All posts by Andy Thomason


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…


Baylor Demotes President and Moves to Fire Football Coach Amid Sex-Assault Controversy

[Updated (5/26/2016, 1:17 p.m.) with details from a university summary of an investigative report.]

Baylor University has moved to fire its head football coach, Art Briles, according to a statement from the Texas institution. In addition, Baylor said that Kenneth W. Starr, the university’s president, would be removed but would retain the more-ceremonial role of chancellor. Finally, the athletic director, Ian McCaw, has been “sanctioned and placed on probation.”

The moves occurred on Thursday ami…


DePaul President Condemns Protesters Who Shouted Down Controversial Speaker

The president of DePaul University has condemned protesters who shut down a speech by a conservative pundit on Tuesday, and has apologized to the College Republicans chapter that sponsored the event. In a message to the Illinois campus on Wednesday morning, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider said he had been “sorry to see” video of the protest and news reports about it.

Video of the event shows two protesters taking the stage where Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart contributor and well-known conserva…


Baylor Won’t Comment on Report That Ken Starr Is Fired as President

Following a report that Baylor University’s Board of Regents had fired Kenneth W. Starr as its president, the university said on Tuesday that it would not respond to “rumors, speculation or reports based on unnamed sources.”

Citing anonymous sources, the website reported Tuesday morning that the regents had fired Mr. Starr.