The University of Miami has agreed to pay $83,000 to a bankruptcy trustee to cover the costs of gifts made by Nevin Shapiro, a one-time booster of athletic programs who is now in jail over a Ponzi scheme that among other things financed his gifts to various Miami athletes, The Miami Herald reported. The deal states that the trustee will not seek to recover additional funds from the athletes and former athletes, meaning that they will not be forced to publicly discuss the gifts. Those gifts are believed to have included Cadillac Escalades, jewelry, party invites, champagne, lap dances and the services of prostitutes.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky has stopped a controversial merger between the University of Louisville's teaching hospital and a Roman Catholic health system. The idea for the merger provoked an uproar in the state last year. Beshear cited loss of public control over the hospital as a main reason for rejecting the merger, which he said had more risks than benefits, The Courier-Journal reported. The merger was controversial because the hospitals would all have had to follow Catholic health directives, including restrictions on abortion and sterilization, and some groups feared they would interfere with medical education at the public institution.
Israel's Academy of Sciences and Humanities organized a meeting last week at which hundreds of Israeli academics living abroad, as well as Jewish academics in other countries considering a move to Israel, met with representatives of Israeli universities, Ynet News reported. The event was part of an expanded effort in Israel to reverse its brain drain problem. More than 2,000 Israeli academics abroad (a majority of them in the United States) have told academy officials that they are interested in returning to Israel. Those who return will be eligible for tax breaks and other benefits.
In today’s Academic Minute, Robert Pallitto of Seton Hall University explains that the U.S. government’s approach to torture has changed little in the last century. (And while you're there, here was Monday's Academic Minute, in which the College of Saint Rose's Silvia Mejia discusses how advances in digital technology are allowing emigrants to maintain ties to home and family like never before.) Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, vowed Saturday that, as president, he would veto the federal DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for students brought by their parents to the United States without legal authorization who have completed high school and college, Reuters reported. Romney also vowed to oppose state versions of the law that grant such students in-state tuition rates. Governor Rick Perry's defense of such a law in Texas has been controversial with many Republican activists. In his speech Saturday, Romney said: "The question is if I were elected and Congress were to pass the Dream Act, would I veto it and the answer is yes.... For those that come here illegally, the idea of giving them in-state tuition credits or other special benefits, I find to be contrary to the idea of a nation of laws. If I'm the president of the United States I want to end illegal immigration so that we can protect legal immigration. I like legal immigration."
Rick Santorum, who is trying to pull off an upset win in the Iowa caucuses for the Republican presidential nomination, is making higher education a target. In a speech in Mason City, Iowa, Santorum said that it is time to examine support for higher education, the Associated Press reported. "Let's look at colleges and universities," he said. "They've become indoctrination centers for the left. Should we be subsidizing that?" He also criticized Harvard University. Noting that its motto is "Veritas," he said that "they haven't seen truth at Harvard in 100 years."
Colorado Christian University on Thursday became the second institution to sue the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private employers cover birth control in their health plans or pay a fine. “The government’s Mandate unconstitutionally coerces Colorado Christian to violate its deeply-held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines and penalties,” the lawsuit says.
It adds that the health care overhaul legislation “forces” the university to “fund government-dictated speech…. Because the government acted with full knowledge of those beliefs, and because it allows plans not to cover these services for a wide range of reasons other than [sic] religion, the Mandate can be interpreted as nothing other than a deliberate attack by the government on the religious beliefs of Colorado Christian and millions of other Americans.” (In some cases, the legislation allows exceptions based on the employer size or the age of the plan, the lawsuit says.)
Colorado Christian’s action follows a similar complaint filed last month by Belmont Abbey College. That lawsuit also alleged that the contraception requirement violates the university’s First Amendment rights. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed both suits on behalf of the universities.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday hastily withdrew a policy change that would have allowed the agency to deduct from its tuition payments to colleges any debts that student veterans owed the government from their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The approach, which college officials had learned about this week via e-mail from a regional office of the veterans' agency, caused immediate consternation among campus veterans' education administrators and others, who feared they would then be put in the awkward position of becoming the government's debt collectors from their own students. "[T]he school will get shorted money and be expected to recoup it from the Veterans," one administrator wrote on a listserv for veterans' officials. "This is going to make the schools VERY mad."
A spokesman for the veterans' agency said in a statement late Thursday: “System changes installed this week allowed for collection of Post-9/11 Bill debts from all education benefit payments issued to or on behalf of the student. However, because these changes had not been fully vetted, they have been withdrawn effective today.”
- Elaine Delk, executive director of community relations at Richland School District Two, in South Carolina, has been selected as executive director of development at Newberry College, also in South Carolina.
- Eric Jones, interim dean of students at Central College, in Iowa, has been promoted to director of academic resources and class dean there.
- Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Dayton, in Ohio, has been named vice president for enrollment management and marketing there.
- Theodore (Ted) Rappaport, William and Bettye Nowlin Chair of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, has been named David Lee/Ernst Weber Chair of Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Jacaranda Van Rheenen, postdoctoral recruiter for academic programs in biomedical sciences at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Tennessee, has been chosen as assistant dean for graduate academic affairs at Washington University in St. Louis.
The appointments above are drawn from Inside Higher Ed's job changes database. To submit news about job changes, please click here.