All posts by Nick DeSantis


Labor Board Hands Pacific Lutheran U. Adjuncts a Win in Bid to Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has handed contingent faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University a major win in their bid to form a labor union, rejecting the university’s assertion that, as a religious institution, it is exempt from the NLRB’s jurisdiction.

The board’s decision is also significant because it refines the NLRB’s standard that is used to determine whether certain faculty members can be considered managerial employees and therefore denied union representation.

That question …


Judge Will Resign From Ohio State’s Board After Ethics Inquiry

A federal judge has agreed to resign as a member of Ohio State University’s Board of Trustees after an ethics commission found that he violated state rules by serving as a trustee and an adjunct professor at the university’s law school. Judge Algenon L. Marbley’s resignation is part of a settlement reached with the Ohio Ethics Commission.

The group said it had agreed to the settlement because it did not find that Judge Marbley had used his position to gain disproportionate compensation as a law professor. The commission’s inquiry began after Ohio State lawyers self-reported the judge’s position as a trustee and a paid professor.

In a statement, Marbley wrote that he has been “diligent in disclosing all information about my professional roles” at Ohio State, but that he is resigning “as a means of resolving any possible questions and laying this matter to rest.”

“Whether I agree with the commission’s final direction is not relevant,” he added. “I respect their authority, and I strive to assure that my conduct is viewed at all times as ethical and appropriate. That is why I act now to resolve this matter fully.”

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First Look at Obama’s College-Ratings Plan Is Expected on Friday

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to release on Friday the first look at a framework outlining President Obama’s controversial college-ratings plan, sources familiar with the matter told Inside Higher Ed. Mr. Obama publicly unveiled the plan during a speech last summer at the State University of New York at Buffalo, with an eye toward eventually tying financial aid to colleges’ performance. The department has twice pushed back plans to release a draft plan for the ratings system.

Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell said in an interview earlier this month that the draft outline would not include the names of specific colleges or universities, nor would it show how institutions perform under the draft metrics.The department will solicit public input on the framework during the next couple months with a comment deadline of mid-February, several sources said. 

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Fired Faculty Activist Settles Lawsuit Against Community College in Texas

A tenured professor who was fired from his job at the College of the Mainland after years of clashing with the administration has settled a lawsuit against the Texas institution, the Houston Chronicle reported. Neither side disclosed the terms of the settlement.

The professor, David Michael Smith, had accused the college of retaliating against him for filing two previous free-speech lawsuits and helping colleagues challenge the administration’s actions. The college said he had been dismissed for…


N.Y. Official Is Named to a Top Post at Education Dept.

John B. King Jr., the education commissioner of New York State, will join the U.S. Department of Education in the high-ranking position of senior adviser to the education secretary, Arne Duncan, the department announced on Wednesday.

Mr. King, a former social-studies teacher who is known as a firm supporter of the Common Core State Standards, was named New York’s education commissioner in 2011. He is expected to join the department in 2015 and will take over the responsibilities of the departm…


‘Rolling Stone’ Account of Rape at UVa Continues to Crumble

The Washington Post on Wednesday published new details that cast additional doubts on Rolling Stone magazine’s graphic portrayal of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house.

The newspaper interviewed three UVa students—identified in Rolling Stone’s article as friends of Jackie, the alleged victim—who expressed skepticism about the accuser’s account of the incident. The Post’s article said the three students had spoken out about “mounting inconsistencies with the origin…


Tennessee University’s Law School Wins Long-Sought Accreditation

The American Bar Association has granted Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law provisional accreditation, after a lengthy dispute concerning the ABA’s approval, the university announced on Monday.

The bar association and the university had been at odds for years over the school’s accreditation. Three years ago, the ABA denied the school’s bid for provisional accreditation, prompting the school to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the bar association.

The school dropped the su…


UVa Forms Group to Explore Policies on Student Safety

The University of Virginia said on Monday that it was forming a group to examine its campus policies and culture, following what it called an “intense, ongoing period of introspection” that was brought about by Rolling Stone magazine’s graphic account of an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house.

The allegations sent shock waves through the campus that intensified last week, when the magazine’s editors began backing away from the article, saying that there were “discrepancies” in the alle…


Defunct Career College’s Founders Plead Guilty to Fraud Charges

The founders of a defunct career college in Ohio have pleaded guilty to fraud charges in connection with allegations that they used the institution to steal $2.3-million in federal student-aid money, according to the Canton Repository.

John Richard Ceroni, 65, and Adale M. Ceroni, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to charges related to mail fraud and money laundering. They had been accused of acquiring fake high-school diplomas for students they had recruited and using the documen…


U. of Illinois Dept. Heads Urge New Chief to Repair Damage From Salaita Controversy

Top officials at the University of Illinois “have done genuine damage” to the system by rescinding a job offer to Steven G. Salaita over his inflammatory criticisms of Israel, 34 academic-department heads on the Urbana-Champaign campus have told the system’s incoming president, Timothy L. Killeen.

In an open letter to Mr. Killeen released on Wednesday, the department heads argue that Robert A. Easter, who is retiring as system president, Phyllis M. Wise, the Urbana-Champaign campus’s chancellor,…