Boston University has been caught up in a messy fight over a collection of papers, videotapes and film reels of the independent filmmaker Mark Rappaport, The Boston Globe reported. Rappaport gave the materials to Ray Carney, a film professor at BU, in 2005. But Rappaport said he believed that he was turning over the materials for storage while he was going to be out of the country. But Carney has treated the agreement as a gift of the materials to him. With many film luminaries signing a petition demanding that Carney return the materials, some faculty members at BU fear that the reputation of their film program is being hurt by the dispute.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Valencia College has a national reputation as a leading community college, but President Sandy Shugart and some trustees have appeared to be having tense relations of late. The Orlando Sentinel reported on e-mails from Guillermo Hansen, one of the trustees who have been critical of Shugart. Hansen complained in an e-mail about his daughter not being interviewed for a job at the college. In addition he complained about the college not moving to advertise publications that might reach Latino students. Hansen is the owner and editor of a bilingual publication for Latinos. Hansen said that he was raising legitimate issues of importance to the college and its students.
Legislation in North Carolina would remove the state income tax break for parents if their children register to vote with a residence other than the home of their parents, WRAL News reported. The bill was apparently designed to discourage students from voting in the college towns in which many of them live.
Officials of Northern Kentucky University on Friday revealed why Scott Eaton was fired last month as athletics director: a series of affairs. NKY.com reported that over a period of years, he had four affairs with women who were university employees and one with a student. Two of the employees worked in jobs that fell under his authority.
News reports spread Thursday that a McDonald's in Massachusetts was requiring applicants for a cashier's position to have a bachelor's degree. The reports seemed to reinforce a theme of some pundits of late that the value of college degrees has been oversold. But as the Associated Press reported, only a third-party job search site listed the position in that way. The real McDonald's that was seeking applicants was not specifying that requirement.
The Texas A&M University Student Senate has approved a recommendation to the administration that students be given the option of "opting out" of paying student fees that support groups that are contrary to the students' religious views, KBTX News reported. The proposal first said only that students should be able to opt out of supporting a gay campus center on campus, but the measure was renamed and broadened when some said that the idea was anti-gay. Critics say that the proposal is still anti-gay. Supporters say that students shouldn't have any of their fee money go to groups that are contrary to their religious views.
Liberty University has eased gun rules on campus, The News & Advance reported. Until now, people with concealed-carry permits were allowed to bring guns on campus, but not into buildings. Under the new rules, guns may be brought into any buildings except dormitories. "I think it’s good that Liberty is a little more open than some schools, and I think it’ll continue to create a higher level of security on campus than what was found at Virginia Tech,” said Jerry Falwell Jr., the university's chancellor.
edX, the provider of massive open online courses, will offer free test-grading software, The New York Times reported. Officials at edX said that the service will use artificial intelligence to grade short essay answers, and thus would allow faculty members to focus on other subjects. Many experts on writing dispute the claims that such grading is educationally sound.
Click here to propose a caption for April's edition of Inside Higher Ed's Cartoon Caption Contest. The three entries that our experts' panel likes best will be put to a vote by our readers, and the winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall.
You can also click here to vote on the three captions nominated by our judges as finalists for our March cartoon.
And congratulations to the winner of our February contest: Alan F. Edwards Jr., director of policy studies for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Find out more about him and his submission by visiting this link.