All posts by Andy Thomason


Adjuncts Vote to Unionize at College of Saint Rose

Adjunct faculty members at the College of Saint Rose, in New York, have voted to unionize, the Times Union reports. The vote was 175 to 61 in support of joining the Service Employees International Union, which is in the midst of a national effort to organize adjuncts.

The adjunct faculty, which voted 175 to 61 in support of the move, won by a 3-to-1 margin, said Sean Collins, of Adjunct Action, who helped the staff formalize their plan to initiate the unionization process.

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Wesleyan U. Will Require All-Male Fraternities to Go Coed

Wesleyan University’s residential fraternities must start admitting women within three years, the Connecticut institution’s president and the chairman of its Board of Trustees wrote in an email to the campus on Monday.

“Our residential Greek organizations inspire loyalty, community, and independence,” wrote the president, Michael S. Roth, and Joshua Boger, the board chairman. “That’s why all our students should be eligible to join them.”

The change is not sudden. In April a group of students and…


Students in Hong Kong Answer Voting Restrictions With Boycott of Classes

Thousands of university students in Hong Kong boycotted classes on Monday to protest what they called encroachment on the city’s autonomy in the form of proposed voting rules, The New York Times reports.

New rules proposed by the Chinese government would give Beijing control over which candidates are eligible to campaign for the top post in Hong Kong’s government. Residents would vote directly to fill the position under the proposed policy, which would take effect in 2017.

The pro-democracy student protesters plan to stay out of class for a week.

HONG KONG – Thousands of Hong Kong university students abandoned classes on Monday to rally against Chinese government limits on voting rights, a bellwether demonstration of the city’s appetite for turning smoldering discontent into street-level opposition.

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What You Need to Know About This Week’s Student-Loan Default Rates

The U.S. Department of Education is scheduled to release this week its annual cohort default rates, which describe what percentage of borrowers are defaulting on their student loans. The data were due to be released to colleges on Monday and to the public in the middle of the week. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s new this year?

There is one big change. This is the first year colleges will be judged on a three-year default rate, measuring whether borrowers who began repaying their loans betw…


To Protect Athletes’ Health, City of Boston Enacts Safety Rules for NCAA Events

The Boston City Council on Wednesday approved safety regulations that will apply to all NCAA-sanctioned events held in the city, making it apparently the first city in the United States to enact laws aimed at protecting NCAA athletes’ health, CBS Sports reports.

The rules will be enforced by the city’s Public Health Commission. Under the rules:

  • Host venues must have emergency-medical-action plans in place.
  • Players may not return to competition after suffering a concussion or what is suspected t…

Celebrity Support Dominates Kickoff of White House Sexual-Assault Campaign

The White House unveiled its “It’s On Us” sexual-assault awareness campaign on Friday morning, calling on all college students—and especially men—to do their part to stop rapes on campuses. The effort, which relies in part on the power of peer pressure, has already attracted vocal support in the way that only a White House campaign can.

President Obama set the tone on Friday with strong language on the issue. “Campus sexual assault is no longer something we as a nation can turn away from and say…


Education Dept. Imposes Financial Restrictions on ITT

The U.S. Education Department has placed financial restrictions on ITT Educational Services Inc., citing the company’s failure to submit financial statements by a mandatory deadline.

The for-profit education provider disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that the department had put it on “heightened cash monitoring” status, which restricts how it can receive student-aid funds. ITT warned investors in July that it might face financial restrictions over its …


Full-Time Faculty at College of DuPage Votes No Confidence in President

The union representing full-time faculty members at the College of DuPage, a community college in Illinois, has voted no confidence in the college’s president, the Daily Herald reports. The union’s president said Robert L. Breuder had “contributed to the creation of an environment of turmoil, distrust, fear, and intimidation.”

Relations between full-time faculty members and Mr. Breuder have been strained since 2011, when contracts were last negotiated, a college spokesman said. He also pointed out that full-time faculty members constitute only 10 percent of the college’s employees.

The union representing College of DuPage’s 306 full-time faculty members announced Thursday a “no confidence” vote in the leadership of President Robert Breuder, blaming him for helping create “an environment of turmoil, distrust, fear, and intimidation.” But a college spokesman quickly dismissed the vote, citing long-running strained relations between the union and Breuder.

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If You’ve Dressed Up as a Polar Bear in Front of Reindeer, Read This

You’re on a research expedition at the North Pole to study reindeer while dressed in a polar-bear suit. You’re hungry, so you pull out a piece of toast you’ve packed for the day. Lo and behold, its shape is the spitting image of Jesus Christ. You rush back to base to tell your research partner (stopping once to let your husky defecate, though he can’t settle on an orientation in which to do so, which is strange). When you get back to base, your partner is unimpressed and says, “That’s not Jesus….


College Presidents Have Authority to Reform Athletics, 3 U.S. Senators Say

Three Democratic U.S. senators sent letters on Thursday to the presidents of the colleges that make up the five major athletic conferences, asking them to complete a survey about the experiences of athletes at their institutions, CBS Sports reports.

Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote that they had become “increasingly frustrated with the lack of meaningful progress by the NCAA and its member institutions.” The survey features 21 qu…