Higher Education Quick Takes
Dozens of students at the University of South Alabama protested Wednesday over a recent deadly shooting by a police officer of a naked, unarmed student, the Associated Press reported. The police officer said that the student was charging at him. Since the death, authorities found that the student was on LSD at the time. Critics, including those at Wednesday's protest, said that the police should have used tasers or non-lethal force, and that the student -- by virtue of being naked -- was clearly unarmed. Others held a protest to back the police officer.
Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at Wright State University have voted, 92-29, to unionize. They voted to join the existing unit at Wright State, organized by the American Association of University Professors, that represents tenure-track faculty members.
- Matthew K. Gold, assistant professor of English at New York City College of Technology, has been promoted to associate professor there.
- Joseph J. Grilli, vice president of training institutes, external affairs and planning at Luzerne County Community College, in Pennsylvania, has been chosen as director of corporate and institutional recruitment at Misericordia University, also in Pennsylvania.
- Beatriz Betancourt Hardy, director of the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary, has been appointed as dean of libraries at Salisbury University, in Maryland.
- Brian W. Jack, associate professor and vice chair of family medicine at Boston University, in Massachusetts, has been promoted to chair and professor of family medicine.
- Keith A. Orris, senior vice president at Lancaster General Health, in Pennsylvania, has been named senior vice president for corporate relations and economic development at Drexel University, also in Pennsylvania.
- Paula Witherell, public relations director at Hilbert College, in New York, has been selected as assistant to the president for communications/deputy chief of staff at Buffalo State of the State University of New York.
Nicholas Lemann will announce today that he is stepping down as the journalism dean at Columbia University, The New York Times reported. As dean, Lemann has been a prominent voice in discussions of the reform of journalism education, and has attracted new resources and faculty slots to his program. While he has been popular with many students, Columbia's journalism school (like many others) has seen fairly steady criticism from students over their difficult job prospects. Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia's president, plans to personally lead the search for a new dean.
King's College, in Pennsylvania, recently announced layoffs that will eliminate 11 full-time non-faculty positions, with the goal of eliminating a deficit, Citizen's Voice reported. Officials said that tuition discounting through financial aid exceeded what the college could afford, forcing the cuts. (This language corrects an earlier version.)
Texas Southern University, which has spent 16 of the past 20 years either on probation or in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, was cited Thursday with a lack of institutional control for, among other things, allowing 129 athletes in 13 sports to compete while academically ineligible.
Texas Southern will now add another five years’ probation to its record, suffer a postseason ban for the 2013 and 2014 football seasons and the 2012-13 men’s basketball season, and reduce its available scholarships and recruiting activities in those two sports. The NCAA also took the unusual steps of limiting Texas Southern’s competition while it’s on probation to only Football Championship Series teams, because of safety concerns related to the aforementioned reductions, and of requiring an in-person review and report of athletics policies and practices through the probation term (at the university’s expense). Finally, team records for all sports from the 2006-7 and 2009-10 academic years must be vacated, as well as the football and women’s soccer records from 2010-11.
The violations occurred over the course of seven years (2004-5 through 2010-11), and while the majority of the involved athletes were not meeting progress-to-degree or transfer requirements, they continued to receive athletic aid and travel expenses. Further, Texas Southern’s former head football coach “knowingly allowed” a booster to recruit for him, and the former men’s basketball gave the NCAA false or misleading information during the investigation. “The staff not only failed to dissuade the booster from making such contacts but also actively encouraged him,” the Committee on Infractions said in its summary of the case. The basketball team itself also got in trouble for failing to reduce its scholarships and athletic activity per previous NCAA violation citations. The public infractions report goes into greater detail about the committee's findings.
Robert J. Lefkowitz, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center; and Brian K. Kobilka, of the Stanford University School of Medicine, were this morning named winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They were honored "for studies of G-protein–coupled receptors."
A couple from Hong Kong paid an educational "consultant" $2.2 million in an unsuccessful effort to get their sons into Harvard University, according to court documents, The Boston Globe reported. The parents are now suing the consultant, who has acknowledged taking their money, but denied many of their other allegations. The money in theory covered strategy for getting the sons in, donations made to ease their path, tutoring and more. Both the parents and the consultant declined to comment.
Jerry Sandusky, who will be sentenced today for 45 counts of childhood sexual abuse, maintained his innocence in a recording obtained by the student radio station at Pennsylvania State University, The Centre Daily Times reported. In the recording -- whose authenticity was confirmed by Sandusky's lawyers -- the former football coach blamed his accusers for his current situation. "I’m responding to the worst loss of my life. First, I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose?" he asked. He said that the only person he ever had sex with was his wife. And he said that one false accusation led to others. "A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won," Sandusky said.