All posts by Nick DeSantis


Archivists Suspended in Records-Leak Case Won’t Return to U. of Oregon

Two archivists at the University of Oregon who had been placed on leave after a cache of confidential records was released to a professor will not be returning to their jobs, The Oregonian reports.

University officials had described the release of the records as unlawful. A lawyer for William T. Harbaugh, an economics professor who had received the documents, returned the records to the university in late January. Mr. Harbaugh runs the blog UOMatters and has been a vocal advocate for transparenc…


Audit Finds ‘Serious Ethical Issues’ in U. of Minnesota’s Handling of Drug-Trial Suicide

The office of Minnesota’s legislative auditor on Thursday criticized the University of Minnesota’s handling of the case of a schizophrenia patient who committed suicide while participating in a drug trial at the university, saying the case involved “serious ethical issues and numerous conflicts of interest,” the Pioneer Press reported.

The criticisms in the auditor’s report build on those in an external review of the institution’s research practices that was made public last month. A report on t…


University Removes Honor for Man It Says Didn’t Deliver on $3-Million Pledge

Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne has removed the name of a businessman from a pedestrian bridge after the institution said he failed to deliver on a $3-million pledge, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., reported. Donald Willis’s contribution was to have helped offset the cost of the bridge, and was to have provided for scholarships and the establishment of an endowed chair.

The last payment was received in 2006. Scholarships were awarded for several years, but the endowed chair was never established.

Mr. Willis and his wife declined to comment on the matter.

Colleen Dixon, director of advancement services at IPFW, said the investor has not made good on his promise. The last payment the university received was in 2006, she said. Willis was to have finished paying the monetary gift next year.“His intentions were always good,” Dixon said, “but at some point, you have to follow through.”

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Defunct Career College’s Founders Get Jail in Fraud Case

A federal judge in Ohio has sentenced the co-founders of a defunct career college to jail for their roles in a fraud involving millions of financial-aid dollars, the Canton Repository reported.

John Richard Ceroni and Adale M. Ceroni pleaded guilty last year to charges related to mail fraud and money laundering. They were accused of buying fake high-school diplomas for students they had recruited to attend Carnegie Career College, then using the documents to apply for financial aid on the studen…


Citing Threats, UC-Irvine Cancels Meeting on Flag Controversy

The University of California at Irvine on Tuesday cited “a viable threat of violence” in its decision to cancel of a meeting to discuss a recent controversy over a decision by part of the student government to ban flags, including the American one, from an office lobby, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The decision to ban the flags, by the Legislative Council of the Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine, sparked an uproar. That group’s action was later vetoed by another br…


U. of California to Cap Out-of-State Enrollments at Berkeley and UCLA

The University of California’s president, Janet Napolitano, said on Tuesday that the institution would cap out-of-state enrollments on the system’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses and would not expand enrollments of in-state students unless the state provided more money.

Ms. Napolitano has been negotiating with Gov. Jerry Brown over her plan to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent over the next five years to make up for lower-than-expected state support. Out-of-state enrollments will not be capped on the state’s seven other undergraduate campuses.

An unprecedented 20% of this year’s freshman class across UC is from outside California and about 30% at UCLA and UC Berkeley. Though UC officials insist that Californians are not being excluded to make room for non-residents, many parents and legislators believe that UC has admitted far too many students from outside the state and are concerned that the practice hurts in-state students’ chances for admission.

“I also appreciate the concern about the level of non-resident student enrollment. As you know, non-resident enrollment—and the additional tuition those students pay—allow us to enroll more in-state students,” Napolitano said.

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Review Finds Flaws in U. of Minnesota’s Handling of Vulnerable Human Subjects

An external review of the University of Minnesota’s research practices has found flaws in its handling of human subjects, particularly patients who are at risk of impaired decision making or are otherwise vulnerable, the Pioneer Press reports.

The release on Friday of a report describing the review’s findings followed years of controversy over the death of Dan Markingson, a schizophrenia patient who was participating in a drug trial at the university. Mr. Markingson committed suicide in 2004 at …


Westfield State’s Ex-President Drops Lawsuit Against State Official and Trustees

Evan S. Dobelle, a former president of Westfield State University, has agreed to drop a federal lawsuit he filed against the Massachusetts institution’s Board of Trustees and the state’s higher-education commissioner. Mr. Dobelle had accused the state official and the trustees, who put him on leave amid questions about his spending practices, of conspiring to destroy his reputation.

Ross H. Garber, Mr. Dobelle’s lawyer, said in a statement cited by The Republican that the cost of continuing the legal fight was “simply too great.”

In November 2013, Mr. Dobelle said he would retire as the university’s president, after drawing scrutiny over his expenses. The state is suing him in an attempt to recoup public money that Mr. Dobelle allegedly misspent.

The resignation came amid harsh public criticism over dozens of domestic and international trips taken by Dobelle during his nearly six-year tenure, including visits to Asia, Europe, Central American and 17 trips to San Francisco.

By late 2013, two state agencies were investigating Dobelle’s spending and Freeland had successfully recommended the freezing of $2 million in campus funding.

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U. of Colorado to Pay Suspended Male Student $15,000 to Settle Title IX Suit

The University of Colorado at Boulder has agreed to pay $15,000 to a male student who filed a Title IX lawsuit after being suspended in connection with a campus sexual-assault case, the Daily Camera reported.

The university agreed not to name the student, who was identified in the lawsuit only as “John Doe,” and will not disclose the details of his disciplinary record without his consent. He had been serving a three-semester suspension after being found responsible for nonconsensual sexual intercourse and nonconsensual sexual contact.

The agreement ends his suspension as of Saturday. He had argued that he was wrongly accused after a night of consensual sex.

CU’s chief legal officer Patrick O’Rourke said the agreement was a business decision.

“The amount of the settlement reflects on the value of the claims, and we believe an agreement that saves the university tens of thousands of dollars in defense costs was a prudent use of the university’s resources,” he said.

An attorney for John Doe applauded the settlement agreement and said the student can now “move on.”

“Our client’s integrity is intact, his transcript is clean and he will now be able to move on with his life without Jane Doe’s false allegations holding him back,” said Kimberly Lau of Nesenoff and Miltenberg, a New York City-based law firm.

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Southern U. Board Consolidates Posts of System President and Chancellor

Southern University’s Board of Supervisors on Friday approved a measure to combine the roles of its system president and the chancellor of its Baton Rouge campus. The decision came as Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, is eyeing sharp cuts in the state’s public colleges, which have already seen their state support fall during his tenure.

In 2012 the governing board of the Louisiana State University system approved a similar consolidation, merging the top leadership posts of the system and the flagship Baton Rouge campus.

The newly combined position will be effective on July 1; one day after Southern University System President Ron Mason Jr.’s contract expires.One year ago, the board decided to cut ties with former Baton Rouge campus Chancellor James Llorens, which was followed up with a decision several months later to not renew Mason’s contract, setting a path to create the dual position.

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