Higher Education Quick Takes
John Pike, the police officer who used pepper spray last year on students who were protesting peacefully at the University of California at Davis, is no longer employed by the university, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. He was suspended with pay after the incident. A Davis spokesman confirmed that Pike's last day of employment was July 31, but declined to comment further. Pike could not be reached for comment.
The football and men’s basketball teams at the University of Central Florida will have to sit out the upcoming postseason, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Tuesday, as the Committee on Infractions cited the university for lacking institutional control and failing to monitor its sports program, by allowing impermissible recruiting activities and extra benefits for athletes. The NCAA's decision comes just two years after the association punished Central Florida for recruiting violations by former athletics officials.
At issue was “an ever-increasing problem in intercollegiate athletics today,” the committee said in its public infractions report. Third parties, “who through their activity became athletics representatives of UCF,” had significant unallowable telephone and in-person recruiting contact with men’s basketball and football athletes, the committee said. Further, one representative provided prospects and current athletes with $16,000 in cash payments, travel expenses, tuition and a laptop computer. The committee also found unethical conduct on the part of the former athletics director and assistant football coach, who “knowingly provided false and misleading information” in interviews with NCAA enforcement officials. Athletic department employees not only knew about the recruiting violations, the committee said – “in some cases” they “encouraged” it. The same third parties also received benefits and favors from the program, including event tickets. The failure to monitor charge stems from the men’s basketball coach’s neglect to stop or discourage and report the violations.
The NCAA’s penalties add to a number of self-imposed sanctions, including vacation of men’s basketball wins from 2008-9, and a reduction in recruiting days and official paid visits. Other sanctions include a $50,000 fine, five years’ probation, scholarship reductions in football and men’s basketball, and three-year show-cause orders for the former athletics director and two coaches, meaning that if they move to another institution the penalties will follow them there unless the college can show the NCAA why they shouldn’t apply.
In the wake of a federal investigation, Xavier University in Ohio has agreed to reform its procedures for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment and assault, Cincinnati.com reported. The investigation was prompted by complaints from two female students who said that a male student was twice allowed to stay on campus after being found responsible for sexual assaults. Another student charged that Xavier did not treat her fairly when she filed a complaint about sexual harassment and stalking.
Officials at California State University and the California Faculty Association announced Tuesday that they had reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that will preserve current terms and will not lead to any salary increases. The contract, which will now have to be ratified by the university’s board of trustees and CFA members, is valid through June 2014. The new contract leaves open the possibility of more salary negotiations in the next two years. Union leaders hailed the new agreement because it preserved salaries and benefits amidst deep budget cuts in the state. The new contract comes after two years of bruising talks between the two sides, and included a vote by CFA members earlier this year to authorize strikes if disputes over the contract were not resolved. The union represents 23,000 faculty members, coaches, counselors and librarians across 23 campuses in the state.
Urban College, a two-year institution in Boston that serves low-income and immigrant women, will stay open for the fall, The Boston Globe reported. The college had been on the verge of closing, but has received enough donations to assure operations for the fall semester, while efforts continue to place the institution on a more stable financial footing.
South Korean universities are enrolling increasing numbers of students from Hong Kong, Singapore, France and elsewhere this summer, Asia News Network reported. The students are attracted both by educational opportunities and interest in Korean pop culture.
- Ehren Bucholtz, assistant professor at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, has been promoted to associate professor of organic chemistry there.
- Richard Forrest, vice president for international business development and product strategy at Ellucian, Inc., has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing at Jadu, Inc.
- Wanda S. Mitchell, vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence at the University of New Hampshire, has been chosen as vice president for diversity and equity at Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Kathryn Plank, associate director of the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and associate professor in the School of Educational Policy and Leadership at Ohio State University, has been appointed as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Otterbein University, also in Ohio.
- Kenneth Ryalls, vice president for academic affairs at Nebraska Methodist College, has been selected as president of the IDEA Center, in Kansas.
Andrew Stringer, senior vice president of human resources at Pegasus Solutions, has been named vice president of human resources at Thunderbird School of Management, in Arizona.
A plea agreement has led to charges being dropped against the University of California System over the 2008 lab fire that killed Sheri Sangji, a research assistant at the University of California at Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times reported. The system agreed to follow new safety measures and to endow a $500,000 scholarship in Sangji's name. Charges remain against Patrick Harran, a chemistry professor who was the lab supervisor.
Authorities arrested a Kent State University sophomore Sunday after he allegedly posted a message on Twitter threatening to shoot up the campus, The Plain Dealer reported. The student was charged with inducing panic and aggravated menacing.