All posts by Andy Thomason


Community College Settles Claims It Discriminated Against Military Veteran

Pima Community College has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over claims that it refused to promote an employee because of his military service.

According to a news release from the department, the college has agreed to promote Timothy Stoner to the position of police corporal and provide him back pay amounting to what he would have earned if he had been promoted when he first applied. As part of the settlement, the college denies any wrongdoing.

The department accused the…


Baylor Misconduct Policy Drops Explicit Ban on ‘Homosexual Acts’

Baylor University has dropped an explicit prohibition of “homosexual acts” from its student-misconduct policy, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports. Previously, the phrase was included in a list of behaviors that amounted to “misuses of God’s gift,” including sexual assault, incest, and fornication. The revised policy gives no examples.

“These changes were made because we didn’t believe the language reflected the university’s caring community,” a Baylor spokeswoman, Lori Fogleman, told the newspaper …


For-Profit Group Will Appeal Decision Upholding Gainful-Employment Rule

The main trade association of for-profit colleges will appeal a ruling that upholds the U.S. Education Department’s gainful-employment rule, the group announced in a news release on Thursday. Steve Gunderson, president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, said in the release that the rule is “arbitrary and capricious and in violation of federal law.”

Judge John D. Bates, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, rejected that rationale last month, when h…


Here Are the Colleges Where Tuition Has Risen the Fastest

The U.S. Department of Education is out with its annual list of colleges whose tuition and net price have risen the fastest in recent years.

Here are the four-year public colleges where tuition rose the most, as a percentage, from 2011-12 to 2013-14:

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And the four-year public colleges where net price rose the most, as a percentage, from 2010-11 to 2012-13:

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And the four-year private colleges where tuition rose the most, as a percentage, from 2011-12 to 2013-14:

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And the four-year private college…


Steven Salaita Says He Has a New Job, in Lebanon

[Updated (7/1/2015, 9:15 p.m.) with additional details from Mr. Salaita's lawyer.]

Steven G. Salaita, the professor whose job offer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was revoked after his anti-Israel tweets drew criticism, has a new job. Mr. Salaita announced on Twitter he will be chair of American studies at the American University of Beirut, in Lebanon:


Student-Debt-Relief Firm Will Shut Its Doors After New York Investigation

[Updated (7/1/2015, 9:09 p.m.) with news of a lawsuit against another company supposedly helping borrowers with debts.]

A business offering student-loan “debt relief” will close its doors as part of an agreement with New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo. The Times Union, a newspaper in Albany, reports that an investigation by Mr. Cuomo’s office found that Interactiv Education LLC advertised it could lower student-loan payments when, in fact, it just filled out a loan-consolidation form that is a…


How One Professor’s Tweets Got Her Fired — or So It Seemed at First

At 3:43 p.m. on Tuesday, the University of Memphis made an announcement:

Cue rumors that Ms. Robinson, an assistant professor of sociology, had been fired for statements she made on Twitter about whiteness and the Confederate flag. Conservative websites were abuzz on Tuesday with articles quoting from the sociologist’s Twitter account. For instance, The Washington Times reported that Ms…


NYU’s Controversial Expansion Plan Gets Final Court Approval

New York State’s highest court has rejected a challenge to New York University’s planned expansion in Greenwich Village, clearing the way for the controversial project to go forward.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that just because “a portion of the public may have believed that these parcels are permanent parkland does not warrant a contrary result.” Critics of the project, which will add roughly two million square feet to the college campus, have called it a misuse of public land. The New York City Council approved the project in 2012.

A college spokesman, John Beckman, told the newspaper, “We look forward to moving ahead with the project, which is vital to meeting NYU’s pressing academic-space needs.”

Correction (6/30/2015, 6:04 p.m.): This post originally mischaracterized an aspect of NYU’s plan. The expansion involves land in Greenwich Village that the university has owned for years, not newly acquired land. The post has been updated to reflect this correction.

New York University to grow in Greenwich Village by 2 million square feet New York’s highest court on Tuesday ruled in favor of New York University’s expansion plan, a decision that paves the way for the school to grow in Greenwich Village by some 2 million square feet.

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Students in Washington State Will See Their Tuition Drop

Students at public colleges in Washington State will get a rare tuition decrease over the next two years — and a relatively sizable one. The Seattle Times reports that the two-year budget passed by the state’s Legislature on Monday will cut tuition at the University of Washington and Washington State University by 15 percent over two years; at Western, Central, and Eastern Washington Universities by 20 percent; and at community and technical colleges by 5 percent. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is expected to sign the budget on Tuesday.

OLYMPIA – The state budget agreement reached by lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee over the weekend would cut college tuition at state schools and add new revenue, mostly by closing a handful of tax exemptions and preferential tax rates.

Read more at:


Supreme Court to Consider Case That Could Upend Unions at Public Colleges

[Updated (6/30/2015, 4:43 p.m.) with more context.]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to take a case that could upend how unions are financed at public colleges. The New York Times reports that the court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was brought by public-school teachers in California who argue that being forced to pay union fees violates their First Amendment rights.

Public employees in states without right-to-work laws can be required to pa…