The National Collegiate Athletic Association and Arkansas State University agreed on Friday that a former university official engaged in academic fraud and that 31 athletes participated when they should have been ineligible. In a case adjudicated through the NCAA's summary disposition process, which is used when there is no disagreement between NCAA investigators and campus officials, the Division I Committee on Infractions found that Arkansas State -- because of a misunderstanding by two new academic advisers -- had let 31 athletes play although they had failed to complete a large enough proportion of their degree requirements under NCAA rules. And the university's former director of technology, without the knowledge of the professor of a men's basketball player, had changed the athlete's grade in two separate courses to keep him eligible. Arkansas State will vacate victories for four teams whose athletes played while ineligible and lose a handful of scholarships as a result of the violations.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday announced a new effort to work with leading women's colleges to encourage women around the world in the areas of leadership and public service. While details are minimal, Clinton said that the State Department would be working with the five "Seven Sisters" institutions that are still women's colleges: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley Colleges. (She noted that the latter college is her alma mater.) "As a first step, we will host a conference this fall bringing policy makers, public officials, academics, innovative thinkers together from around the world to build these new global partnerships, so that once we’ve brought attention to an issue or a leader, we will be able to continue to build and support the work that is being done," she said. Clinton made the announcement at a summit on women's issues organized by the recently combined Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
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The board that governs Nevada's higher education system on Friday rejected the possibility of shutting campuses to close the enormous budget gap the system faces over the next two years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Governor Brian Sandoval has proposed a nearly 30 percent cut in the budget for the Nevada System of Higher Education by 2013, and presidents of the system's campuses have laid out plans that would eliminate scores of academic programs and many hundreds of jobs, cut salaries and sharply increase student tuition and fees. But by an 8 to 5 vote, regents dismissed the alternative of closing campuses, amid opposition to the idea from students, college officials and local business leaders.
Academic labor groups were horrified by the bill passed by the Ohio Senate this month, effectively denying collective bargaining rights to faculty members in the state, which has many unionized campuses. But some saw a little bit of a silver lining in that the text of the bill that circulated at the time suggested that the legislation would end state bans on collective bargaining by part-time faculty members or graduate students. It turns out, however, that those bans would stay in place. A final version of the bill that the Senate passed includes those restrictions -- suggesting that everyone who teaches at public colleges and universities would be barred from collective bargaining if the bill becomes law.
The Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education, facing yet another round of massive budget cuts, will hear a proposal Friday that would entail closing or merging four of the system's eight campuses, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Threatened in the plan are Nevada State College, the system's nine-year-old four-year college, the Desert Research Institute, Western Nevada College and Great Basin College, according to the newspaper. Governor Brian Sandoval's budget would require the university system to cut $162 million by 2013, almost 30 percent of its 2011 allocation.
Moises Salinas, a former professor and chief diversity officer at Central Connecticut State University, pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of sexually assaulting one of his students, The Hartford Courant reported. The judge in the case gave Salinas a suspended one-year jail sentence and also ordered that he resign his job and not teach again. The position Salinas held at the university included investigating charges of sexual assault or harassment.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has placed Southern Methodist University on probation for two years for committing major violations of the association's recruiting rules in men's basketball. In the case, which was concluded through the NCAA's summary disposition process (which is used when there is no dispute about the findings or penalties), SMU's coaches sent impermissible text messages to parents of at least seven men's basketball recruits, after getting erroneous advice from a former compliance officer about the propriety of doing so. The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions and the university agreed on a series of recruiting restrictions this year and next as punishment for the violations.
A faculty panel at the Widener University School of Law has recommended that the institution stop trying to fire Lawrence J. Connell, a law professor, over hypothetical examples he used in class involving the killing of the law dean, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Connell has maintained that the use of hypothetical examples -- even ones involving violence and known individuals -- is common and is part of the teaching process. He also has said that he is facing ouster because he is a conservative. He outlined his views on the controversy in an interview on the website of the National Association of Scholars.