U. of New Hampshire’s President Condemns Guide to ‘Bias-Free Language’

A University of New Hampshire guide to “bias-free language” drew criticism on Wednesday from social-media posts that cited it as an example of political correctness gone too far, and it was even condemned by the college’s president. The Associated Press reports the president, Mark W. Huddleston, said the guide, which calls use of the word “American” problematic, among other things, is not campus policy.

“I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use o…


U. of Cincinnati Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed Black Man Is Charged With Murder

[Last updated (7/29/2015, 3:13 p.m.) with footage from the officer's body camera and details from a news conference held by city leaders.]

The University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a traffic stop this month has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with murder, the Hamilton County prosecutor, Joseph T. Deters, announced on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that Mr. Deters said during a news conference that the officer, Ray Tensing, had “…


Federal Trade Commission Opens Broad Investigation of U. of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix is the subject of an extensive investigation by the Federal Trade Commission to determine whether it engaged in deceptive practices, according to a corporate filing on Wednesday by its parent company, the Apollo Education Group.

Details about the inquiry are scant, but, according to the filing, the commission is seeking “information regarding a broad spectrum of the business and practices” at the giant for-profit educator, “including in respect of marketing, recruiting,…


Layoffs Take Effect at U. of Akron (and Prompt a Mocking Craigslist Ad)

Looming layoffs at the University of Akron became a reality this week, with staff members in its Multicultural Center, UA Press, and registrar’s office among those who learned their jobs were being eliminated.

The Plain Dealer reports that on Monday the Ohio university’s Board of Trustees approved plans, announced this month, to eliminate more than 200 positions. The measures are intended to plug a $60-million budget shortfall over the next three years, as the university plans an ambitious move


Blackboard Is for Sale in Auction That Might Draw $3-Billion Bids

Blackboard, the giant provider of learning-management software, is for sale. According to the Reuters news agency, the privately held software company is seeking a buyer unfazed by an estimated $3-billion price tag. The company has hired two banks to conduct an auction to find such a buyer. Blackboard was taken private in a buyout four years ago. Since then, it has faced increased competition from educational-technology start-ups.

Blackboard’s majority owner, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC, has hired Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) to run an auction for the company, the people said this week.

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Wheaton College (Ill.) Ends Student Health Insurance Over Contraceptive Rule

Wheaton College of Illinois will stop providing students with health insurance because of its objections to the Obama administration’s controversial rule on access to contraceptives, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Many other religious colleges have asserted that the contraceptive mandate violates their religious beliefs. The Obama administration’s attempts to compromise on the rule have so far failed to satisfy those institutions, several of which have filed lawsuits over the mandate.



Sports-Medicine Staffs Report Pressure to Clear Concussed Athletes Prematurely

More than half of the 900 respondents to a 2013 survey of NCAA athletic trainers and team physicians said they had felt pressure to return concussed players to action before the athletes were medically ready.

Sixty-four percent of responding clinicians said that the athletes had sought premature clearance to play, while nearly 54 percent of the surveyed medical-staff members had felt pressure from coaches, according to the study, published in the Journal of Athletic Training.

Athletic trainers a…


George Washington U. Won’t Make Applicants Submit SAT or ACT Scores

George Washington University announced on Monday that it would go test-optional, becoming one of the most prominent colleges to no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. The Washington Post reports the university said it was making the change because it feared the requirement had kept some students from applying.

“Although we have long employed a holistic application-review process, we had concerns that students who could be successful at GW felt discouraged from applying if their scores were not as strong as their high-school performance,” the university’s dean of admissions, Karen Stroud Felton, told the Post.

The Hatchet, George Washington’s student newspaper, reported this year that the university had admitted 45 percent of its applicants for the incoming freshman class, its highest rate in more than 10 years. Meanwhile, The Hatchet noted, the university’s peer institutions have boasted increasing selectivity in their rates of admission.

George Washington joins a list of several institutions that have gone test-optional in recent years, including Wake Forest University, DePaul University, and American University.

George Washington University dropped its testing requirement for most freshman admissions Monday, becoming one of the largest and most prominent schools to declare that its applicants don’t have to take the SAT or ACT. The announcement from the private university in the nation’s capital reflects a growing belief in some college admission circles that standardized tests are a barrier to recruiting disadvantaged students.

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Black Students Are Among the Least-Prepared for College, Report Says

African-American students’ college readiness is lagging compared with that of other underrepresented students, according to a new report released on Monday by ACT and the United Negro College Fund. Sixty-two percent of African-American students who graduated from high school in 2014 and took the ACT met none of the organization’s four benchmarks that measure college readiness, which was twice the rate for all students.

“To help African-American students, we need to improve the quality of educati…


Investigation Finds High Dropout Rates at Unaccredited Law Schools

Nearly nine out of 10 students who attend unaccredited law schools in California drop out within four years, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

The schools offer four-year programs, and their students are allowed to take the state bar examination, although the schools are not required to meet the same academic standards as those that are accredited nationally or by the state bar. Students at the unaccredited schools are generally not eligible for federal financial assistance…