Twitter Asks: What if Hogwarts Were an HBCU?

What if Hogwarts, the Harry Potter universe’s boarding school for wizards in training, were a historically black college? Today’s hot hashtag — #IfHogwartsWasAnHBCU — to the rescue. And while the hashtag is more about the union of African-American pop culture with Harry Potter nerd-dom than anything related to higher education, I’ve covered much more tangential topics on this blog in the past. Here are some of the best entries:


Head Coach Resigns After Probe of Georgetown U.’s Track Program

The head of Georgetown University’s men’s and women’s track programs resigned after the college announced on Friday the results of two investigations into claims of racism and sexual harassment on the men’s team.

The Washington Post reports an investigation by the university found that members of the men’s team had behaved inappropriately, although Georgetown did not specify the nature of the misbehavior or who is alleged to have done it, except to say that it involved “the creation of offensive materials relating to unofficial team events.”

A separate investigation by the university’s diversity office found no evidence of racial bias in the program.

Although neither probe found evidence that Pat Henner, the track programs’ director, knew about the inappropriate behavior, he said he would resign in order to give Georgetown “a fresh start.”

Members of the men’s team will be required to undergo mandatory sensitivity training and will be held back from attending seven meets in the coming season as punishment.

Georgetown announced the resignation of Pat Henner as director of its men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country teams, as well as self-imposed sanctions against the program, in the wake of two separate investigations launched after allegations of sexual misconduct and racial bias.

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3 Military Psychologists Accuse Torture Investigator of ‘Bias’ and ‘Grandstanding’

Three Army psychologists have harshly criticized an independent investigation that found that the American Psychological Association had colluded with the Department of Defense in shaping ethics rules related to torture, accusing its author of “prosecutorial bias” and “grandstanding rhetoric.”

In a statement posted to an APA email list over the weekend, the three psychologists wrote that the 542-page report put together by David H. Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, “ignores or distorts key f…


NLRB Official Blocks Unionization of New School’s Graduate-Student Employees

A regional official of the National Labor Relations Board has held that New School students who work as graduate teaching or research assistants are ineligible to unionize as employees.

Students attempting to organize a union there had expressed hope that the institution’s opposition to their unionization would soften in the wake of a labor accord at nearby New York University, which abandoned its own fight against the unionization of graduate students in 2013 and in March agreed to a contract h…


Vanderbilt Releases More Information on Elusive Red-Tape Study

Vanderbilt University has released more information about its noted red-tape study, which for months has been trumpeted by some observers as evidence of smothering government regulation in higher education. The Chronicle has repeatedly requested access to the study, which asserts the university spent roughly $150 million to comply with regulations in 2013-14.

The information, released on Friday, takes the form of a fact sheet, a PowerPoint presentation, and a summary that reiterate key points re…


Court Shelves Injunction in O’Bannon Case, Delaying Prospect of Player Pay

A panel of federal judges has granted the NCAA’s request to stay an injunction that would have allowed colleges to pay some athletes up to $5,000 in deferred compensation, USA Today reports.

The court’s order was not based on the merits of the case, O’Bannon v. NCAA, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is still considering. Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., ruled last year that the NCAA’s limits on player compensation violated federal antitrust…


Bergen Community College Cuts 64 Lecturer Positions to Save Money

Bergen Community College has cut 64 full-time lecturer positions in an effort to save money, The Record, a New Jersey newspaper, reports. The college says the move will save $934,000.

The college is asking the 64 lecturers to reapply for their jobs as adjuncts, who are paid $2,100 per course and don’t get benefits. Lecturers at the college, who teach roughly five courses per semester, are each paid a salary of $38,600 plus benefits.

The move follows the college’s decision this month to cut or re…


Texas Tech Is Investigating Professor’s Grade-Tampering Claim

Texas Tech University is investigating a professor’s allegation that grades he had recorded were later altered, allowing students who had done poorly in his class to earn M.B.A.s.

The Daily Toreador, Texas Tech’s student newspaper, reports that Jay Conover, the professor, first suspected something was amiss when he saw a handful of students’ names on the list to graduate.

“I recognized a lot of names, but I also recognized names of some who didn’t do well in my class, and I wondered, ‘How did th…


Penn Tweaks Application Requirements to Remove SAT Essay

The University of Pennsylvania has reshaped its application requirements for the 2015-16 admissions cycle, doing away with the requirement that applicants submit the writing portion of the SAT or ACT.

“The decision to no longer require the essay portion of the SAT or ACT is one we considered carefully,” said Eric Furda, dean of admissions, in a news release. “Our internal analysis as well as a review of the extensive research provided by the College Board showed that the essay component of the S…


2 For-Profit Colleges Will Pay Former Students $2.3 Million in Settlement

[Updated (7/30/2015, 4:26 p.m.) with a statement from Lincoln Educational Services.]

Kaplan Career Institute and Lincoln Technical Institute will pay a combined $2.3 million to former students to settle claims by the Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, that the two colleges intentionally misled students. Specifically, Ms. Healey says the colleges advertised job-placement rates of more than 70 percent, when in reality they were much lower, and used unfair recruiting tactics to attract p…