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.
Higher Education Quick Takes
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.
Hoping to tap into Governor Scott Walker's interest in giving more independence to the state's flagship university in Madison, University of Wisconsin System leaders on Thursday released a proposal that would give similar autonomy to all of the public colleges and universities in the UW system. The "Wisconsin Idea Partnership," as the plan is called, would "build on" Walker's controversial plan to offer "new operational freedom to UW-Madison," while "extending the new flexibilities to all UW campuses as part of a unified system," the system's Board of Regents said.
A coalition of higher education groups on Thursday asked Congressional leaders to push for a one-year delay in two Education Department regulations that are scheduled to take effect in July. The groups, organized as usual by the American Council on Education, urged Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who heads the House of Representatives postsecondary education subcommittee, to either encourage or force the Education Department to delay the implementation date of rules that would establish a federal definition of "credit hour" and expand state authorization requirements (see related Views essay). The two rules are part of a larger package of regulations aimed at protecting the integrity of federal financial aid programs, and they "will have little or no effect in curbing fraud and abuse, but they could do enormous damage to the quality and diversity of postsecondary academic offerings," the groups wrote. Education Department officials have ignored previous requests from the higher education associations to change or rescind the rules, the groups said. And with time running out, neither state officials nor campus administrators have guidance about how to implement the new rules, making for an impossible situation, the associations suggest.
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.
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.