All posts by Nick DeSantis


Maryland’s UMUC Considers Restructuring as Enrollments Fall

The University of Maryland University College, a major player in the online-education market, is considering ideas for a restructuring amid declining enrollments, The Washington Post reported.

Javier Miyares, the university’s president, has formed an advisory group to consider restructuring proposals. One of those ideas would involve transforming the institution into a “not-for-profit business entity” affiliated with the University System of Maryland, of which it is currently a full-fledge…


USC and Scripps Research Inst. Drop Partnership Talks After Outcry

The University of Southern California and the Scripps Research Institute have abandoned talks about a possible partnership, after faculty members at the institute assailed the idea, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

News of the possible partnership emerged last month. Michael A. Marletta, the institute’s president, was reportedly exploring a deal in which USC would pay the financially strapped institute $15-million a year for 40 years. But faculty members sharply criticized Mr. Marletta, …


State Labor Board Approves Union for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty at U. of Illinois

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board has approved efforts by non-tenure-track faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to form a union, said a news release from the Illinois Federation of Teachers. The unionization effort was led by Urbana-Champaign’s Campus Faculty Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, and the American Association of University Professors.


House Sends Job-Training Legislation to Obama’s Desk

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a compromise bill that would reauthorize federal job-training programs. The measure was approved by a vote of 415 to 6, and it now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

The legislation would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, which was enacted in 1998. Efforts to renew the measure had been stalled since it was due for reauthorization, in 2003, but in May members of Congress rea…


U. of Southern Maine President Will Leave Post for Job With System

Theodora J. Kalikow will step down this month as president of the University of Southern Maine to take a job with the University of Maine system as an acting vice chancellor who will work on a one-year community-engagement effort, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Ms. Kalikow’s new job will run through the end of next June, when her current contract expires. She has served as the Southern Maine campus’s interim president during a period of financial turmoil. In April she reversed course on a c…


China Bars Entry of U.S. Professor Who Supported Uighur Scholar

An American scholar has been barred from entering China in what he says is retaliation for his support of an economics professor who has criticized the Chinese government’s treatment of the country’s Uighur minority, The New York Times reported.

The economics professor, Ilham Tohti, is a member of the Uighur ethnic group. In February he was formally charged with separatism by Chinese authorities.

Elliot Sperling, an associate professor at Indiana University at Bloomington who teaches Tibetan his…


Southern U. Agrees to Make Upgrades in Settlement of Disability Suit

Southern University’s Board of Supervisors has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the flagship Baton Rouge campus’s accommodations for disabled students, and the agreement includes a series of physical upgrades and other reforms, The Advocate reported.

A Southern student sued the institution in 2011, asserting that restrooms, athletics venues, and classroom desks did not properly accommodate wheelchairs. The agreement requires the university to make upgrades on the campus through 2019 and to pay th…


Journal That Published Facebook’s Study Raises Ethics Concerns

The editor in chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the journal that recently published Facebook’s controversial research on its manipulation of users’ news feeds, is raising concerns about how Facebook collected the data.

The study was conducted by the social-media giant and co-designed by researchers at Cornell University. It involved manipulating what users saw in their news feeds to measure how the changes would affect the mood of their own posts. The study has come u…


Arizona State U. Nears Deal to Take Over Thunderbird Business School

Arizona State University is in talks to take over the Thunderbird School of Global Management, whose regional accreditor this year rejected a deal between the business school and Laureate Education Inc., a for-profit education company, according to The Wall Street Journal and an announcement from the two institutions.

Thunderbird’s would-be partnership with Laureate had been intended to shore up the school’s shaky finances, but Thunderbird alumni and others loudly protested that deal, raising co…


10 Liberal-Arts Colleges in Pennsylvania Team Up to Save Money

Ten private liberal-arts colleges in Pennsylvania have formed a consortium that will seek to help them save money and improve academic programs by collaborating across campuses, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The 10 members of the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts are Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, and Washington & Jefferson Colleges. The group is being supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foun…