Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:29am

St. Louis Community College is facing tough criticism for the way it responded to an incident in which, officials acknowledge, in which a female student was assaulted in a women's room, and being held in a headlock until her cries for help prompted others to come to her assistance, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The suspect in the case, also a student, was initially released with a verbal warning to stay off campus. (He has since been arrested.) In addition, the college didn't warn other students about the attack. Myrtle E. B. Dorsey, chancellor of the community college, has issued a letter apologizing for the failure to notify the campus of the attack, and indicating that the college will review its procedures for expelling students.

 

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:36am

A fraternity video in which a student appeared in blackface has sparked outrage at the University of California at Irvine, CBS Los Angeles reported. The student in blackface is portraying the rapper Jay-Z, and the video was made to welcome new members of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity. “We sincerely apologize if we offended anyone whatsoever," said the fraternity's president. "On behalf of my brothers who were involved in the video, know that it was unintentional. But unintentional or not we do know that it was wrong."

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 3:00am
  • Tracy Bicknell-Holmes, head of the Engineering Library and Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, has been appointed as dean of Albertsons Library at Boise State University, in Idaho.
  • Terri M. Carbaugh, interim director of state and federal relations at Sacramento State University, in California, has been selected as associate vice president for legislative and external relations at California State University at Long Beach.
  • Timothy Hoff, associate professor of health policy and management at the State University of New York at Albany, has been named associate professor of management, healthcare systems and health policy at Northeastern University, in Massachusetts.
  • Matteel Jones, vice president for student affairs at Technical College of the Lowcountry, in South Carolina, has been selected as vice president for student services at Greenville Technical College, also in South Carolina.
  • John Keith, associate research scholar at Princeton University, in New Jersey, has been appointed as assistant professor and R.K. Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • James A. Larimore, deputy director for student success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been chosen as dean of students at Amherst College.

The appointments above are drawn from Inside Higher Ed's job changes database. To submit news about job changes and promotions, please click here.

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 3:00am

Three Pennsylvania institutions -- Marywood University, Keystone College and Lackawanna College -- have removed Robert J. Mellow's name from their buildings, The Times Leader reported. Mellow was previously a powerful state legislator. But he is now in jail, after he pleaded guilty last year to under-reporting his income for his 2008 tax return, and committing mail fraud by using his Senate staff members to perform political duties for himself and others.

 

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON -- As Congress begins the long process of renewing the Higher Education Act, the leaders of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce published an open letter to higher education "stakeholders" Thursday, asking for suggestions on rewriting the sweeping law governing federal financial aid programs. Representatives are especially interested in a few areas, they wrote: empowering "students as consumers"; simplifying student aid and loans; increasing affordability, accountability and completion; reducing costs; and balancing "the need for accountability with the burden of federal requirements."

In a statement, the committee's chairman, Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, emphasized paring regulations, simplifying financial aid and providing families with better information. Representative George Miller, a California Democrat, said he hoped to focus on the increasing price of higher education, student debt, barriers to completion, and community colleges.

The committee said it welcomes suggestions -- the more specific the better -- at HEA.Reauth@mail.house.gov.

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 3:00am

The University of Central Florida has suspended Hyung-il Jung, an instructor, over a comment about "a killing spree," but students say that he posed no danger and was misunderstood, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Jung told a group of students, he said, something along these lines: "This question is very difficult. It looks like you guys are being slowly suffocated by these questions. Am I on a killing spree or what?" Some students have sent a joint letter to the university saying that there is no need for the investigation Central Florida says it is conducting, and that the comment was clearly a joke.

 

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 3:00am

Montana State University will decertify its faculty union after the affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association conceded defeat in a referendum brought by faculty members who wanted to end collective bargaining. The union had challenged four ballots after a preliminary results showed the faculty members favoring decertification held a five-vote lead. The Montana Board of Personnel Appeals has yet to release an official notice of decertification.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 4:31am

The University of Indianapolis is shutting down its campus in Greece. "[E]conomic conditions in Greece have made it very difficult to continue [operations] according to the high standards of the university and the expectations of our accrediting agency," said a statement from the university. The university will continue an M.B.A. program it operates in Greece for students from Saudi Arabia, and plans to "use that financially viable program as a model for developing new programs on a contract basis," the statement added.

 

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON -- When choosing a college, most prospective students are more in need of help navigating already-available data than they are of more disclosures from colleges and universities, witnesses told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce's Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training during a hearing Wednesday. The hearing, on college transparency, focused less on what colleges should be telling prospective students and more on what can be done to make that information accessible and understandable. Witnesses, including Donald Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, said they doubted information on students' salaries after graduation was enlightening, although requiring colleges to provide those data has received bipartisan support in Congress in recent months. Students need "better information, not just data," Heller said.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 4:34am

Robert Shearer, formerly the director of environmental health and occupational safety at San Francisco State University, has been charged with 128 felonies related to allegedly taking bribes to award a waste-disposal contract that cost the institution millions of dollars, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The bribes allegedly included $183,000, plane tickets for international travel and a Volvo. Shearer has appeared in court, but has not entered a plea in the case.

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