Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 7, 2014

Cheyney University on Thursday announced that Michelle R. Howard-Vital was retiring as president, and that an acting president will start on Monday. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the announcement followed discussions between Howard-Vital and Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, although system officials did not confirm that. Cheyney, a historically black college, has struggled with deficits and stagnant enrollment. In recent years, enrollment has been around 1,200, down from 3,000 in the 1970s.

July 7, 2014

An investigation of Doug Wojcik, the men's basketball coach at the College of Charleston, found that he engaged in bullying behavior, berating players with obscenities and physical threats, The Post and Courier reported. The college has said it is studying the report amid calls for Wojcik's dismissal.

The coach gave this statement to the newspaper: "I'm sincerely remorseful and apologize to those I've hurt. I've already started making amends and working on correcting my actions. The college and I are grateful these concerns were brought to our attention, and every effort will be made to improve relations between myself and members of the men's basketball program."

July 7, 2014

Paul Roof will be back in the classroom in the fall. Charleston Southern University fired Roof in June after his photograph appeared on a beer can for a fund-raiser. His dismissal outraged many students and alumni. The College of Charleston has now hired Roof, who will be an adjunct teaching five courses this fall in the anthropology and sociology department, The Post and Courier reported.

July 7, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Jason Kalirai, associate researcher at the Center for Astrophysical Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, discusses the deepest of deep space studies. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

July 3, 2014

Facing criticism that parts of its fight song lyrics are sexist, the University of Utah on Wednesday announced changes that will remove the implication that the perspective is a male one. The line “our coeds are the fairest” will be replaced with “our students are the finest” and the line “no other gang of college men” will now be “no rival band of college fans." A further complication is that the song has been called "A Utah Man." From now on it will be called "A Utah Man/Fan." The university, mindful that loyal alumni sometimes object to changes in tradition, created a webpage noting that the song has already changed many times in its history. And David Pershing, president of the university, issued a statement in which he said that the new lyrics were a suggestion, not mandatory. “When printed officially by the university, this 2014 version of the fight song will be used, but historical renditions of the song will always be acceptable," Pershing said. "We encourage you to sing – loudly and with pride – whichever version resonates with you.”

 

July 3, 2014

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the nation's largest, is getting smaller. Cooley has four campuses in Michigan and one in Florida. A statement on the Cooley website says -- without providing much detail -- that the law school is retrenching through, among other things, faculty and staff reductions. But Above the Law (and then others) reported on a memo (not on the public portion of the Cooley website) stating that it would not admit new students to its Ann Arbor campus this fall. Current students at the Ann Arbor campus will be able to continue there.

 

July 3, 2014

At least eight universities have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton to speak on their campuses, The Washington Post reported. Students at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where she is due to be paid $225,000 to speak in the fall, have protested, and that is drawing attention to the likely presidential candidate's high fees, not all of which have been previously disclosed. Some of the payments ($200,000 is believed to be standard) have gone not to Clinton personally, but the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

 

 

July 3, 2014

The senior Department of Education official overseeing the development of the Obama administration’s college ratings system confirmed on Wednesday that the department was on track to publish a draft proposal by this fall.

Another department official earlier this week had cast doubt on that timeline during remarks at a financial aid administrators’ conference, suggesting that it might not get done by the end of this year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

But Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said Wednesday afternoon that the department was still on track to produce a draft ratings system later this year.

“We want to get something out -- a first draft -- for people to look at in the fall,” he told reporters. “I’m still operating on a rough draft for fall.”

July 3, 2014

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is helping fund a 10-member consortium of Pennsylvania liberal arts colleges as they try to cope with the troubles liberal arts colleges now face. Among the plans colleges have for the $800,000 grant: use teleconferences and the internet to combine low-enrollment classes; share study abroad sites; share staff; and work to reduce health, procurement and other costs. The colleges in the group are: Bryn Mawr College, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Haverford College, Juniata College, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College and Washington & Jefferson College.

July 3, 2014

Arizona State University announced Wednesday that it has placed Stewart Ferrin, the officer involved in stopping an African-American female professor who was jaywalking and then body-slamming her into the ground, on paid administrative leave. The university said that a "preliminary review" has found no evidence of racial profiling or excessive force -- both of which have been charged by Ersula Ore, the professor, and her supporters.

The Maricopa County Chapter of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization, announced Wednesday that it has received 11 complaints against Arizona State police officers since the start of 2014, The Arizona Republic reported. An Arizona State spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment about that number.

 

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