Coaches for 14 teams at West Virginia University impermissibly texted and telephoned prospective athletes in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, the association announced Wednesday. The N.C.A.A.'s Division I Committee on Infractions and the university -- working collaboratively through the association's summary disposition process -- agreed on the findings and the resulting penalties, which include restrictions on recruiting in all the sports. Most of the violations occurred in four sports: women’s gymnastics, football, women’s basketball and women’s soccer.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A legislative committee in Oklahoma has voted to ban the use of state funds for teaching Advanced Placement U.S. history, The Tulsa World reported. Lawmakers complained that the curriculum focuses too much on what "is bad about America." Further, some lawmakers are questioning the entire AP program, saying that it is effectively a national curriculum. These lawmakers note that the state is committed to fighting efforts at creating a national curriculum, and so some are questioning the legality of AP in its entirety.
About 800 applicants to a master's program in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University on Monday received e-mails accepting them to the program. Then, seven hours later, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, they received a notice that the acceptances were a mistake. They were asked to confirm the revocation of the offers. “This error was the result of serious mistakes in our process for generating acceptance letters,” said a statement from the university. “Once the error was discovered, the university moved quickly to notify affected applicants.”
Paul Quinn College, a historically black institution in Texas, plans to become a work college, meaning that all students will work throughout their time at the college in return for much lower tuition rates, The Texas Tribune reported. The college also plans to end the use of paid textbooks and to rely on open-source materials.
Inside Higher Ed is pleased to release today The Debate on Free Tuition at Community Colleges, our latest compilation of articles. The compilation features articles on the Tennessee plan, other state plans and President Obama's plan, plus opinion pieces that critique and praise the idea. The booklet is free and you may download a copy here. You may also sign up here for a free webinar on Tuesday, March 17, at 3 p.m. Eastern about the themes of the booklet.
Boston College is facing federal and state investigations of whether it has done enough to make its campus accessible to people with disabilities, The Boston Globe reported. Campus officials say that they are regularly making improvements but that the hilly campus creates challenges. But students and faculty members with disabilities point to numerous places on campus where those in wheelchairs or who have difficulty with stairs feel they have few good options to get from one place to another. A Facebook page features photographs (such as the one at right) of such spots.
Tenure-line faculty members at the University of Illinois at Springfield have formed a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. The new union has 137 members, who organized under the following platform: negotiate for “fair” wages and benefits, share governance with the administration and advocate for the rights of students without fear of professional retaliation.
Faculty members at Springfield’s sister institution, the University of Illinois at Chicago, also are organized with AFT (along with the American Association of University Professors) and signed their first union contract last year. A Springfield spokesman said the university respects faculty members’ right to decide whether or not they want to be represented by a union, and that the union “will have the power to act and speak for faculty in required group-level negotiations on wages, hours and conditions of work.” Some 71 eligible members signed cards in favor of the union, according to information from the university.
Karen A. Stout, president of Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, has been named president & CEO of Achieving the Dream, a network of community colleges focused on "evidence-based institutional improvement." She replaces William E. Trueheart, the group's founding president.
Stout became president of Montgomery County in 2001. The institution has been a part of Achieving the Dream, which she said "helps build capacity one college and one community at a time.”