All posts by Nick DeSantis


Bobby Fong, Ursinus College’s President, Dies

Bobby Fong, president of Ursinus College, died Monday morning of natural causes at his home, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. He was 64.

Mr. Fong was one of the few Asian-American presidents in academe. He spent 10 years as president of Butler University before becoming Ursinus’s president, in 2011. The college credited him with overseeing the creation of its strategic plan, establishing two interdisciplinary centers, and strengthening the college’s recruitment of international students.

Born in Oakland, Calif., the son of Chinese immigrants, Fong attended Harvard University on a scholarship and graduated magna cum laude in 1973. He earned a doctorate of English literature from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1978 and is a world authority on Oscar Wilde.

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Donna Shalala, U. of Miami’s President, Will Step Down

Donna E. Shalala announced on Monday that she would step down as president of the University of Miami at the end of the academic year.

Ms. Shalala, a former U.S. secretary of health and human services, became the university’s president in 2001 and worked to elevate the institution into the ranks of the nation’s elite research universities. Ms. Shalala has weathered some controversies during her tenure, including questions about the university’s growth strategy and allegations that a former Hur…


5 Scientists Win 2014 Lasker Awards

Five scientists were named on Monday as the 2014 winners of the Lasker Awards, which honor achievements in biomedical research and whose winners often go on to win Nobel Prizes.

Kazutoshi Mori, a professor of biophysics at Kyoto University, and Peter Walter, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, were honored in the basic-medical-research category for their discoveries in what the Lasker Foundation called a “biological quality-control system”…


Harvard’s Public-Health School Gets $350-Million Gift

The donation comes from the family foundation of the Hong Kong billionaire Gerald L. Chan, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the school of public health in the 1970s. The family charity previously financed a professorship at the school, which is to be renamed in honor of Mr. Chan’s late father.

The gift is the largest in the university’s history, and the money will be used to help fight global health threats.

“Let us hope this will be a signal to the world about how important public health is,” Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust said in an interview. The public-health field in general “has been underresourced,” she said, as evidenced by the slow international response to the Ebola outbreak, which has become a scourge in western Africa.

The school will be renamed the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, in honor of Gerald Chan’s late father.

The gift will be added to the school’s endowment, which was valued at $1.1-billion in 2013, a sliver of the university’s $32.7-billion total endowment.

Among the constituent parts of Harvard, the school of public health draws the smallest proportion of its budget from its endowment. Seventy percent of its income has come from federal research grants, a variable and shrinking source.

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Bible College’s President Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

Reginald Wayne Miller, the founder and president of Cathedral Bible College, in South Carolina, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to four felony and two misdemeanor charges stemming from accusations that he forced foreign students to work for little pay and threatened to revoke their visas if they refused, The State reported.

Students had told investigators that their classes were a sham and that they lived in harsh conditions. Mr. Miller, who was arrested earlier this year, pleaded guilty to charges …


Idaho State U. Professor Accidentally Shoots Self in Foot in Class

A professor at Idaho State University was wounded in the foot on Tuesday when his concealed handgun accidentally discharged in a classroom where students were present, the Idaho State Journal reported.

The police responded to a report of a university employee who had accidentally shot himself in a classroom of the university’s physical-science building. They discovered the wounded instructor, who had an enhanced concealed-carry permit. The weapon was in his pants pocket.

The newspaper identified


American Historical Assn. Urges U. of Illinois to Reverse Salaita Decision

The leaders of the American Historical Association have urged the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to reverse its decision not to hire Steven G. Salaita, warning that the decision would “chill the intellectual atmosphere” at the university if allowed to stand.

The group’s leaders sent a letter to Urbana-Champaign’s chancellor, Phyllis M. Wise, urging her to reinstate the offer of a tenured professorship in the university’s American Indian studies program to Mr. Salaita. The offer h…


Professor at Malaysian University Is Charged With Sedition

A law professor at the University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was charged on Tuesday with sedition over comments he made about a 2009 political crisis, Reuters reported. The charge against the professor, Azmi Sharom, stemmed from a recent article in which he was quoted as saying that the collapse of an opposition state government in 2009 was “legally wrong” and resulted from a “secret meeting.”

He pleaded not guilty and requested a trial. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a fine …


Coach at U. of Minnesota Resigns After Sex-Harassment Investigations

The head coach of the women’s gymnastics team at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities resigned last week after investigations into complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation, the Star Tribune reported.

The university determined that the coach, Meg Stephenson, had retaliated against someone after an athlete complained that she had been harassed by Ms. Stephenson’s husband, who was a volunteer assistant coach of the squad. Ms. Stephenson’s husband, Jim Stephenson, was the team’s head…


Morgan State U. Professor Gets 3 Years in Prison for Grant Fraud

A professor at Morgan State University has been sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of defrauding the National Science Foundation of grant money, according to the Associated Press and a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Baltimore.

A judge also ordered the professor, Manoj Kumar Jha, to pay $105,726 in restitution. According to trial testimony, Mr. Jha fraudulently obtained $200,000 in grant money to finance a highway project and then used the money for personal…