All posts by Charles Huckabee


Wyoming Catholic College Drops Out of Federal Student-Aid Programs

Wyoming Catholic College has announced that it will quit participating in the federal student-aid programs in order to avoid having to comply with federal regulations that it describes as burdensome and “clearly troubling for faith-based institutions.” The decision was unanimously approved last week by the college’s Board of Directors.

“By abstaining from federal funding programs,” the college’s president, Kevin D. Roberts, said in a news release, “we will safeguard our mission from unwarrante…


UNC Athletes Got Special Treatment in Grad Admissions, Former Official Says

The academic-fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has focused largely on how fake undergraduate classes helped athletes maintain their eligibility to compete. In an article in The News & Observer over the weekend, a former UNC official says athletics officials also sometimes asked the university’s graduate school to bend the rules to admit athletes in order to extend their eligibility.

Cheryl Thomas, who was the graduate school’s admissions director from 2002 to 2010, told the newspaper that, roughly once a year during that period, someone from the athletics department or the UNC administration would contact her with a request to find a place for an athlete. She gave the newspaper details about two athletes—a football player and a men’s basketball player—who were admitted to graduate programs under such circumstances. Neither player completed his program; one of them skipped classes and examinations, and flunked out.

Ms. Thomas said her unwillingness to toe the line over such admissions, along with other unrelated management concerns, put her at odds with her supervisors. She resigned in 2010 after nearly 22 years as a university employee.

The current dean of the graduate school and a former dean who admitted one of the athletes said academic departments have different criteria for admission and can request exceptions to allow for a late application or low grades and test scores. They declined to discuss decisions regarding specific students.

Ms. Thomas said admitting unqualified athletes to highly competitive graduate-school programs so they can continue playing is fundamentally wrong. UNC’s graduate school typically rejects about two-thirds of the roughly 15,000 students who apply each year. “You can’t turn down thousands of people and say yes to one just so he can play basketball,” she said.

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U. of Oregon Amends Its Response to Sexual-Assault Lawsuit

The University of Oregon on Thursday dropped a counterclaim it had filed as part of its response to a lawsuit by a student who contends that the university mishandled her sexual-assault complaint against three basketball players, The Register-Guard reports.

In a lawsuit filed in January against the university and its head basketball coach, Dana Altman, the student alleged that the institution and the coach had made winning games a higher priority than investigating her claim.

The university file…


11 Wesleyan Students Are Hospitalized With Symptoms of Drug Overdoses

At least 11 Wesleyan University students were being treated at hospitals on Sunday after apparently overdosing on MDMA, a synthetic party drug also known as ecstasy or Molly, the Hartford Courant reported. One of the students, a sophomore, was reported to be in critical condition.

A university spokeswoman, Lauren Rubenstein, said the students had “overdose symptoms consistent with the use of the drug Molly.”

Michael Whaley, Wesleyan’s vice president for student affairs, sent out an email Sunday …


Nobel Laureate to Leave Helm of India’s Nalanda University

Amartya Sen, the Harvard economist and Nobel laureate who was involved in the creation of India’s Nalanda University and was appointed its first chancellor last year, says he will not stay on for a second term because the government wants him to leave, according to reports in The New York Times and newspapers in India.

Mr. Sen has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he has accused of not doing enough to ensure the safety of women and members of minority groups in India. He …


Man Freed From Prison Sues Northwestern U. and Former Star Professor

A man who spent some 15 years in prison before his conviction in a decades-old double homicide in Chicago was thrown out is suing Northwestern University, the former professor who founded the Medill Innocence Project there, and others associated with the project, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The man, Alstory Simon, had confessed and pleaded guilty to the two killings, but prosecutors agreed in October to throw out his conviction, citing questions about the methods used to obtain his confession. …


Professor at Center of Rankings Scandal in Missouri Resigns

The professor at the heart of a rankings scandal at the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management has resigned, The Kansas City Star reported. The controversy centers on an innovation-management program that the professor, Michael Song, founded in 2005 and led until last year.

In 2012 a journal article ranked the university as the top institution in the world in the field of innovation management, and Mr. Song as the field’s top researcher. But an investigation …


Court Reverses Christian College’s Exemption From Contraceptive Mandate

A federal appeals court has reversed a lower-court victory won by a private Christian college in Pennsylvania that challenged a provision of the Affordable Care Act. The provision required the college either to include contraceptive coverage for women in the health plans it offers to employees and students, or to opt out and let a third party do so.

Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, Pa., had won an injunction in a federal court in 2013 that temporarily exempted it from the contraceptive-coverage …


Full-Time Lecturers at Tufts Vote to Unionize

Full-time, non-tenure-track lecturers and instructors at Tufts University voted on Thursday to form a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, The Boston Globe reported.

Part-time faculty members at Tufts unionized with the SEIU in September 2013 as part of the union’s campaign to organize adjuncts across the Boston metropolitan region. Thursday’s vote marks the first time the regional campaign has organized full-time faculty members who are off the tenure track.

Claire …


Dean Smith, Coaching Legend at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dies at 83

Dean Smith, the longtime former men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, died on Saturday, the university announced. He was 83.

Smith led the Tar Heels to two national championships and 13 conference titles in his 36 seasons as head coach, and he was the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history at the time he retired, in 1997. Yet he is remembered as much for his qualities off the court as for his basketball success, obituaries in The New York Times and The N…