All posts by Heidi Landecker


Planner of Raid That Killed Bin Laden Could Lead U. of Texas

Adm. William H. McRaven, leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command, is a top candidate to be chancellor of the University of Texas system, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Saturday. Admiral McRaven, who planned the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, in 2011, earned a degree in journalism from the university’s Austin campus in 1977 and began his military training as a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps there. His speech in May to the graduating class of that campus, includi…


Pot Researcher at U. of Arizona Fights to Get Her Job Back

A medical doctor at the University of Arizona who was dismissed last month is appealing the university’s decision, according to The Arizona Republic. Suzanne Sisley, who studies the effects of marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder, is asking to be reinstated as an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry, assistant director of the university’s telemedicine program, and researcher. She says she was questioned by university officials over an attempt to recall State Sen. Kimberly Y…


Board Suspends Winthrop U.’s President and Plans to Fire Her

[Last updated 6/15/2014, 2:59 p.m.] President Jamie Comstock Williamson has been suspended by the trustees of Winthrop University, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.

Hired in February 2013, Ms. Williamson began her presidency less than a year ago, on July 1, and has been the focus of several controversies first reported by The Herald of Rock Hill, S.C., where the university is located. Her husband, Larry Williamson, was hired last fall as a part-time employee in her office, and althoug…


U. of Southern Maine May Cut 3 Programs, President Says

The University of Southern Maine’s president put three academic programs back on the chopping block on Friday, after a testy several months in which the leader, Theodora J. Kalikow, announced a plan to fire a dozen tenured and tenure-track professors, dismiss 35 staff members, and eliminate four programs—and then invited faculty members to come up with their own proposal to cover a $14-million budget shortfall.

“I intend to continue the program-elimination process begun for American and New Engl…


Judge Rejects Claim That Illinois Hazing Law Is Unconstitutional

A judge in DeKalb County, Ill., has rejected the claim by four former fraternity leaders that an Illinois hazing statute is unconstitutional, according to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. The students are charged with a felony in the death of David Bogenberger, a freshman at Northern Illinois University who died in November 2012 after a night of alcohol consumption at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.

The statute says no one can make students perform any unauthorized act that results in bodily har…


San Jose State U. Expels 3 Students for Racially Harassing Freshman

San Jose State University has expelled three white students who were charged with bullying a black freshman with racial epithets and displays, the San Jose Mercury News reported. A fourth student’s suspension was extended, and he was ordered to attend counseling. The three expelled students are barred for life from attending any California State University campus.

The four were suspended last fall pending the resolution of criminal and university disciplinary proceedings against them for reporte…


Condoleezza Rice Opts Out of Rutgers U. Graduation

Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush and is now a professor at Stanford University, has decided not to speak at the graduation ceremony at Rutgers University, following a protest by students and the faculty. The objections involved Secretary Rice’s role in the war in Iraq, waterboarding, and other controversies of the Bush administration.

Saying that “commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the students and their families,” Ms. Rice to…


Harvard’s IRS Mistake Costs 11,000 Employees Extra Taxes

An tax-accounting mistake by Harvard University has cost some employees as much as $3,000 to $4,000 in taxes they didn’t owe, The Boston Globe reported on Friday. The institution’s mistake led as many as 11,000 workers to pay taxes on money they didn’t earn from 2009 to 2013.

Over all, Harvard reported nearly $20-million in error, according to a letter of apology sent to the employees on Friday. Only a “small number” overpaid thousands of dollars, but hundreds paid several hundred dollars extra,…


Dartmouth Suspends Fraternity During Hazing Inquiry

Dartmouth College has suspended the Beta Alpha Omega fraternity as the institution investigates purported hazing, the Associated Press reported. Officials suspended the group after the Web site Gawker released a series of possible e-mails from fraternity members that indicated alcohol use by minors as part of hazing, which is prohibited by the college.

The newspaper said the college’s safety office was also investigating an alleged sexual assault last week in a residence hall, in which the susp…


Mass. Education Commissioner Calls Dobelle Presidency ‘Highly Questionable’

Richard M. Freeland, the commissioner of higher education in Massachusetts, has released a three-page letter to the trustees of Westfield State University in which he said it was “highly questionable” whether Evan S. Dobelle should remain the institution’s president, according to The Boston Globe.

Mr. Dobelle became the subject of an inquiry after the newspaper reported he had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on designer clothes, posh hotel stays, and other luxuries. Mr. Freeland has alrea…