All posts by Charles Huckabee


Christian Student Group Loses Official Status at Cal State

A Christian student group has lost its standing as an official student organization at California State University because it has declined to comply with a university policy that prohibits Cal State campuses from recognizing any student group that denies membership and leadership to students based on a variety of factors, including religion, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

The group, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, is open to all students, but its bylaws require chapter leaders to…


Appeals Court Reverses Conviction Over Threatening Poem Sent to Professor

A federal appeals court has tossed out the conviction of a former Utah Valley University student who was found guilty of a felony for sending a professor an email containing a violent anti-immigrant poem, according to reports by the Associated Press and The Salt Lake Tribune.

The poem, sent from the email username “siegheil_neocon” to a professor at the University of Utah, contained such phrases as “we will … detain you and slay you, by a bowie knife shoved up into the skull” and “we put the noo…


U.S. Investigates Alleged Sexual Hazing on W.Va. College’s Baseball Team

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating Davis & Elkins College, a small, private institution in West Virginia, regarding complaints of hazing and sexual harassment involving the college’s baseball team, The Charleston Gazette reported.

A lawyer representing a former student baseball player said his client had left the college and had given up an athletic scholarship after allegedly being subjected to unwanted sexual touching multiple times by at least one upperclassman on the team. The…


Paterno Estate Can Challenge NCAA Sanctions Against Penn State, Judge Rules

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that a lawsuit in which the family of the former football coach Joe Paterno challenged the NCAA’s sanctions against Pennsylvania State University can go forward, but the judge pared back the scope of the suit and said three active members of the university’s Board of Trustees, among other individuals, could not remain as plaintiffs in the case, according to reports by the Centre Daily Times and the Associated Press.

The ruling, by Senior Judge John B. Leete of the …


Appeals Court Says $380-Million Suit Against Yeshiva U. Was Filed Too Late

A federal appellate court has ruled that plaintiffs in a $380-million lawsuit against Yeshiva University, who alleged that the institution had covered up decades of physical and sexual abuse of students at its high school, cannot sue for damages because they waited too long to file their complaint, The New York Times reports.

The ruling, issued on Thursday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirms a lower-court judge’s decision in January to dismiss the …


U. of Alaska President Asks Regents to Reconsider Controversial Bonus

A $320,000 retention bonus in the University of Alaska system president’s new contract has drawn criticism from the public and within the university since the Board of Regents approved it, in June. On Tuesday the president, Patrick K. Gamble, said he had asked the regents to reconsider it when they meet next week, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Mr. Gamble would be eligible to receive the bonus, which is equivalent to his annual salary, if he stayed on until his contract ends, in May 2016. Critics have called the bonus “fiscally and morally irresponsible” at a time when the university is seeking to trim its budget by some $26-million. Speaking at a Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday, Mr. Gamble acknowledged that the controversy had become a distraction. “I think we need to listen to the public and pay attention to them,” he said, “and I think that’s what the board is going to do.”

Gamble was scheduled to offer Chamber members a general update about developments at UA but said at the beginning of the luncheon that he wanted to address “an 800-pound gorilla in the room” first. He invited the crowd to ask questions about his contract and spent about 20 minutes discussing the bonus.

Gamble had previously deferred to the Board of Regents when asked about the issue but said afterward that his silence may have allowed the controversy to fester.

“In my opinion this is starting to hurt the University of Alaska,” he said.

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‘Yes Means Yes’ Bill Clears California Legislature

California lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that would require colleges to adopt a “yes means yes” standard for defining sexual consent in investigations of sexual-assault allegations, the Bay Area News Group reported.

If the measure, Senate Bill 967, is signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, all public and private colleges that receive state student-aid money would have to agree that silence or lack of resistance does not imply a green light for sex, and that drunkenness is not…


John G. Sperling, Founder of the U. of Phoenix, Dies

John G. Sperling, the founder of the University of Phoenix and a pioneer in the for-profit higher-education revolution, has died, the university’s corporate parent, the Apollo Education Group, announced. He was 93.

The company’s statement does not list a cause of death. It describes Mr. Sperling as resolved “to improve the world through accessible higher education for working adult students” and says that his “indomitable ideas and life’s work served as a catalyst for innovations widely accept…


Calif. Says Catholic Colleges’ Health Plans Must Include Abortion Coverage

California’s health department has reversed an earlier decision that had exempted two Roman Catholic universities from a state law that requires employee health-insurance plans to cover most abortions, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. But the Cardinal Newman Society and two advocacy groups that oppose abortion have urged the department to retract its latest decision, warning that it violates federal law and puts federal funds for California at risk.

A 1975 state law requires group health pla…


Southern U. to Discuss Contract of President Who Seeks Big Changes

Ronald F. Mason Jr. is seeking big changes at the Southern University system, and whether he gets to see them through could be decided this weekend when the Board of Supervisors meets to discuss extending his contract beyond next June.

Mr. Mason, who has come under fire from faculty members and at least one member of the board, has told the board he will not stay on as president after his current contract ends unless it agrees to terms he outlined in a letter this June, according to reports by two Louisiana newspapers, The Times-Picayune and The Advocate.

Those terms include moving forward with a reorganization plan he has been pushing that would combine the administrations of the system and its flagship campus, in Baton Rouge. The plan, which Mr. Mason says would be developed with “with broad input,” also calls for slashing staffs and creating shared services throughout the system, and for reviewing the academic program systemwide.

The president’s proposals are unlikely to win much support in Baton Rouge, where the Faculty Senate has called for Mr. Mason’s ouster and voted no confidence in his leadership this summer.

On Thursday, a member of the board also called on Mr. Mason to resign. In an email to other board members, the Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr. said Mr. Mason had botched a proposed contract for the Baton Rouge campus’s former chancellor, James L. Llorens. The board declined to extend Mr. Llorens’s contract in February, and his last day leading the campus was in June.

Mr. Tolbert told The Advocate, that he wasn’t speaking for the rest of the 16-member board and said he was eager to see what happened at the board’s meeting on Saturday. “I just believe Southern needs new leadership,” he said.

The Southern University Baton Rouge Faculty Senate passed a resolution Thursday, urging the board to not renew Mason’s contract and terminate him as soon as possible. The Faculty Senate has characterized Mason as having contempt for faculty, being a divisiveness figure, overreaching his authority on the Baton Rouge campus and fiscal management.

Mason has disputed those claims publicly, and has invited committee members from the Faculty Senate to participate in a public forum. They have declined.

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