A state auditor has found that Northwest Missouri State University has violated state law by extending some contracts for food services, facilities management and other functions without competitive bids, in exchange for gifts for stadium renovations, The Kansas City Star reported. University officials said that they were trying to move forward to correct any problems.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The board of Southern University on Tuesday deadlocked and failed to adopt a resolution allowing the Baton Rouge campus to declare financial exigency, the Associated Press reported. Some university leaders have said that such a declaration is needed to impose cuts, but faculty leaders have argued that sufficient spending shifts could be made without declaring exigency. A declaration of exigency could lead to cuts of tenured faculty positions.
Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are trying to promote discussion of a statue of a Confederate soldier on the campus, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Many students say that the statue -- dedicated in 1913 and known as "Silent Sam" -- is a symbol of white supremacy. Some students want it taken down, while others argue for moving it, changing its plaque, adding another statue or simply promoting more discussion of what the symbolism is. Last week, students taped a temporary notice to the statue that reads: "This memorial to Confederate soldiers who left the university perpetuates an incomplete and inaccurate history - one that intentionally neglects the vast number of North Carolinians who opposed secession and the Confederacy. The original supporters of this monument, both town and university leaders, were motivated by racism and were colluders in a statewide campaign to establish white dominance."
University of New Mexico officials thought they had a plan to save about $70,000 by eliminating the job of a vice provost (at a salary of $192,000), and replacing him with three part-time administrators. But The Albuquerque Journal reported that officials brought on the part-timers before they realized that the vice provost already had been given (and had signed) a contract for the year. So now the university has the vice provost (being assigned new duties) and the three part-time administrators on payroll.
New Zealand's University of Auckland is rejecting calls that it fire Margaret Mutu, head of the Maori studies department, over controversial statements she recently made. Mutu called for the country to limit immigration by white people, saying that they bring "an attitude of white supremacy" that hurts people from indigenous groups. News 3 New Zealand reported that Stuart McCutcheon, the vice chancellor, issued a statement focused on academic freedom. "The vice-chancellor understands the concerns raised ... but believes very strongly in the right of academics to comment on issues in which they have expertise, even when those comments may be controversial," he said.
The Education Department is taking its leaders on the road for a back-to-school bus tour focusing on education and the economy. Martha Kanter, the under secretary of education, will spend today at Monroe Community College, in Rochester, N.Y., discussing public-private partnerships and "cradle-to-career" education reform. Other department officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, are touring Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois as part of the bus tour, the department's second such effort. Last year's trip focused on the South and the Northeast.
National Louis University is offering a tuition discount on a course through the popular website Groupon, The Chicago Tribune reported. The three-credit graduate course in education normally would have a tuition rate of $2,232. Groupon will offer it for $950. A spokeswoman for Groupon said this was the first time a college had used Groupon to attract students with a discount.
The board of the University of Central Arkansas voted Friday to buy out the contract of Allen Meadors, who has been president since July 2009. The board voted the day after Meadors apologized to the board for not fully briefing members that a $700,000 "gift" from Aramark to renovate the president's home was linked to a contract for the company to provide food services at the university.
Dalhousie University, in Canada, has decided to end use of Turnitin, saying that it was unhappy that student papers were being stored by the plagiarism detection service on servers in the United States, The Toronto Star reported. Student groups have long complained about the use of plagiarism detection software, but many faculty members are upset by the decision, saying that they lack a new system as the fall semester is starting.
With economic issues playing a more important role than ever in medicine, more physicians are seeking M.B.A.s or taking courses in business, The New York Times reported. There are now 65 joint M.D./M.B.A. programs, up from 5 or 6 in the late 1990s.