Higher Education Quick Takes
Millersville University of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that it would discontinue three of its 22 sports teams because of budget constraints. Officials at the public institution, which like many colleges in the commonwealth has faced significant cuts in state funding, said the elimination of men's cross country and of indoor and outdoor track and field would save $200,000 -- funds that they said would balance the budget and help sustain the university's remaining 19 teams. University officials also said that the cuts would help bring Millersville into better compliance with the gender participation requirements of under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Michael Hogan, the president of the University of Illinois, is trying to build support for a more centralized approach to enrollment management in the university system. But e-mail messages between Hogan and his campus leaders -- obtained by The News-Gazette -- suggest that he has been pushing them to control faculty leaders who are dubious of the centralization, and that he has questioned whether chancellors have done enough to back him. An e-mail to Phyllis Wise, the new chancellor at Urbana-Champaign, called the faculty there "oppositional," and called on her to deal with a "defiant" Faculty Senate. Hogan also wrote that he was "not happy" with her "lack of leadership on enrollment management."
An e-mail from Wise disputed his analysis. "In fact, I have discussed enrollment management on the Urbana-Champaign campus in a nuanced manner to balance faculty (and my) concerns about the need to be able to manage campus level enrollment issues effectively vis-a-vis your and the Board of Trustees' concerns about diversity, articulation, and the effective use of financial aid. Thus, I would argue that I have exerted the kind of leadership that encourages an open discussion of the options before us," she wrote. "In my concept of leadership, it is extraordinarily important to pay attention both to the people who report to me, as well as those to whom I report."
Thirteen Canadian universities have seen their pension deficits grow from $680 million to $3.2 billion in the last three years, Financial Post reported. Some universities have responded to these trends by increasing employee contributions or changing retirement eligibility dates.
The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of $3 million given to Albany State University by Charles in 2001 and 2002, the Associated Press reported. The foundation says that Charles made the gift for a performing arts center, which has yet to be built. University officials said that they are still seeking money for the center, and that the funds were not limited to use on the planned arts center.
Britain plans to exempt about 1,000 foreign graduates of its universities from tighter rules about to start on staying in the country after graduation, Times Higher Education reported. Those with "world-class innovative ideas" will be allowed to stay. The government generally has been moving to limit post-graduation time in the country, but higher education leaders have noted that the ability to remain is a competitive advantage for the country in attracting the best foreign talent.
The University of Michigan Board of Regents may vote this week to remove a bylaw provision that requires the president to step down in the fiscal year that the person turns 70, AnnArbor.com reported. Officials said that the move is intended to comply with laws against age discrimination. The move may have a direct impact on the current president, Mary Sue Coleman, who is 68.
California community colleges with the lowest student transfer rates to four-year colleges are "intensely segregated" or enroll high percentages of minority students, according to three new reports from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles, while a "handful" of two-year colleges that serve largely white, Asian or middle-class students are responsible for the majority of transfers in the state. The group's third report takes on California's master plan, and calls for some the state's top community colleges to be given the authority to grant bachelor degrees.
McGill University, following a five-day sit-in in an administration building, announced new rules on where protests would and would not be tolerated, Maclean's reported. In the future, the administration announced, "occupations of private offices or spaces, classrooms, laboratories or libraries, or other restricted areas will not be tolerated. If any type of occupation occurs and the occupiers refuse to leave when requested to do so, civil authorities will be called." In the case of the most recent protest, the university waited five days to do that, but opted for steadily escalating pressure, including blocking wireless Internet and -- toward the end of the protest -- blocking access to the bathrooms.