdoor track and field would save $200,000 -- funds that they said would balance the budget and help sustain the university's remaining 19 teams. University officials also said that the cuts would help bring Millersville into better compliance with the gender participation requirements of under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Michael Hogan, the president of the University of Illinois, is trying to build support for a more centralized approach to enrollment management in the university system. But e-mail messages between Hogan and his campus leaders -- obtained by The News-Gazette -- suggest that he has been pushing them to control faculty leaders who are dubious of the centralization, and that he has questioned whether chancellors have done enough to back him. An e-mail to Phyllis Wise, the new chancellor at Urbana-Champaign, called the faculty there "oppositional," and called on her to deal with a "defiant" Faculty Senate. Hogan also wrote that he was "not happy" with her "lack of leadership on enrollment management."
An e-mail from Wise disputed his analysis. "In fact, I have discussed enrollment management on the Urbana-Champaign campus in a nuanced manner to balance faculty (and my) concerns about the need to be able to manage campus level enrollment issues effectively vis-a-vis your and the Board of Trustees' concerns about diversity, articulation, and the effective use of financial aid. Thus, I would argue that I have exerted the kind of leadership that encourages an open discussion of the options before us," she wrote. "In my concept of leadership, it is extraordinarily important to pay attention both to the people who report to me, as well as those to whom I report."
Thirteen Canadian universities have seen their pension deficits grow from $680 million to $3.2 billion in the last three years, Financial Post reported. Some universities have responded to these trends by increasing employee contributions or changing retirement eligibility dates.
The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of $3 million given to Albany State University by Charles in 2001 and 2002, the Associated Press reported. The foundation says that Charles made the gift for a performing arts center, which has yet to be built. University officials said that they are still seeking money for the center, and that the funds were not limited to use on the planned arts center.
Britain plans to exempt about 1,000 foreign graduates of its universities from tighter rules about to start on staying in the country after graduation, Times Higher Education reported. Those with "world-class innovative ideas" will be allowed to stay. The government generally has been moving to limit post-graduation time in the country, but higher education leaders have noted that the ability to remain is a competitive advantage for the country in attracting the best foreign talent.
McGill University, following a five-day sit-in in an administration building, announced new rules on where protests would and would not be tolerated, Maclean's reported. In the future, the administration announced, "occupations of private offices or spaces, classrooms, laboratories or libraries, or other restricted areas will not be tolerated. If any type of occupation occurs and the occupiers refuse to leave when requested to do so, civil authorities will be called." In the case of the most recent protest, the university waited five days to do that, but opted for steadily escalating pressure, including blocking wireless Internet and -- toward the end of the protest -- blocking access to the bathrooms.
A federal judge in Connecticut has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Yale University by Dongguk University, in South Korea, the Associated Press reported. Dongguk says that it suffered huge losses from a scandal that can be traced to Yale incorrectly confirming that a professor there had earned a doctorate at Yale. The South Korean university says that it lost millions in government grants and donations because of the scandal when the professor was said to have had a love affair with an aide to South Korea's president. Yale has denied wrongdoing in the case.
The presidents of 16 universities in what are now Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference announced Monday that they plan to create one league that would span 6,000 miles, include as many as two dozen sports programs, and be "built upon the principles of operating at the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship," they said. The presidents and chancellors met secretly in Dallas on Sunday and agreed to a plan not to stabilize their current conferences (which have been the targets of raids by several other leagues in recent months) but to create a merged league (beginning in 2013-14) that the presidents believe can go toe to toe with the other major sports conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The involved universities are Colorado State, East Carolina University, Fresno State, Marshall, Rice, and Tulane Universities; the U.S. Air Force Academy; and the Universities of Alabama at Birmingham, Hawai'i, Nevada at Las Vegas and Nevada at Reno, New Mexico, Southern Mississippi, Texas at El Paso, Tulsa and Wyoming.