All posts by Andy Thomason


Which Marvel Superhero Could Run a University?

Marvel Comics this week announced a new slate of superhero movies to be released over the next several years. You’ve got plenty of time to decide which ones you’ll see, so in the meantime let’s address the question on everyone’s mind: Which Marvel character would make the best college president? Let’s limit the search to all nonmutants who have starred or will star in a Marvel movie.

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Right off the bat, you can count out Robert B. Banner, otherwise known as the Hulk. While Mr. Banner has three P…


College Admits Error for Disciplining Professor for ‘Game of Thrones’ Photo

A community college has admitted that it may have violated a professor’s constitutional rights when it suspended him for posting a photograph of a shirt featuring a quotation from the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones, reports The Record, a New Jersey newspaper.

Bergen Community College suspended Francis Schmidt, an art and animation professor, after he posted the photo, which shows his daughter, on Google+ in January. The quote on her T-shirt—“I will take what is mine with fire & bl…


Charges Are Dropped Against Fired Employees at UNC-Greensboro

Prosecutors have agreed to drop felony charges against three former employees of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who were fired for allegedly using university equipment to operate a freelance photography business. The firings sparked faculty unrest over the treatment of the three, who worked in university relations.

Two photographers, Chris English and David Wilson, will see their charges dropped in six months if they each pay restitution to the university and complete 40 hours of community service. Lyda Carpen, who supervised them, saw all charges against her dropped.

GREENSBORO – Prosecutors have agreed to drop all 22 felony charges against three former UNCG employees accused of falsifying time sheets. An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety. Need an account? Create one now.

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What the Wonks Are Saying About the Final Gainful-Employment Rule

The U.S. Department of Education released the full text of its final gainful-employment rule on Thursday morning, and it’s a big one, weighing in at 945 pages. But sheer volume has never been enough to discourage the most devoted of higher-education observers: the diehard policy wonks, who took to Twitter with observations and analysis.

The biggest change, as The Chronicle’s Kelly Field noted, is the elimination of cohort default rates as a measure that career-education programs will be subject …


Alleging Decades of Bias, Supporters of HBCU Sue for Funds

Students and alumni of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania have restarted a decades-old lawsuit against the state and federal governments, asserting that the historically black institution has been inadequately funded, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The group, named “Heeding Cheyney’s Call,” argues that the university needs more money than the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s other 13 institutions because of decades of systematic discrimination. The group says Cheyney’s enrollm…


Students Nationwide Carry Mattresses to Protest Campus Rape

Students on college campuses across the country are dragging their mattresses out of their beds as part of a “national day of action” expressing solidarity with survivors of rape.

The demonstrations, united under the slogan “Carry That Weight,” were sparked by a Columbia University senior’s protest, in which she has vowed to drag her mattress with her across the campus until her rapist is expelled. Emma Sulkowicz has been carrying her mattress since August.

Below is a roundup of images from the …


Strife Threatens Occidental College’s Response to Sex Assault, Report Says

Conflict and distrust between activists and the administration threaten Occidental College’s ability to improve how it handles sexual assault, according to a new report.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 130-page audit, sponsored by the institution’s president, Jonathan Veitch, cites at least 45 steps Occidental has taken to improve its procedures for handling reports of sexual assault.

But Caroline Heldman, an associate professor of politics and a prominent activist, dismissed the report’s…


Reform Group Proposes Academic-Integrity Rules for Athletics

The Drake Group, which promotes academic integrity in college sports, has released a list of guidelines it urges all colleges and universities to adopt in the wake of “recent academic scandals” related to athletics. Among other items, the group suggests that:

  • Freshmen be required to wait one year before playing sports if their standardized-test scores are a certain amount below the mean of the student body.
  • Athletics programs undergo a national “peer review” process once every 10 years.
  • Academi…

NCAA Touts Higher Graduation Rates, but Numbers Remain Fuzzy

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday released its annual graduation rates, reporting that 84 percent of athletes who entered Division I institutions in 2007 graduated within six years. That is a two-percentage-point increase from the year before, an improvement that Mark Emmert, the association’s president, called “nothing short of remarkable.”

But there are some big problems with how the NCAA calculates its graduation rates. While most observers agree the association’s metric…


Another Lawsuit Is Filed Against the For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has sued Corinthian Colleges Inc., asserting that an Everest College location in Milwaukee used false job-placement statistics to mislead students into enrolling, among other things, the Journal Sentinel reports. The allegations are similar to those featured in many other state and federal lawsuits that have been filed against the company in the past year, including by California and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The lawsuit alleges that Corinthian…