Higher Education Quick Takes
A faculty member at Hocking College, in Ohio, has been barred from campus as authorities believe he may be a threat to three other faculty members, The Athens Messenger reported. The campus was informed of the ban and threats Thursday afternoon, and leaflets posted on campus include the faculty members name and photograph. The Messenger said it could not reach the man who was named as the threat.
Bob Jones University, an evangelical institution that bars any sex outside of heterosexual marriage, devoted last week's four chapel services to gay issues. The decision to do so prompted much speculation and debate on social media. Randy Page, director of public relations at the university, said via email that the decision to focus on same-sex attraction came at the request of students. During one of the services, Stephen Jones, president of Bob Jones, told the students about a "totally inappropriate letter" received by one student who may be gay. Jones told "the student body that the sentiments expressed represented nothing of the spirit of Christ and would not be accepted here," Page said.
BJUnity, a group promoting equity for gay students at Bob Jones, called the chapel services "a farce," and noted that the university has never apologized for hostile statements made in the past by university leaders.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association on Friday called off its football championship game for the year after the quarterback for Winton-Salem State University was allegedly assaulted by players for Virginia State University, The Winston-Salem Journal reported. One Virginia State player has been arrested and Winston-Salem officials said that more may have been involved. A statement from the conference said that it has barred the Virginia State football team from postseason play. Keith Miller, president of Virginia State, issued this statement: "Virginia State University has indefinitely suspended a member of the VSU football team. Further, VSU will pursue a thorough internal investigation into Friday’s incident of which the findings and recommendations will be reported directly to me. We will include both students and alumni in this internal investigation process. Based on the report, further disciplinary action may be forthcoming. Playing on a VSU athletic team is a privilege. Student-athletes who fail to live up to the ideals of our institution will forfeit that privilege. We have a zero tolerance policy toward acts of violence, on or off campus, and we take that policy very seriously."
Federal authorities have given Princeton University permission to use Bexsero, a vaccine against meningitis not yet approved for general use in the United States, The New York Times reported. Seven people at Princeton have come down with a strain of meningitis in the last year, and that strain is not covered by the vaccination approved for use in the United States. Princeton is considering the use of Bexsero, and has also started a number of other efforts, such as discouraging students at parties from sharing the same cups.
California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, warned the University of California Board of Regents Thursday, that the university system is going to need to look to internal savings to finance improvements, The Los Angeles Times reported. Brown spoke at a meeting at which the board approved a tuition freeze (consistent with the governor's thinking), but also a request to the state for $120 million beyond what he has proposed in his state budget plan. "The big, bad state is not going to bail you out at a rate that is different from what we are doing," Brown said. And he said that the university can't rely on its reputation for "quality and greatness" to get around budget realities.
"Remember that students, unfortunately, are the default financiers of higher education in America," he said. "We are going to have reshape the way things are done.... We are going to have to get into concrete trade-offs of how do you live within your means."
More than 20,000 people have signed a petition urging Iowa State University to end a course that critics say encourages the proliferation of puppy mills, The Des Moines Register reported. But the university says the course doesn't exist, and that the outrage is over some materials the university has produced to help dog breeders improve the treatment of animals in their care.
The University of Southern California Rossier School of Education announced Thursday that it will offer alumni of its graduate program "continuous" support in their professional lives. Alumni with professional challenges or questions can call the school and will receive a "plan for improvement" and input from faculty members on a "Rapid Response Team" that USC is creating.
Bowie State University has announced that it is ending student health insurance due to the increased costs associated with the new federal health care law. The university is encouraging students to either get on their parents' plans or participate in Maryland's health insurance exchange.