A husband-and-wife team of professors -- Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko -- were charged by Georgia authorities Wednesday with fraud for allegedly billing the Georgia Institute of Technology for their pay and other expenses while they had already moved to accept faculty positions in public health at the University of Minnesota, the Associated Press reported. Through their lawyer, Sainfort and Jacko said that they hid nothing, were open with Georgia Tech about their plans and did work for Georgia Tech during the time they were paid.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The University of Notre Dame has announced that it will use remote video, rather than elevated scissor lifts on which a person can film, to capture video of football practices. A student was killed in October when a lift fell, prompting a debate on their use.
Daniel S. Papp, president of Kennesaw State University, is defending Timothy J.L Chandler, whom Papp recently selected as provost, amid criticism of a paper Chandler wrote that cites Marx several times. Local critics have questioned the selection of Chandler because of a paper he published in The Journal of Higher Education in which he quoted Marx and Marxist ideas in a critique of the way colleges and universities have applied or failed to apply the ideas of Ernest Boyer's Scholarship Reconsidered. (The first page of the article is available on JSTOR, and JSTOR subscribers can read the article there.)
In Papp's statement, he said that "I am convinced that Dr. Chandler is neither Marxist nor anti-American, as some have alleged." Papp added that in his discussions with Chandler, his provost pick "expressed appreciation for the support for his appointment that he has received from the academic community, and declared that 'attacks on my character, including the suggestion that I am undemocratic, are baseless.' Further, Dr. Chandler said that he is 'not inclined to withdraw from the provost position under the cloud of a Red scare.' "
Legislators in Florida on Wednesday dropped from a larger bill a provision that would have allowed individuals to carry concealed weapons on college and university campuses in the state, the Miami Herald reported. The proposal to allow concealed carry on campuses, one of many being considered around the country, was opposed strongly by college leaders, campus police chiefs and students, and backed by the National Rifle Association.
A 50 percent budget cut proposed Tuesday by Pennsylvania's governor could force Pennsylvania State University to shutter some of its 24 campuses, the university's president said at a news conference Wednesday. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Graham Spanier as calling such an outcome a "distinct possibility," saying that the cutback, which he and other college leaders vowed to fight, would threaten the "viability" of some of the university's regional campuses. A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, meanwhile, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the state-college system was not considering closing any of its campuses, despite a Democratic lawmaker's prediction that Governor Tom Corbett's proposed cut could compel such a result.
As the Los Angeles Times continues a series about problems with a mammoth construction program at the Los Angeles Community College District, the district board on Wednesday fired the head of the program, the Times reported. The district has up until now criticized the series and defended the program. Larry Eisenberg, who was fired, has defended the program as well, while admitting that there were problems that still needed fixing.
The president of Brookdale Community College, under investigation and on unpaid administrative leave for alleged mis- and overspending on travel, has resigned, the Asbury Park Press reported. In a letter to the New Jersey college's board, Peter Burnham said his resignation should not be seen as an admission of guilt, the newspaper reported.
The North Carolina House of Representatives voted Monday to allow community colleges to opt out of offering low-interest federal loans to their students. The bill, which now goes to the Senate for likely approval, would scale back 2010 legislation requiring all community colleges in the state to participate in the federal loan program by July. Several community college presidents in the state have expressed concern that participation in the federal loan program would put their students at risk of losing federal financial aid if too many students at their institution do not repay their loans. Monday’s vote fell mostly along party lines, with Republicans supporting the opt-out bill and Democrats opposing it. Representative Ray Rapp, a Democrat who voted against the bill, told The News & Observer, “This is a frontal assault on the ability of students to pay for college.” Kennon Briggs, the system's executive vice president, told Inside Higher Ed that last year he had told the state legislature, "We prefer that this be a matter of local decision making and of choice because within our system you have varying degrees of wealth, private support and average income." Still, he clarified that the community college system would follow any directive of the state legislature. If the opt-out bill is signed into law, Briggs said that 24 community colleges in the state would participate in the federal loan program and 34 would not.