All posts by Nick DeSantis


Mid-Continent U., in Kentucky, Will Close

Mid-Continent University, a Southern Baptist-affiliated college in Mayfield, Ky., will close at the end of June, according to The Paducah Sun and WPSD-TV.

The university’s Board of Trustees met for more than three hours on Tuesday before announcing the decision. Robert (Tom) Walden, who was recently appointed to replace the university’s interim president, said all of the institution’s employees had been laid off. The college has recently faced severe financial problems.

Mr. Walden said the colle…


U. of Utah and Tribe Reach Deal on Use of ‘Ute’ Name

The University of Utah and leaders of the Ute Indian Tribe on Tuesday announced that they had reached an agreement that allows the university to continue using the “Ute” name and drum-and-feather logo for its athletics teams, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The five-year agreement commits the university to financing scholarships for American Indian students, with a permanent scholarship category designated for Ute members. The university will also appoint an adviser to its president, David W. Pe…


Jackson College Will Lay Off 7 Faculty Members

Jackson College, in Michigan, plans to lay off seven full-time faculty members as part of an effort to cut costs. The layoffs are expected to save about $910,000 in the college’s budget for 2014-15. The cuts will take effect in August, following a round of layoffs last year that affected 17 administrators and support-staff workers.

Those faculty receiving notices will have five days to notify administration if they want to “bump” into another position that they can demonstrate and administration agrees they are qualified for, said Provost Rebekah Woods.

Only adjunct faculty and faculty not granted continual contract status can be bumped from their positions, Woods said.

“The college’s mission is to teach students and faculty does that,” said Alana Tuckey, Jackson Community College Faculty Association union president. “The quality of the instruction of student learning should be a top priority and that’s not being accomplished with cutting faculty.”

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Colorado Bill to Improve Adjuncts’ Working Conditions Is Defeated

A bill in Colorado that sought to improve the pay and job security of adjunct instructors at the state’s community colleges has been shelved indefinitely after the measure was defeated by the Colorado House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee. The committee voted last week, 9 to 4, against the measure, known as the Community College Pay and Benefits Act of 2014. The committee then voted to postpone the bill indefinitely.

Members of the committee raised concerns about the measure’s costs and said that the matter would be best handled by the community-college system itself, rather than through the legislature.

In an attempt to rescue the bill because of a $55 million fiscal cost (an earlier version of the bill carried an $86 million fiscal note), Fischer tried to amend it to force the college system to dip into its reserves to increase pay and offer benefits for all adjunct instructors.

That effort failed.

While Fischer earned sympathy from Democratic and Republican members of the committee, most agreed that it was too expensive a proposition, and that it was the wrong way to address the issue.

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Liberty U. Reduces Provost’s Duties After Questions on Partnership

Liberty University has scaled back the duties of Ronald S. Godwin, its provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, after he drew scrutiny for appearing to endorse a partnership between the university and a Texas-based faith healer. The university has said that the partnership was unauthorized.

Liberty said in a written statement that Mr. Godwin would no longer serve as vice president for academic affairs, though he will continue as provost. “I have apologized to President Falwell for this error and am grateful that I can continue to contribute to Liberty University’s health and success,” Mr. Godwin said in the statement.

In the statement, Liberty University President and Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said Godwin’s refined role would ensure the error does not repeat itself.

“The University will continue to rely on Dr. Godwin’s breadth of academic and administrative experience,” Falwell said in the release, which appeared on on Friday but was not sent to media outlets. “He will spend the next few years grooming his successors and guiding the team responsible for Liberty University’s pending ten year accreditation reaffirmation report.”

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Virginia Intermont College and Webber International U. Scrap Merger

Virginia Intermont College and Webber International University have called off a proposed merger announced earlier this year, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

The college’s financial troubles had put its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges in jeopardy. Last summer the college won an injunction in federal court to temporarily restore its accreditation. In January the college and Webber International, in Babson Park, Fla., announced plans…


U. of Southern Maine’s President Reverses Course on Faculty Layoffs

Theodora J. Kalikow, the University of Southern Maine’s president, on Friday reversed course on 12 faculty layoffs that had prompted loud protests in recent weeks, saying that the layoff notices were “off the table for now.”

The university proposed the cuts last month in an effort to cut $14-million from its budget. Ms. Kalikow said she was open to considering alternatives for finding that money, and the university’s Faculty Senate is due to submit a report on its proposals next month. The university did not rescind the elimination of about 35 staff positions.

“The faculty made a good case that they had possibly better ideas,” she said, adding that the student protests in recent weeks, while admirable, did not play a role in her decision.

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Review Didn’t Support Researcher’s Claims on Athletes’ Literacy, UNC Says

Three outside experts hired by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to review a learning specialist’s findings about the subpar reading abilities of Tar Heel athletes did not find evidence to support those claims, the News & Observer reported.

The researcher who made the original assertions, Mary C. Willingham, was featured in a CNN report in January about the literacy levels of football and basketball players. Her views sparked a backlash from Chapel Hill’s administration, and the …


Report Faults U. of Missouri’s Response to Alleged Rape

An independent report released on Friday has criticized the University of Missouri at Columbia’s handling of a case involving a former swimmer’s alleged rape, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.

The student, Sasha Menu Courey, committed suicide in 2011, about 16 months after the alleged assault.

In January the ESPN program Outside the Lines raised questions about how the Missouri flagship had handled the case. The university said at the time that it had not investigated because neither the stud…


President of 2-Year College in Kansas Resigns Abruptly

N. Clark Williams resigned on Thursday as president of Cowley County Community College, after nine months in office and amid complaints about his decision making.

The chief concern voiced by attendees of a special Board of Trustees meeting this week involved the college’s decision to end its soccer programs. Mr. Williams’s tenure also included the firing of the college’s men’s basketball coach and the resignation of a veteran administrator.

Trustee Mark Paton said he was concerned that the college has lost a president that only had been here for nine months.
“It certainly means we need to regroup,” Paton said.
“I will tell you we have excellent people at the college — more than capable of putting together a plan of where we go to from here.”

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