All posts by Andy Thomason


Citing Cost Concern, Wright State Pulls Out as Host of Presidential Debate

Wright State University is pulling out as host of the first presidential debate, between the presumptive party nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump, the Dayton Daily News reports. In announcing his decision, the university’s president, David R. Hopkins, said he had been motivated by concerns over cost and safety.

University officials had estimated the cost of holding the event, scheduled for September 26 on the campus’s Nutter Center, to be as much as $8 million, $3.5 million of which it…


U.S. Investigates Bridgepoint Over Its Use of Federal Student Aid

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the for-profit owner of Ashford University, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over claims that it “may have misstated Title IV refund revenue or overstated revenue associated with private secondary loan programs,” according to a corporate filing on Tuesday.

According to Bridgepoint, the inquiry concerns whether the company violated the federal 90/10 rule, which prohibits colleges from receiving more than 90 percent of their revenue through feder…


Temple Names New Provost as Controversy Swirls Around Predecessor’s Firing

Temple University has named a new provost just one week after dismissing Hai-Lung Dai from the post, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The dean of the law school, JoAnne A. Epps, will serve in the position, Temple announced, pending the approval of the Pennsylvania university’s governing board.

The appointment occurred as faculty members continued to question the decision to fire Mr. Dai. In doing so last week, the university did not provide a reason. But it did say that the cost of merit schol…


67 Colleges Will Take Part in Education Dept.’s Pell-for-Prisoners Program

Sixty-seven institutions of higher education will participate in the U.S. Education Department’s pilot program to make Pell Grants available to prison inmates, the department announced on Friday.

The department announced the program in July of last year. Its rollout comes more than 20 years after Congress prohibited inmates from receiving Pell Grants.

“The evidence is clear,” said the U.S. education secretary, John B. King Jr., in a news release. “Promoting the education and job training for inc…


3 Key Takeaways From the Supreme Court’s Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions

To many observers, the Supreme Court’s 4-to-3 decision on Thursday that upheld the use of race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin came as a surprise.

Even inside the court, it seems: “Something strange has happened,” wrote Justice Samuel A. Alito in the first line of his dissent, “since our prior decision in this case.” In 2013 the court ruled that a lower court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, had not applied enough scrutiny to Austin’s admissions program…


Watch Ken Starr Get Mangled in His PR Machine

Kenneth W. Starr is having a rough week.

The former president of Baylor University (and well-known Lewinsky-era prosecutor), who announced this week that he would also resign as chancellor, sat for an interview with the local television station KWTX. He tried a couple of times to respond to the suggestion that he was made aware via an email from a female student that she was raped.

It gets awkward. Here’s the full clip, which is worth watching in its entirety:

That interview followed one on ESP…


Kean U. Broke Law in Purchasing $250,000 Table, State Office Says

Kean University broke the law in the way it purchased a $250,000 table, according to the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, The Star-Ledger reports. The state office learned that the table was already on a boat from China to the university before Kean’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase.

According to the office, documents showed that planning for the table began well before the governing board approved it. Those documents included an email from the president, Dawood Y. Farahi, app…


Former Ph.D. Student Shot Professor Dead and Aimed to Kill Another, Police Say

[Last updated (6/2/2016, 9:55 p.m.) with the identification of the gunman's estranged wife as another victim.]

The Los Angeles Police Department has identified the shooter in Wednesday’s murder-suicide at the University of California at Los Angeles as Mainak Sarkar, NBC Los Angeles and KTLA report. According to the news outlets, the police believe Mr. Sarkar, heavily armed, shot and killed William S. Klug, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, before killing himself.

The police sa…


Gunman Kills UCLA Professor and Then Himself

[Last updated (6/1/2016, 11:50 p.m.) with news of the professor's identity.]

A professor at the University of California at Los Angeles was shot to death on Wednesday by a gunman who then killed himself. According to several news sources, the assailant was an unidentified current or former student.

The faculty member was William S. Klug, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering whose research focused on computational biomechanics. The Los Angeles Times reported he was 39 and had two c…


Akron’s Controversial President Will Resign Immediately

Scott L. Scarborough, the controversial president of the University of Akron, will step down immediately, the university’s Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday. According to the board’s statement, the trustees and Mr. Scarborough “mutually agreed” that he would step down, effective on Tuesday.

Mr. Scarborough has had a rocky tenure at the institution, including his mandate that senior administrators pick up trash, to large-scale layoffs and a doomed rebranding of the university as “Ohio’s Poly…