All posts by Nick DeSantis


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…


Team That Reviewed City College of S.F. Recommended a Less-Severe Penalty

The accreditor that oversees the City College of San Francisco has admitted in a court filing that members of its evaluation team recommended a less-severe penalty than the one that eventually led to the accreditor’s move to revoke the college’s accreditation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

That detail was revealed in a court filing associated with the City of San Francisco’s lawsuit against the accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

In the filing, lawyers rep…


Southern U. Board Votes Not to Extend Controversial System Chief’s Contract

Southern University’s Board of Supervisors voted on Saturday not to extend the contract of the system’s controversial president, Ronald F. Mason Jr., who has pushed for sweeping changes that would affect the system and its flagship campus, The Times-Picayune reported.

Mr. Mason has faced sharp criticism from faculty members at the Baton Rouge flagship, who voted no confidence in his leadership this summer. He said before Saturday’s board meeting that he would not stay on as president beyond next…


College of the Holy Cross Settles Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Coach

The College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Mass., has settled a lawsuit filed by a former basketball player who alleged that she had been struck and verbally abused by the team’s coach. The college said the terms of the settlement were confidential.

The coach, Bill Gibbons, voluntarily went on leave last October, a day after the player filed her lawsuit. He was reinstated as the team’s coach in January.

Ms. Cooper played guard for Holy Cross for two seasons. She alleged that Mr. Gibbons struck her on the back hard enough to cause pain on more than one occasion.

She also alleged the coach struck and humiliated her in the presence of other school officials, who turned a blind eye to the abuse. The suit had sought unspecified damages.

Mr. Gibbons has coached the Holy Cross women’s basketball team for three decades and amassed the most wins of any coach in the program’s history.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture School Faces Loss of Accreditation

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been told that it no longer meets accreditation requirements and that it must find an accredited partner to maintain its accreditation, The Arizona Republic reported.

The school offers a master-of-architecture degree and enrolls about two dozen students. It is operated by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and maintains campuses in Arizona and Wisconsin.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Coll…


Franklin Pierce U.’s President Will Resign Next Year

James F. Birge will resign next year as president of Franklin Pierce University, in Rindge, N.H., The Keene Sentinel reported.

Mr. Birge’s announcement came during a period of some turmoil for the institution, which has seen its tuition revenue decline in recent years. This year the university said it would cut six academic programs, citing low enrollment in those majors. And this summer two investor agencies downgraded the university’s credit rating.

The university’s announcement of Mr. Birge…


3 Palomar College Students From Japan Are Killed in Crash

Three international students at Palomar College were killed and five others were injured last week, when the small car they were riding in veered off the road and struck a power pole, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

All eight of the victims were Japanese students who were new to the college, which is located in San Marcos, Calif. There were five men and three women in the vehicle, which police officials said was too many people to be packed into a small car.

The driver and two passengers d…


University Coalition Is Among Challengers to FAA’s Drone Rules

The Council on Governmental Relations, a coalition of 188 research universities, is one of three groups that on Friday filed lawsuits challenging recent regulations on unmanned flying machines, the Associated Press reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration has said that the rules are an attempt to clarify what counts as a model aircraft and the limits on their operation. Professors have argued that the rules improperly restrict their ability to use drones for academic purposes.

Last year the…


Cable Giant Comcast Unveils Streaming-TV Service for Colleges

The cable giant Comcast this week introduced a new streaming-TV service for college campuses that college officials hope will also reduce bandwidth costs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The service is included with room-and-board charges for students living in on-campus housing. It allows students to stream live and on-demand programming to devices like laptops, tablets, and phones.

The company said the service would be available this fall at Bridgewater, Emerson, and Lasell Colleges, Drexel University, and the University of Delaware. Other colleges, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Hampshire, will offer the program to students on a trial basis.

For schools struggling with rising bandwidth needs from students streaming video services like Netflix and YouTube, Comcast is pitching that its service has an added attraction. The service travels over Comcast’s “managed” network in Internet protocol format—similar to cable video-on-demand or phone services.

The traffic from those IP-based services travels on a special portion of Comcast’s cable pipe that is separate from the more congested portion reserved for public Internet access.

As a result, the service, due to its managed nature, would be unlikely to experience the sputters and stops that can affect Web video streaming over the public Internet.

More importantly colleges, which pay telecom providers for Internet bandwidth, would get a break on those costs because streaming the Comcast service won’t count toward a college’s Internet bandwidth capacity, a Comcast spokesman confirmed.

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U. of Illinois Chancellor Speaks Out on Denial of Job to Israel Critic

The chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign broke her silence on Friday about the university’s decision to withdraw a job offer to a scholar accused of being uncivil in his harsh criticisms of Israel, The News-Gazette reported.

The university had offered the scholar, Steven G. Salaita, a tenured professorship in American Indian studies, with the offer subject to approval by the university’s Board of Trustees. But the university said later that it would not forward his appoin…