Higher Education Quick Takes
An order of nuns has dismissed the president and the entire board of Our Lady of Holy Cross College, in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported. No reason was given for the dismissals, and board members said that they were surprised by their ouster.
President Donna E. Shalala said Wednesday that the University of Miami would cooperate fully with a National Collegiate Athletic Association investigation into a former booster's charges that he made improper payments to dozens of Hurricane players and coaches during an eight-year spree in which he appeared to have virtually unfettered access to the university's sports program. The allegations made to Yahoo Sports by Nevin Shapiro, who is serving a 20-year sentence for a series of financial crimes, are on a scale that rival some of the biggest in college sports history, and Mark Emmert, the NCAA's president, said in a statement Wednesday that the association was several months into an investigation of the university. In her statement, Shalala -- who was photographed in 2008 holding a $50,000 check from Shapiro, a picture that appeared alongside the Yahoo article -- said the university would "vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead."
The University of California, whose campuses have worried about losing top faculty members amid budget cuts and salary freezes and cuts, on Wednesday announced that faculty members who receive good performance reviews will receive a 3 percent raise, The Los Angeles Times reported. Non-academic, non-unionized employees could receive larger raises. The university also announced that administrators who earn more than $200,000 will not be included in the raise pool.
New York University has agreed to pay $210,000 to settle a suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over racial harassment of an employee from Africa, CNN reported. The EEOC said that the supervisor referred to the employee as a "monkey" and "gorilla," asked "do you want a banana?" and urged the employee to "go back to your cage," An NYU spokesman said that the supervisor is no longer employed by the university and that NYU does not tolerate such behavior.
The State University of New York is planning to have two of its presidents each lead a second campus. The Associated Press reported that Wolf Yeigh, president of SUNY Institute of Technology, will also become president of Morrisville State College, and SUNY Delhi President Candace Vancko will also become president of SUNY Cobleskill.
Some eyebrows were raised recently when Vanderbilt University's Office of Religious Life sent faculty members a list of the holidays that some students might observe, and for which they might ask to reschedule exams or assignments. The Tennessean reported that the list included four holidays marked "Wicca/Pagan." Officials said that they didn't know how many students observe those holidays, and that the list was taken from one from the BBC. Asked how faculty members would know whether a student seeking a scheduling change really was observing a Wiccan or Pagan holiday, a spokeswoman said that the university relied on the honor system.
The University of Dayton has unveiled a new way to encourage people to apply for aid and to visit the campus. Anyone who visits the campus, applies for admission and completes a financial aid form will get four years of free textbooks, worth up to $4,000. "We want to help parents and students understand that from the very first day, a University of Dayton education is very rewarding," said a statement from Kathy McEuen Harmon, assistant vice president and dean of admission and financial aid. "Through this initiative, we want to underscore that a University of Dayton education is affordable and we are committed to helping families in very tangible ways."
Governor Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, wants his state's universities to rise in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Brownback spoke on the issue Wednesday at a meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents. He said that he was open to higher admissions standards as one way to rise in the rankings.
These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar on The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education. This listing will appear as a regular feature in this space.
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Bloomberg has published a detailed analysis of athletic spending at Rutgers University, which the news service found to have spent more on athletics than any other public university, with 40 percent of the funds coming from student fees and the university's general fund, at a time of deep budget cuts to academic programs. The story contrasts academic cuts -- a salary freeze for professors, faculty members having to pay for some journals themselves -- with the university's subsidies for sports. Each year the football coach, Greg Schiano, stays on, the university forgives $100,000 of a no-interest home loan it made to him. Schiano is paid $2.03 million a year. The average associate professor earns less than the amount his home loan is reduced each year.