Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 4:06pm

Rick Santorum, who is trying to pull off an upset win in the Iowa caucuses for the Republican presidential nomination, is making higher education a target. In a speech in Mason City, Iowa, Santorum said that it is time to examine support for higher education, the Associated Press reported. "Let's look at colleges and universities," he said. "They've become indoctrination centers for the left. Should we be subsidizing that?" He also criticized Harvard University. Noting that its motto is "Veritas," he said that "they haven't seen truth at Harvard in 100 years."

 

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 3:00am

Colorado Christian University on Thursday became the second institution to sue the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private employers cover birth control in their health plans or pay a fine. “The government’s Mandate unconstitutionally coerces Colorado Christian to violate its deeply-held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines and penalties,” the lawsuit says.

It adds that the health care overhaul legislation “forces” the university to “fund government-dictated speech…. Because the government acted with full knowledge of those beliefs, and because it allows plans not to cover these services for a wide range of reasons other than [sic] religion, the Mandate can be interpreted as nothing other than a deliberate attack by the government on the religious beliefs of Colorado Christian and millions of other Americans.” (In some cases, the legislation allows exceptions based on the employer size or the age of the plan, the lawsuit says.)

Colorado Christian’s action follows a similar complaint filed last month by Belmont Abbey College. That lawsuit also alleged that the contraception requirement violates the university’s First Amendment rights. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed both suits on behalf of the universities.

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday hastily withdrew a policy change that would have allowed the agency to deduct from its tuition payments to colleges any debts that student veterans owed the government from their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The approach, which college officials had learned about this week via e-mail from a regional office of the veterans' agency, caused immediate consternation among campus veterans' education administrators and others, who feared they would then be put in the awkward position of becoming the government's debt collectors from their own students. "[T]he school will get shorted money and be expected to recoup it from the Veterans," one administrator wrote on a listserv for veterans' officials. "This is going to make the schools VERY mad."

A spokesman for the veterans' agency said in a statement late Thursday:  “System changes installed this week allowed for collection of Post-9/11 Bill debts from all education benefit payments issued to or on behalf of the student.  However, because these changes had not been fully vetted, they have been withdrawn effective today.”

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 3:00am
  • Elaine Delk, executive director of community relations at Richland School District Two, in South Carolina, has been selected as executive director of development at Newberry College, also in South Carolina.
  • Eric Jones, interim dean of students at Central College, in Iowa, has been promoted to director of academic resources and class dean there.
  • Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Dayton, in Ohio, has been named vice president for enrollment management and marketing there.
  • Theodore (Ted) Rappaport, William and Bettye Nowlin Chair of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, has been named David Lee/Ernst Weber Chair of Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
  • Jacaranda Van Rheenen, postdoctoral recruiter for academic programs in biomedical sciences at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Tennessee, has been chosen as assistant dean for graduate academic affairs at Washington University in St. Louis.

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


 
Friday, December 23, 2011 - 4:57am

Lincoln Memorial University's law school on Thursday sued the American Bar Association, charging that its decision this week to deny accreditation to the school violated federal antitrust laws and denied it due process. The law school argues that it met all of the accreditor's standards and that the ABA acted against it to protect its current members from competition.

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Fred Caporaso of Chapman University explains the science behind a great food and wine pairing. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 3:00am

A former student who said that Brown University forced him out because the daughter of a donor accused him of rape has dropped a lawsuit against the university, and reached a settlement with the family of the woman who accused him, the Associated Press reported. Details of the agreement were not released, and a Brown spokeswoman said the university was not a party to the settlement. Both sides agreed not to talk to the news media. A former assistant wrestling coach who backed the former student who was accused of rape said that the settlement was a victory for him.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 4:55am

The average assistant football coach at the National Collegiate Athletic Association's top competitive level saw his pay rise by 11 percent this year, and the total salaries of the assistant coaches for at least five programs rose above $3 million, USA Today reported. The article, the newspaper's third such survey of assistant coaches' pay, found an 18 percent increase over all since 2009 among assistant coaches at 97 institutions that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the division has a total of 120 members, but many private universities refused to provide their salary data to USA Today). The top-paid assistant (earning $1.3 million) was at Auburn University, while Louisiana State University and the Universities of Alabama, Texas at Austin, Tennessee at Knoxville and Florida all paid their football assistants at least $3 million cumulatively.

By comparison, the average salary for professors rose 1.4 percent in 2010-11, the latest year for which data are available, according to the American Association of University Professors.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 3:00am

New Hampshire officials have certified a union for adjuncts at Plymouth State University based on a vote by those off the tenure track to start collective bargaining, The Citizen reported. The vote was 60 to 43. The new union will be affiliated with the State Employees Association of New Hampshire. Adjuncts said that they believed they could get better wages and working conditions with a union.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University education professor, was on Wednesday named winner of the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education. She was honored for her 2010 book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future.

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