College Will No Longer Ask Students to Examine One Another’s Vaginas

Students at Valencia College will no longer be asked to examine one another’s vaginas as part of their training to become ultrasound technicians, the Associated Press reports. Two former students sued the Florida community college this month, saying they had been punished when they objected to the procedure. Students will now use a simulator to practice such ultrasound scanning, which is used to look for fertility problems.

Last summer an independent review found the procedure had been handled professionally and safely, according to a written statement by the college’s president, Sandy Shugart. “Demonstrating our respect for and commitment to students is paramount,” he said.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida community college will no longer have ultrasound technician students practice an invasive vaginal procedure on each other, school officials said Tuesday, after two former students sued the college.

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Webster U. Students in London Are Denied Federal Financial Aid Over Rules Violation

Some Webster University students studying abroad in London have lost their federal financial aid after the university violated federal regulations, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Neither the Department of Education nor the college would say which rules were at issue, but dozens of students studying at Regent’s University London were left unable to receive financial aid starting in January.

The college said it had contacted each student to arrange one-on-one meetings to discuss other options, which included attending other overseas campuses and taking out private loans.

Last month Webster acknowledged other problems abroad, issuing a report that said its branch campus in Thailand had been plagued by ineffective leadership and poor facilities.

Dozens of Webster University students studying at the school’s campus in London were unexpectedly stripped of their U.S. financial aid this past school year because Webster ran afoul of U.S. Department of Education regulations. Neither Webster nor the Department of Education would elaborate on the exact rule the university broke, and a federal report that would spell out the violation has not yet been made public.

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For-Profit College Settles Complaint Over Claims About Credits and Degrees

Ashworth College, a for-profit institution in Georgia, has agreed to a settle a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission that it misrepresented how well its degrees would prepare students to earn licenses in specific vocations, and the ease with which students could transfer Ashworth credits to other institutions.

“When schools promise students they can transfer course credits or get a better job after completing their programs, they’d better be able to back up those claims,” said Jessica Rich,…


Faculty Union Is Among Critics of Deal to Help Run Colleges in Saudi Arabia

A community-college district in California is drawing fire from several sides for its deal to help run two technical colleges in Saudi Arabia, the Los Angeles Times reports. The critics charge that, among other things, the Rancho Santiago Community College District violated a state open-meetings law in arranging the deal and, through its presence in the Middle Eastern nation, is tacitly supporting the anti-democratic policies of the Saudi government.

Last year the district won a $105-million contract to consult and help train faculty members at the two technical colleges. The deal has not yet been made final.

The district’s faculty union has complained that no public meeting was held to debate the deal, in violation of California’s open-meetings law. Recently the Anti-Defamation League protested that a partnership with Saudi Arabia could present ethical problems for the district, given that, for instance, Saudi Arabian schools are segregated by gender.

Raul Rodriguez, the district’s chancellor, told the Times that the district would still be in compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws. “It’s not an endorsement,” he said of the deal. “We’re in no way condoning the views and stance of the Saudi government.”

Saudi Arabia, pushing to modernize its economy, has in recent years established several similar international partnerships with colleges.

After years of competing with other college districts in Orange County for donor money, the Rancho Santiago Community College District thought it had struck upon a winning idea. Last year, the district was awarded an estimated $105-million contract to help run two technical schools in Saudi Arabia.

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NYU Won’t Consider Criminal Histories at Start of Admissions Process

New York University will stop considering applicants’ criminal records at the outset of its admissions process, The Wall Street Journal reports. Admissions officers will still be able to view an applicant’s criminal history, but now only if he or she is set to be admitted to the college.

Critics of including criminal histories as part of applying to college say it disproportionately harms minority students. Last year three colleges in New York State decided to cut questions about criminal histor…


John F. Nash Jr., Princeton Mathematician and Nobel Laureate, Dies

John F. Nash Jr., the Princeton mathematician who shared the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994 and whose struggle with schizophrenia was the subject of the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, was killed, along with his wife, in a traffic accident on Saturday, according to an obituary in The New York Times. Mr. Nash was 86 and his wife, Alicia, was 82.

The Nashes were passengers in a taxi that crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike as the couple returned from the airport after a trip to Norway, where Mr. Nash…


Judge Orders Texas Tech to Restore Professor’s Post

Texas Tech University must restore the teaching responsibilities of a professor who says his anti-tenure views cost him a deanship and an honorary-professor title, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. James C. Wetherbe had accused the university’s former provost, Robert Smith, of reducing his teaching load and failing to award him the Paul Whitfield Horn Professorship because of his outspoken views against tenure. Judge Ruben Reyes, of the 72nd District Court, ordered Texas Tech officials to a…


UVa Student Bloodied in Controversial Arrest Seeks to Have Charges Dropped

Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old rising senior at the University of Virginia, has asked that charges against him for public intoxication and obstruction of justice be dropped, The Washington Post reports. Cellphone videos of the arrest, which took place in the early hours of March 18, when students were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, showed Mr. Johnson with blood running down his face after Alcohol Beverage Control agents detained him outside an Irish bar. Daniel Watkins, Mr. Martese’s lawyer, sai…


Wis. Lawmakers Reject Governor’s Plan to Scrap For-Profit Oversight Agency

State legislators in Wisconsin have voted down a controversial proposal by Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate an agency that oversees for-profit colleges, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The proposal to eliminate the state’s Educational Approval Board was part of Mr. Walker’s budget, which also drew controversy for proposing steep cuts in the University of Wisconsin system in exchange for giving the system more independence.

The Wisconsin Legislature rejected the governor’s autonomy proposal t…


U. of Hawaii Board Votes to Disinvest in Fossil-Fuel Companies

The University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents voted on Thursday to divest the system’s financial holdings in any companies involved in the production of fossil fuels, Pacific Business News reports.

The university, which plans to carry out the divestment by 2018, joins other higher-education institutions in choosing to rid itself of some or all of their investments in the fossil-fuel industry. They include the New School, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Syracuse University, the University of D…