Review Finds Flaws in U. of Minnesota’s Handling of Vulnerable Human Subjects

An external review of the University of Minnesota’s research practices has found flaws in its handling of human subjects, particularly patients who are at risk of impaired decision making or are otherwise vulnerable, the Pioneer Press reports.

The release on Friday of a report describing the review’s findings followed years of controversy over the death of Dan Markingson, a schizophrenia patient who was participating in a drug trial at the university. Mr. Markingson committed suicide in 2004 at …


Amid Protests, U. of North Carolina Board Votes to Close Poverty Center

The University of North Carolina system’s governing board has unanimously approved a proposal to close a center on poverty at the Chapel Hill flagship, a move critics have called politically motivated, The Charlotte Observer reports.

The controversial vote capped a Friday meeting that was briefly derailed by student protests. The interruption prompted the Board of Governors to relocate to another room that the protesters were barred from entering.

The proposal to close the Center on Poverty, Wo…


Faculty Union Rips U. of Delaware President’s Column Endorsing ‘Learner-Centric’ Education

The faculty union at the University of Delaware has assailed the president over a column he wrote suggesting that professors give up some of their autonomy in course design, among other things, The News Journal reports.

The union called the ideas presented in Patrick T. Harker’s February 5 column in The Philadelphia Inquirer “an affront to the mission of university education and to core values of academic life.”

In the column, Mr. Harker argues that universities nationwide must embrace a more “l…


Theodore Hesburgh, Longtime Notre Dame President and Giant of Higher Education, Dies at 97

The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, the longtime president of the University of Notre Dame and a legendary figure in American higher education, died on Thursday night, the university said. He was 97.

Father Hesburgh, who led the Roman Catholic institution from 1952 to 1987, catapulted it to national prominence, earning it a reputation as one of the best-known Christian universities in the world. He was also a champion of civil rights, serving on the first U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as he fought …


U. of Oregon Amends Its Response to Sexual-Assault Lawsuit

The University of Oregon on Thursday dropped a counterclaim it had filed as part of its response to a lawsuit by a student who contends that the university mishandled her sexual-assault complaint against three basketball players, The Register-Guard reports.

In a lawsuit filed in January against the university and its head basketball coach, Dana Altman, the student alleged that the institution and the coach had made winning games a higher priority than investigating her claim.

The university file…


Westfield State’s Ex-President Drops Lawsuit Against State Official and Trustees

Evan S. Dobelle, a former president of Westfield State University, has agreed to drop a federal lawsuit he filed against the Massachusetts institution’s Board of Trustees and the state’s higher-education commissioner. Mr. Dobelle had accused the state official and the trustees, who put him on leave amid questions about his spending practices, of conspiring to destroy his reputation.

Ross H. Garber, Mr. Dobelle’s lawyer, said in a statement cited by The Republican that the cost of continuing the legal fight was “simply too great.”

In November 2013, Mr. Dobelle said he would retire as the university’s president, after drawing scrutiny over his expenses. The state is suing him in an attempt to recoup public money that Mr. Dobelle allegedly misspent.

The resignation came amid harsh public criticism over dozens of domestic and international trips taken by Dobelle during his nearly six-year tenure, including visits to Asia, Europe, Central American and 17 trips to San Francisco.

By late 2013, two state agencies were investigating Dobelle’s spending and Freeland had successfully recommended the freezing of $2 million in campus funding.

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Drive to Unionize Bentley U. Adjuncts Succeeds on Second Try

Sixteen months after rejecting the idea by a narrow margin, adjunct instructors at Bentley University have overwhelmingly voted to form a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union.

The vote at the private college in Waltham, Mass., was 108 to 42. The union chapter is the latest of several formed in an SEIU campaign to organize adjunct faculty members at private colleges throughout the Boston area. Bentley’s administration, which had opposed the unionization of adjuncts th…


Bipartisan Sex-Assault Bill Is Back on the Senate’s Agenda

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Thursday released a bill meant to fight sexual assault on college campuses. The “Campus Accountability and Safety Act” bears the same name as one introduced last summer by many of the same senators, and calls for many of the same requirements for campuses, including:

  • The designation of confidential advisers to arrange support services for victims of sexual assault.
  • Specialized training for everyone who handles campus rape cases.
  • A biennial survey of studen…

Former Mountain State U. Students Will Split $11.3-Million Settlement

Former students of Mountain State University will receive a settlement of more than $11.3-million following lawsuits that accused the defunct institution of not doing enough to stop its accreditation from being revoked, The Charleston Gazette reports. A three-judge panel approved the agreement, first proposed in August of last year, on Thursday.

The University of Charleston reached a deal to take over the West Virginia campuses of Mountain State, a private, nonprofit institution, in 2012. The next year, Mountain State lost its accreditation over concerns about its academic quality. The sale of two campuses will provide about $10-million of the settlement money, which totals more than $18.5-million, and Mountain State’s insurer will cover the rest.

Correction (2/26/2015, 3:19 p.m.): An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the former students would receive more than $17-million in settlement money. They will receive roughly $11.3-million. The post has been updated to reflect this correction.

As many as 14,000 former Mountain State University students will receive a more than $17 million settlement with the college, which many of them sued for not providing them a worthy education before it closed.

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Gordon College’s President Takes Heat Over Planned Sale of Rare Books

Faculty members at Gordon College are upset with their president once again over the decision to sell off 10 percent of a valuable rare-books collection, The Boston Globe reports. A descendant of the book collection’s donor also criticized the planned sale, which could bring in as much as $2.5-million. Another descendant told the Globe that the family had no paperwork documenting the intent of the donor, Edward P. Vining.

While the Massachusetts college acknowledged that Mr. Vining had wanted the collection to stay together, a spokesman, Rick Sweeney, said the sale would be “the best way to honor the larger intent of this collection” because the proceeds would be used to pay for the preservation of the rest of the books.

The collection includes volumes dating from the 1400s and written in ancient dialects.

Last year some professors criticized the Christian college’s president, D. Michael Lindsay, after he signed a letter seeking an exemption from a federal ban on antigay discrimination by federal contractors.

When a wealthy family bequeathed a collection of rare Bibles and Shakespeare folios to Gordon College in 1922, it came with a catch: the works had to remain intact and with the school. That’s why a descendant of the late collector Edward Payson Vining, a railroad executive and bibliophile, was surprised to learn that Gordon plans to auction off 10 percent of the 7,000 volumes this fall.

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