All posts by Charles Huckabee


Judge Rejects Proposed Settlement of NCAA Concussions Lawsuit

A federal judge has rejected the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s proposed $75-million settlement of a class-action lawsuit involving athletes’ head injuries, portraying the deal as too unwieldy and potentially underfunded, the Associated Press reports. But the 21-page opinion, issued on Wednesday by Judge John Z. Lee of the U.S. District Court in Chicago, doesn’t scuttle the deal. Instead, Judge Lee raised concerns about shortcomings and urged the two sides to try to resolve them thro…


Grand Jury Clears Officers Who Killed Gunman at Florida State U. Library

A grand jury in Florida has cleared five police officers involved in the shooting death of a gunman who opened fire at a library at Florida State University last month and injured three people, one of them critically, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The gunman, Myron May, was shot and killed by the officers, who arrived at the library just minutes after he had fired at several students outside and at a welcome-desk worker in the lobby. The officers who responded included four from the universi…


U. of Alabama President Says She’ll Step Down by Next Fall

Judy L. Bonner, president of the University of Alabama’s flagship campus at Tuscaloosa, announced in a letter to the campus on Wednesday that she planned to step down no later than the end of September. Ms. Bonner said she would like to return to her “first love, which is teaching and working more directly with students.”

She said in a letter to the chancellor on Monday that she was announcing her intentions now so the university could begin a search in January and plan for a smooth transition t…


Faculty Leader Questions Use of LSU Arena for Controversial Prayer Rally

A huge prayer rally, with Gov. Bobby Jindal as host and a controversial Christian group as sponsor, is set to take place next month at an arena at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, and a faculty leader is questioning whether that’s an appropriate use of a public higher-education facility, The Times-Picayune reports.

Kevin L. Cope, president of the Faculty Senate at LSU, told the New Orleans newspaper that the senate would not meet in time to try to push the January 24 event off campus, …


Bob Jones U. Blamed Victims of Sexual Assaults, Report Says

For decades, officials at Bob Jones University, an evangelical Christian institution in South Carolina, told sexual-assault victims that they were to blame for their abuse and advised them not to report it to the police because doing so would damage their families, their churches, and the university, The New York Times reports, citing the findings of an independent consultant’s two-year investigation.

Anticipating the release on Thursday of the consultant’s 300-page report, the university’s president apologized to victims of sexual assault on Wednesday and pledged to learn from those who had found the institution’s counseling to be “inadequate, insensitive and counterproductive.”

In a Questions & Answers section of a webpage devoted to the consultant’s report, the university says it needs time to complete a review of the document’s findings and recommendations. “We stand committed to making needed changes to better reflect our values and show victims of abuse and assault the love of Jesus Christ,” it says.

In the survey, abuse victims were about evenly split between those who said the offense occurred before they arrived at Bob Jones, and those who said it took place while they were there; only 37 percent said the assailant was a student or employee of the university or its primary and secondary school. But in many cases, victims said they were assaulted as children by people within their churches, and were told by university officials that speaking out would hurt the Christian cause.

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U. of Calif. to Pay $500,000 in Case Alleging Double Dipping by Researchers

The University of California will pay $499,700 to settle allegations that scientists on its Davis campus received research money from two federal agencies for the same project by submitting “false and misleading statements” in grant applications, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

A spokesman for UC-Davis said the project was in the material-science field and involved a five-year, $1.1-million grant from the Department of Energy and a one-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundati…


With Sex-Assault Report Due, Bob Jones U. Apologizes to Victims

A day before a consulting group is scheduled to release a report on its two-year investigation into how Bob Jones University handled complaints of sexual abuse over four decades, Christianity Today reports, the president of the Christian institution in South Carolina publicly apologized on Wednesday to people who felt they had not received the compassion and support they deserved after suffering sexual abuse or assault.

“We did not live up to their expectations,” the president, Steve Pettit,…


U. of California Student Workers’ Union Calls for Divestment From Israel

A union that represents more than 13,000 teaching assistants and other student workers on nine campuses of the University of California system is calling on the university to divest from companies and institutions that “profit from Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinians.”

According to a news release from the union, United Auto Workers Local 2865, more than 65 percent of the 2,100 members who participated in a vote approved the divestment resolution.

More than half of the voters also en…


One of 43 Missing Mexican Students Is Confirmed Dead

One of the 43 Mexican college students who have been missing since they were arrested during a protest more than two months ago has been confirmed dead, the Associated Press reported. Mexico’s attorney general said on Sunday that the 19-year-old student, Alexander Mora Venancio, had been identified from charred remains found several weeks ago near a garbage dump in Cocula, in Guerrero State. The DNA was matched from material extracted from a bone fragment and analyzed by forensics experts at a l…


San Jose State Donor Did Make Offensive Remarks, Inquiry Finds

An independent investigation has determined that a prominent donor to San Jose State University did indeed make “offensive and inappropriate” statements about “little Latina” students during a gathering on the campus last February, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The donor, Wanda Ginner, has denied having made the comments but has resigned from the university foundation’s board. A university vice president for advancement also stepped down in the wake of the controversy.

The university commissioned the investigation this fall after an employee filed a harassment complaint about Ms. Ginner’s remarks. The full investigative report has not been made public, only a four-page letter summarizing the investigative process and outcome.

The investigator determined that the statements did not violate the campus’s anti-harassment policies because, while offensive, they were not “sufficiently severe or pervasive” and they were isolated comments made during one meeting, according to a letter from San Jose State dated Nov. 17, notifying the employee of the outcome.

“That said,” it continued, “that does not mean the statements were appropriate.”

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