Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

The Collegian, the student weekly at La Salle University, left the top of its most recent edition blank, to protest a ban from the university on coverage of a recent scandal at the top of the page, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The newspaper, it turns out, had the story of the scandal -- a business professor being investigated for hiring strippers to appear in class and, according to some reports, performing lap dances -- before other media outlets. But the student journalists say they were initially barred from any coverage. An editorial in The Collegian explains: "We didn’t publish a story because we weren’t allowed. This begs an explanation and a confession: the La Salle Collegian is not a real newspaper. It is a student newspaper, more specifically, a student newspaper at a private university. As you may infer, the differences are astronomical." A La Salle spokesman did not respond to an e-mail inquiry asking for comment.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has repeatedly denied that he is trying to influence the direction of Texas colleges in ways beyond the periodic proposals of new ideas or appointing board members. But The Houston Chronicle, based on public records requests for e-mail messages between the governor and university officials, reported that the governor has been pushing an agenda. Among the ideas he has promoted are measuring faculty members' "productivity" through course enrollments, and linking faculty compensation to student evaluations.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

Donald Green is executive vice president of instruction and student services at Florida State College at Jacksonville, a job that pays $166,000. And as The Florida Times-Union reported, he's also working 15-20 hours a week as a consultant at Essex County College, in New Jersey, which has paid him $46,000 over the last six months. Faculty members at Essex have raised questions about Green's work there, but Steven Wallace, president of Florida State College, said he wasn't concerned as long as Green is doing his second job on his own time. Green said he uses vacation time and off hours for all of his work for Essex.

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 3:00am

Police officers ended a four-day building takeover at California State University at Sacramento early Saturday morning, telling students that they would be arrested if they did not leave, which they did, The Sacramento Bee reported. The students were protesting budget cuts to higher education in the state. Kevin Wehr, president of the faculty union at Sacramento State, said that the administration made "a horrible mistake" in calling in the police. "I believe [the students] are fighting for their education, and that is a righteous cause," he said.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

The board of Brookdale Community College is considering a suit against its former president, Peter Burnham, following a review of an audit uncovering questionable expenses, The Star-Ledger reported. Among the expenses for which Burnham was reimbursed in apparent violation of district policies: a $1,300 trip to Arizona, $109 in golf clothing and $53 in drinks at a Philadelphia steakhouse. Burnham recently resigned after being placed on leave. He has not commented on the inquiry into his spending.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

The April 2011 edition of The Pulse podcast features an interview with Ray Henderson, president of Blackboard Learn, talking about future directions for Blackboard's teaching and learning division and the key differences for faculty between Angel and Blackboard 9.1. Find out more about The Pulse here.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

A group of economics and law professors has urged the Justice Department to investigate whether the Bowl Championship Series violates federal antitrust law, The Wall Street Journal reported. The letter to the department's antitrust division, which was signed by 21 professors and lawyers, asks the agency to find college football's current mechanism for determining a national champion to be a cartel that favors BCS members over other college teams.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Pepperdine University's Dyron Daughrity explores the cultural diversity of Christians around the world. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Purdue University introduced a new version of its mascot -- Purdue Pete -- on Saturday and has already pledged to go back to the classic Pete in the face of student and fan anger over the new version, The Indianapolis Star reported. The article features photos of both versions.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 3:00am

A divided Board of Regents of the University of Colorado System voted narrowly Thursday to close down the journalism school at its flagship campus at Boulder, The Daily Camera reported. The regents voted 5 to 4 to shutter the school, approving a plan to replace it with a "journalism plus" approach in which students could earn a bachelor's degree in journalism if accompanied by another major. Board members who opposed the school's elimination argued that its problems could be fixed.

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