Lafayette College has announced new rules for alcohol violations by athletes, with various levels of sanctions based on a variety of factors. But The Express-Times noted that the new rules do not eliminate a "Good Samaritan" policy under which athletes can report a friend in trouble without fear of facing any charges. An earlier version of the rules did eliminate that policy, prompting considerable anger from athletes at the college.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanian poet who taught creative writing and African literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was among those killed in the terrorist attack on a mall in Kenya. Awoornor was also a Stony Brook alumnus.
The State University of New York has toughened admissions requirements for the teacher preparation programs on 17 of its campuses. To enter an undergraduate major or a graduate program, a Graduate Record Examination or equivalent test will now be required, as only some campuses have done in the past. There will also for the first time be a uniform 3.0 grade-point-average requirement (such requirements also varied by campus). The 3.0 would apply to the first two years of college work for undergraduate programs that accept students as juniors, to high school grades for programs that accept freshmen, and to undergraduate work for graduate programs.
Kenneth P. Ruscio, president of Washington and Lee University, has ordered a review of the way the university reports admissions statistics, The Washington Post reported. The review follows an earlier report in the Post that the university has counted as applicants many who never finished their applications. The university's decision to count those partial applications decreased the university's admit rate, suggesting that it is more selective than it would be otherwise. “I believe that we are acting in accordance with the applicable guidelines and in a manner consistent with how other colleges and universities approach this process,” said a statement from Ruscio. “Nevertheless, if there are questions about our policy, we will address them forthrightly and transparently. Our credibility is fundamental to everything that we do.”
The review will focus on which applicants are counted in certain categories. The questions that have been raised are about that decision, not the accuracy of the data overall.
Providence College administrators have called off a lecture organized by several academic departments by a philosophy professor at Wayne State University who is an advocate of same-sex marriage rights, The New York Times reported. Hugh F. Lena, the provost and senior vice president at Providence, sent out an e-mail announcing that the lecture by John Corvino could not take place. In his e-mail, Lena cited a document created by American Roman Catholic bishops in 2004, "Catholics in Political Life," which questioned the appropriateness of honoring political leaders who take positions that disagree with church teachings. Lena also said that the college requires that "both sides of a controversial issue are to be presented fairly and equally."
On his blog, Corvino questioned the provost's statement. Corvino noted that he was not being given some award but was invited by academic departments to give an academic talk. Further, he noted that the organizers had invited a theology professor at the college to speak immediately after him, explaining the church's views on marriage, and that the professor had accepted the offer. So, Corvino wrote, his appearance complied with the various rules in place. "The provost seems to want to have it both ways: the appearance of a commitment to vigorous academic dialogue, combined with an isolationist approach to disfavored views; in other words, a Catholic identity defined primarily by what it excludes rather than what it includes," Corvino wrote. "Pope Francis, the Catholic Church’s new leader, has been justly celebrated for his welcoming tone toward gays and lesbians. Notwithstanding my abrupt dis-invitation, I remain hopeful that Providence College may soon better reflect that tone."
Adjuncts at Wright State University reached their first union agreement with the institution last week. The 180-member union of full-time adjuncts is affiliated with the American Association of University Professors.
In an e-mail, Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the AAUP and professor of economics at Wright State, said the contract was notable for its tenure-like job protections, including assurances of due process and continuous employment. It also includes a 2 percent raise and professional development funds, among other benefits. A separate agreement signed alongside the contract guarantees workloads of seven to eight courses annually for full-time adjuncts, depending on their rank.
The online learning website Khan Academy has begun translating its video lessons into Spanish, a spokeswoman recently confirmed. The site already features portals that link non-native English speakers to video lessons in English, but translating the more than 100,000 practice problems and video lessons into a different language marks a first for the site. The spokeswoman said about 95 percent of the practice problems and about 2,000 video lessons have so far been translated into Spanish, which means Spanish speakers visiting the new site will see some content in English for the time being. Once the old content has been translated, the spokeswoman said the translation team will adapt new content as it is added to the site.
Athletes took to national television to protest their treatment by the National Collegiate Athletic Association by wearing wrist tape with "APU" -- "All Players United" -- during their football games Saturday. Players from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Northwestern University joined in to draw attention to issues including concussions and lack of pay. Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, told ESPN that the players have been planning for months and athletes on other elite teams are interested in participating in the protest, which will continue "throughout the season."
Don Samuelson, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Florida, has been charged by authorities with digital voyeurism for using a camera pen to secretly record the body parts of several of his female students, The Gainesville Sun reported. A police report said that Samuelson confessed, and said he made the videos of women's chests and thighs for his own enjoyment.