All posts by Nick DeSantis


Community College Fires Instructor Over Math Quiz on Pimps and Prostitutes

Portland Community College, in Oregon, has fired an instructor who gave students a mathematics quiz with questions about such topics as pimps, prostitutes, and drug dealing, The Oregonian reported.

The quiz was based on a fake document that has floated around the Internet for years, under names such as the “City of Los Angeles High School Math Proficiency Exam.” Its questions include math problems involving drug dealing, drive-by shootings, and stealing cars.

Some students were offended by the q…


U. of Colorado Returns Coca-Cola Money Used for Controversial Advocacy Group

The University of Colorado’s medical school is returning a $1-million grant from the Coca-Cola Company after revelations that the money was used to finance a research and advocacy group that urged people to focus more on exercise than how many calories they consume, The New York Times reported.

The group, known as the Global Energy Balance Network, was described in a news release from a wellness center on the university’s medical campus in March as an international network of researchers who wer…


Supreme Court Will Hear Religious Colleges’ Objections to Contraceptive Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the arguments of religious colleges and other faith-based nonprofit organizations against the contraceptive mandate of President Obama’s signature health-care law, the Associated Press reported.

The Obama administration’s requirement that employers provide access to contraceptives has been deeply controversial among faith-based organizations. They argue that the rule violates their religious beliefs. The administration has tried several times to ac…


A Small College Known for Its Conservative Ties Will Shut Down

George Wythe University, a tiny, unaccredited institution in Utah that is known for its unorthodox curriculum and its ties to several conservative state lawmakers, will shut its doors after reaching a settlement with the state’s consumer-protection division, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

In its 23 years of existence, the university has awarded nearly 300 degrees. An internal audit identified dozens awarded during the institution’s early years that were given out in violation of state rules. …


Head of California’s Community-College System Says He’ll Retire

Brice W. Harris will retire in April as chancellor of California’s community-college system, Mr. Harris said on Tuesday in an announcement on Twitter:

Mr. Harris has overseen the mammoth 113-campus system, which serves more than 2.1 million students, since 2012. He was appointed to the post after ret…


Technology Chief at Minnesota Resigns Following Misconduct Allegations

The chief information officer at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Scott Studham, resigned this month following accusations of misconduct related to contracts, hiring, and spending, the Star-Tribune reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. Studham had left to focus on training for an Ironman triathlon. But the Star-Tribune said Mr. Studham had resigned on September 4 at the request of the university’s president, Eric W. Kaler.

The news of Mr. Studham’s exit followed t…


Charges Are Dropped Against Temple Professor Accused of Sharing Tech With China

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday dropped all charges against a Temple University physics professor who had been accused of sharing semiconductor technology with China, The New York Times reported.

The professor, Xi Xiaoxing, had been charged with four counts of wire fraud. At the time the charges were announced, he was chairman of Temple’s physics department, but the university stripped him of that title and placed him on administrative leave.

Mr. Xi maintained that he was innocent, and …


New President at Iowa Won’t Seek Tenured Post That Contract Allows

A spokeswoman for the University of Iowa says the institution’s newly appointed president will not seek a tenured faculty position for which he is eligible under his contract, the Associated Press reported.

J. Bruce Harreld’s appointment as president sparked fears among faculty members that his lack of experience in academic leadership made him unqualified for the position. He will take office in November, succeeding Sally K. Mason, who led the university for eight years.

The Iowa City Press-Cit…


Higher-Ed Groups Criticize Obama’s Overtime-Pay Proposal

A coalition of higher-education organizations on Friday criticized the Obama administration’s proposed changes in federal rules on overtime pay that would raise the annual salary cutoff below which workers are generally eligible to receive such pay.

Employees who make below $23,660 annually are generally eligible for a time-and-a-half wage rate for work that exceeds 40 hours a week. The proposed change would lift that salary threshold to $50,440.

President Obama’s administration has estimated th…


Report Clears Nevada System Chancellor of Alleged Ethics Violations

An independent report has concluded that the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education did not violate any ethical or governance standards in his handling of a report about the state’s community colleges, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

Another Nevada newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, published an article in June asserting that the state’s higher-education leaders had sought to hide the findings of a report that criticized them.

A lawyer hired by the chairman of the system’…