Higher Education Quick Takes
The State University of New York at Binghamton on Wednesday ordered a halt to all pledging activities of fraternities and sororities, The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported. The university said it was acting because of "an alarmingly high number of serious hazing complaints." Officials did not offer details on these complaints.
Nine people in China are on trial for selling fake degrees to universities in the United States, China Daily reported. The charges state that those on trail sold more than 30 people fake degrees, for a total of 3.4 million yuan ($540,000). The alleged victims include senior executives of some businesses.
As expected, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday that Baylor University, newly crowned Division I women’s basketball champion, has been cited for violating recruiting rules. News leaked Monday that the men’s and women’s basketball programs sent about 750 impermissible recruiting text messages and made more than 500 impermissible phone calls to students they were courting. But the men’s coaches were also found to have lied during the investigation and impermissibly used talent scouts at basketball clinics, and the women’s program employed prospects at university camps and made impermissible inducements and contacts with two recruits.
The violations occurred over a four-year span, the NCAA said, and their frequency and longevity led the association to slap Baylor and its men’s basketball coach with serious “failure to monitor” charges. The coach, Scott Drew, has been suspended for next year’s first two conference games and is under telephone call recruiting restrictions, while the women’s coach, Kim Mulkey, may not participate in off-campus recruiting this summer. Assistant coaches face additional penalties. Under sanctions self-imposed by Baylor, men’s basketball will get one fewer scholarship next year and the women’s team will get two fewer. The NCAA placed Baylor on three years’ probation. See the full public infractions report here.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is working to create greater awareness among borrowers about student debt, has launched an early version of a financial aid comparison tool that lets students compare the cost of a certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree at up to three institutions. The results are based on average grants per student and assume the student will borrow the remainder of the sticker price, leading to high total debt loads and monthly payments. They also include an option for veterans looking to attend college on the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
A man from New York State was arrested Wednesday and charged with making e-mail threats to current and retired University of Pittsburgh professors, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The arrest comes as students and employees at Pitt are dealing with more than two dozen recent bomb threats at buildings there. According to a police report, the man who was arrested said that he has met the person behind the threats.
Excelencia in Education on Tuesday released data showing Latino college completion rates, by state. "The state-level data on Latino college completion show that today’s investment, or lack thereof, in Latino academic preparation and degree attainment can have a compounding effect on state populations, economies, and communities in the near future,” said Deborah Santiago, the organization's co-founder and vice president for policy and research.
A drag show planned for tonight at the University of San Diego has prompted debate at the Roman Catholic institution. Alumni who are angry about the drag show have created a website called Alumni for a Catholic USD protesting "the promotion of values that are directly contrary to our Catholic faith and traditions." Some are threatening to stop donating to the university. Thousands have signed a petition against the event. Mary Lyons, the president of the university, has defended the right of campus groups to put on the show. And now a new alumni group has been formed to support the university's leaders for not barring the drag show. A USD for Everyone's website says: "Many of us are alums who have worked together at USD to ensure that our alma mater was an inclusive community. Our jobs didn’t end as students. As alums, we have the responsibility to ensure USD remains a place for everyone."
Staff members at Christopher Newport University removed copies of the student newspaper last week because of an article about a possible meth lab on in a dormitory, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Officials were reportedly worried about having the article visible when prospective students and their families were on campus. Paul Trible, the president of the university, condemned the removal of the papers. "This action was taken by young employees who love CNU and were concerned that a newspaper article would create a bad impression for visiting prospective students," Trible said. "Their actions were inappropriate and they will be disciplined in accordance with university procedures."