All posts by Charles Huckabee


U. of California to Pay Surgeon $10-Million in Whistle-Blower Case

The University of California has agreed to pay $10-million to a former chairman of orthopedic surgery at the University of California at Los Angeles to settle a case of alleged retaliation against a whistle-blower, the Los Angeles Times reported. The surgeon, Robert Pedowitz, had alleged that UCLA’s medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care.

In a lawsuit that named UCLA, the university system’s regents, and others as defendants, Dr. Pedowitz …


Chapel Hill Researcher at Center of Turmoil Over Athletes’ Literacy Resigns

Mary C. Willingham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill instructor whose data about the poor reading skills of some college athletes became a new flashpoint in a long-running academic-fraud scandal at the university, is resigning at the end of the semester, two North Carolina newspapers reported.

Ms. Willingham confirmed her resignation in an email to the News & Observer, in Raleigh, but said she could not provide details until after she had posted grades for her students and had tal…


Wrongly Fired Coach Reclaims His Job, but Faces a Player Rebellion

Todd Hoffner, who recently won his job back as head football coach at Minnesota State University at Mankato in an arbitration decision, reclaimed the job on Wednesday, only to be blindsided by a player rebellion, the Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis reported.

Mr. Hoffner was removed from the coaching job in August 2012 following allegations that he had made pornographic videos of his young children. He then was fired for unspecified reasons in May 2013, six months after a judge threw out th…


U. of Alaska at Fairbanks Could Face Federal Fines for Musk-Ox Deaths

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has accused the University of Alaska at Fairbanks of possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act in the starvation deaths of 12 musk oxen at a university research station, the Associated Press reported. The federal agency’s complaint says the university failed to provide adequate veterinary care, notice that the animals were losing weight, or seek veterinary treatment for them. The animals died or were euthanized from August 2010 to February 2011.

The univers…


Tennessee Lawmakers Approve Plan to Make Community College Free

The Tennessee legislature has overwhelmingly approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature proposal to create a program that would pay the tuition and fees for two years for all state high-school graduates who want to go to a community or technical college, the Associated Press reported. The State House of Representatives voted, 87 to 8, in favor of the plan, called the Tennessee Promise, on Tuesday, a day after the Senate approved it, 30 to 1.

Higher-education officials and leaders of national college-…


Louisiana College to Give Its President Emeritus Status and Seek a New Chief

Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution in Pineville, La., announced on Tuesday that its president, Joe Aguillard, would move into an emeritus role in August and that the Board of Trustees had appointed an interim president “to ensure that there is a smooth transition of leadership” as the college searches for a new president.

Mr. Aguillard, who has led the college for nearly 10 years, has been at the center of several recent controversies. The Town Talk, a newspaper in Alexandria, La….


Florida Polytechnic U. Selects Its First President

Florida Polytechnic University, which is scheduled to open this fall as the state’s 12th public university, has named as its first president Randy K. Avent, who is now associate vice chancellor for research development at North Carolina State University.

A professor of computer science who holds a Ph.D. in biomedical mathematics and engineering, Mr. Avent previously served as chief scientist in the Office of Basic Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Eng…


Obama to Give Commencement Address at West Point Next Month

President Obama will deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., next month, a White House spokesman announced on Monday. According to a report by the Poughkeepsie Journal, more than 1,000 cadets are expected to graduate and be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at the May 28 event, the spokesman, Keith Maley, said.

Mr. Obama will also speak at the University of California at Irvine’s commencement ceremony this year, the White House annou…


Penn State Surpasses $2-Billion Fund-Raising Goal

Pennsylvania State University has surpassed the $2-billion goal of a seven-year fund-raising campaign that straddled an economic recession and a child-sex-abuse scandal that threatened to scare away potential donors, university officials said on Saturday during a celebration on the University Park campus. The campaign, called “For the Future,” has raised $2.158-billion, according to a news release.

The campaign’s success “clearly demonstrates that Penn State is stronger than ever and that Pe…


Arbitrator: Minnesota State-Mankato Should Reinstate Coach It Fired

An arbitrator has ruled that Minnesota State University at Mankato should reinstate the head football coach it fired last May because the university had no grounds for dismissing him, The Free Press, a local newspaper, reported.

The coach, Todd Hoffner, had been removed from coaching duties in August 2012 after videos of his naked children were found on a university-issued cellphone. Prosecutors charged Mr. Hoffner with creating child pornography, but in November 2012 a judge dismissed th…