Higher Education Quick Takes
Although Joe Paterno was ousted as football coach at Pennsylvania State University last year, he is still giving to the university. The Centre Daily Times reported that Paterno and his wife donated $100,000 recently to the university to two non-athletic programs with the Paterno name. They donated $50,000 to the library and $50,000 to a fellows program in the College of the Liberal Arts.
Morgan State University on Sunday indefinitely suspended its head basketball coach, Todd Bozeman, after the president of South Carolina State University and a number of other people said they saw Bozeman punch a player during a late timeout in the road game Saturday. But, The Baltimore Sun reported, Bozeman, who is on paid administrative leave, has maintained that witnesses exaggerated the interaction, which he described as “accidental” and like “coming around a corner and bumping into someone." Now, Bozeman’s lawyer is accusing university administrators of violating the coach’s contract and the university’s discipline policies by refusing to allow an appeal of the suspension. Morgan State hired Bozeman after he emerged from an eight-year ban for National Collegiate Athletic Association recruiting violations at the University of California at Berkeley.
Protests and political battles are creating tensions and leading to evictions at Sri Lanka's universities, BBC reported. Students complain about a range of government policies and proposals to create private universities, a move they see as one that would end a tradition of free higher education in the country.
In her first extensive interview since her work was dropped from Newt Gingrich's next book, Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, defended climate science and criticized the politicization of the issue. Hayhoe spoke to The Guardian, saying: "I really, really deplore the politicization and polarization of this issue. There are these increasingly unprincipled attempts to polarize the science when the science is fact -- like the sky is blue, the grass is green and the temperature of our planet is increasing."
Gingrich is getting ready to publish a collection of essays on environmental issues, and Hayhoe had been included. But she was dropped after Rush Limbaugh criticized her inclusion. National Journal published an article about, and video of, Gingrich being approached by a would-be supporter who had heard Limbaugh's criticism, and who was reassured when Gingrich assured her that the essay would be removed from his book.
The Board of Governors of the California community college system on Monday voted to endorse recommendations from a state task force that seeks to improve student success amid a backdrop of deep budget cuts. The recommendations include more of an emphasis on first-time students who are on-track to a degree or credential, a controversial shift for a system that has long been steadfastly committed to open access. But the task force and system leaders argue that the 112 colleges are already rationing slots, having turned away 140,000 students in a recent year, with an estimated 200,000 who will be frozen out this year. California's Legislature is scheduled to consider the recommendations in the next two months.
The annual meeting of the Modern Language Association has long been the site of hook-ups (and gossip about hook-ups, real, exaggerated and fictional). Craigslist personals for Seattle (the meeting location) provide an insight into the current status of the genre of the MLA pick-up line. (Historians and economists also held annual meetings last week, but only one related personal, from a historian, could be found from their meetings on Craigslist for Chicago, where both groups convened.) Among the MLA members posting on Craigslist, one wrote "Drop me a line and let's see what extra credit work we can come up with." Another listed his qualifications this way: "I'm attractive and a literary genius from the wrong side of the tracks." Yet another asked those replying to "include either the word 'De Man' or 'Derrida' in your subject line."
The American Economic Association responded to criticism that some economists were too close to businesses or the government by issuing a new set of guidelines last week at its annual meeting in Chicago, aiming to get scholars to disclose the supporters of their research when they publish in AEA journals. The new guidelines were approved at an executive committee meeting Thursday. “Every submitted article should state the sources of financial support for the particular research it describes. If none, that fact should be stated,” says one of the new principles. Another principle asks authors to “identify each interested party from whom he or she has received significant financial support, summing to at least $10,000 in the past three years, in the form of consultant fees, retainers, grants and the like. The disclosure requirement also includes in-kind support, such as providing access to data.” The additions come after years of introspection by economists, following the financial meltdown of 2008.
Lisa Troyer, chief of staff to the president of the University of Illinois System, resigned abruptly Friday amid an inquiry into whether she sent anonymous e-mail messages to faculty members trying to influence their deliberations on policy matters, The Chicago Tribune reported. The university did not announce the reasons for Troyer's resignation, but it came as the Tribune was making inquiries into the investigation of the allegations against her. Faculty leaders were concerned about a senior aide to the president trying to play the part online of a faculty member advising colleagues.
Xavier University, in Ohio, has backed away from a plan to require all students who were in the student section at a basketball game at which a brawl broke out to attend a "reflection session" as a condition of attending any other basketball games, Cincinnati.com reported. The brawl -- involving athletes from Xavier and its crosstown rival the University of Cincinnati -- embarrassed both universities. An e-mail announcing the requirement said: "The student section contributed to the hostile atmosphere that charged the arena with unsportsmanlike conduct through unacceptable chanting, verbal expletives, and objects being thrown onto the arena floor. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, the behaviors demonstrated are not becoming of its students and is in conflict with the mission, values, and standards of Xavier University." But many students objected to everyone being required to attend the event, so the university is now making attendance voluntary, and inviting all students, not just those who were in attendance the night of the brawl.