All posts by Nick DeSantis


U. of Illinois Sees Growing Criticism of Its Handling of Salaita Case

The chorus of scholars who have criticized the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over its decision not to hire Steven G. Salaita grew louder on Friday, when the American Association of University Professors said it was “deeply concerned” about the matter, and another department at the university announced its vote of no confidence in the administration.

Mr. Salaita was offered a tenured professorship in American Indian studies last year, an offer contingent upon approval by the universi…


George Washington U. Speaks Out on Sex Assaults After Furor Over Ex-Chief’s Remarks

George Washington University on Thursday released a statement calling sexual assault “repugnant and unacceptable” after a former president of the institution, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, drew sharp criticism over remarks he made about the subject on a radio show.

Mr. Trachtenberg served as the university’s president from 1988 to 2007 and is a professor of public service. He appeared this week on The Diane Rehm Show, a National Public Radio program, as part of a panel that discussed fraternities, …


Illinois’s Philosophy Dept. Declares No Confidence in University Leaders

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s philosophy department has approved a resolution expressing no confidence in the university’s leadership, The News-Gazette reported.

The resolution cites concerns about the university’s decision not to hire Steven G. Salaita, a professor who had been offered a tenured position in American Indian studies. Mr. Salaita’s job offer was subject to approval by the university’s Board of Trustees, and the university decided not to send his appointment …


Professor at Israeli University Says He Was Fired Over His Political Views

A professor at Ariel University, in Israel, has accused the institution of dismissing him over his political views, Haaretz has reported.

A disciplinary panel said the professor, Amir Hetsroni, was being dismissed for “conduct inappropriate for a member of the faculty.” He had been accused in a complaint of making disparaging comments on his Facebook page about an Internet forum for women who were victims of sexual assault. The newspaper reported in April that the complaint had been withdrawn at…


FBI Raids 2 Campuses of Shuttered For-Profit College

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Tuesday raided two campuses of Anamarc College as well as the home of the shuttered for-profit institution’s owners, the El Paso Times reported.

The agents searched one of the college’s two campuses in El Paso, Tex., and its campus in Santa Teresa, N.M. The college closed in June because of financial troubles. It offered programs in medical fields and at one point enrolled more than 1,200 students on three campuses.

FBI officials said they were executing…


Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Draws Fire From Architecture School It Runs

The architecture school that is run by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation on Wednesday criticized the foundation’s board over a decision that will result in the school’s losing its accreditation, The New York Times reported.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which oversees the school, has warned that it will lose its accreditation in 2017. The commission requires accredited institutions to be incorporated separately from their sponsoring orga…


Missouri Court Upholds Ex-Student’s Win in Suit Against Vatterott College

A Missouri appeals court has upheld a former student’s win in a lawsuit against Vatterott College, a for-profit institution that has campuses in that state and others in the Midwest, The Kansas City Star reported.

The student, Jennifer Kerr, had accused the college of deceiving her about the degree program in which she had enrolled. A jury last year awarded her $27,676 in actual damages and $13-million in punitive damages. A judge later reduced the $13-million award to about $2-million, to compl…


Temple U. Is Accused of Overlooking Ex-Coach’s Alleged Abuse of Athletes

An article in The Temple News, Temple University’s student newspaper, accuses Temple’s administration of overlooking a former track-and-field coach’s alleged mistreatment of athletes.

Current and former track-and-field athletes said that the coach, Eric Mobley, had verbally abused and intimidated team members and had overseen practices conducted without proper safety equipment. The article accuses university administrators of responding improperly to a student’s claims of mistreatment.

Mr. Mobley declined to speak to the newspaper about the allegations. He resigned in June after six years as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross-country and track-and-field programs. “Temple Athletics thanks him for his service to the program and wishes him well in his future endeavors,” the university said in a news release announcing his departure.

A Temple spokesman said in a statement to the newspaper that the university was “committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all of our students, including our student-athletes.”

After an interview with the administrators was denied, a Temple spokesman said only in a statement that the university is “committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all of our students, including our student-athletes.”

“As we became aware of student concerns in track & field, we pursued a course of action that included meeting with the students and meeting with the coaching staff,” said Ray Betzner, associate vice president for executive communications. “In addition, university staff from several offices on campus worked together to take appropriate steps in responding to these concerns.”

Read more at:


Affirmative-Action Policy Is Found to Reduce Achievement Gaps

Affirmative-action policies can help motivate underrepresented minority students before they apply to college and, as a result, can help narrow achievement gaps across demographic groups, concludes a report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The report concerns an experiment in which students in the fifth through eighth grades competed for cash prizes and were paid according to their relative performance on a national mathematics examination. The study was designed t…


U.S. Offers Religious Colleges New Accommodation on Contraceptive Insurance

The Obama administration on Friday offered a new accommodation to nonprofit religious organizations, including colleges affiliated with faith groups, that object to providing contraceptive coverage as required by the administration’s health-care law, Politico reported.

The administration has sought several times to ease the objections of organizations that, for religious reasons, oppose  providing coverage for contraceptives. But so far those accommodations have failed to satisfy religious colle…