Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.

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Chicago State U. Lays Off One-Third of Staff

Emergency funds approved last week by Illinois lawmakers after public colleges had gone almost the whole academic year without state money did not avert layoffs at Chicago State University, which let go more than 300 employees on Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported. That number represents one-third of the university’s staff. No faculty positions were affected — in this round of cuts, Chicago State’s president, Thomas J. Calhoun Jr., told the Tribune.

Illinois’s state-budget impasse has hit Chi…

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U.S. Publishes Details on Religious Colleges Seeking Title IX Waivers

The U.S. Department of Education published on Friday new documents that identify religious colleges that have sought and received exemptions from the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX.

Such waivers allow the colleges to receive federal funding without violating their religious beliefs. But the exemptions are controversial: Last year the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, published a report stating that a growing number of instit…

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U. of Louisville Will Remove Monument to Confederate Soldiers

A 121-year-old Confederate monument at the University of Louisville will be removed, its president, James R. Ramsey, and the Kentucky city’s mayor, Gregory E. Fischer, announced at a news conference on Friday morning, according to the Courier-Journal.

On Twitter, Mr. Ramsey said the removal of the statue was one of the recommendations of the university’s diversity committee.

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U. of Akron Ends Partnership Talks With For-Profit ITT

The University of Akron has ceased discussions with the for-profit technical-schools operator ITT Educational Services Inc., according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

The university’s president, Scott L. Scarborough — who has been known for his controversial decision-making — said in an email quoted by the newspaper, “The university will not be entering into any agreement involving ITT.” The nature of the proposed partnership has not been disclosed, but it reportedly involved online education.

Mr. …

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Budget Cuts Prompt U. of North Dakota to Eliminate More Than 100 Positions

The University of North Dakota will cut 138 positions, including 51 on the faculty, in response to state budget retrenchment, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The institution’s interim president, Ed Schafer, announced the cuts at Thursday’s meeting of the state’s Board of Higher Education. The university, in Grand Forks, faces a $21.5-million reduction, the AP reported.

Earlier this month the university announced it would eliminate its men’s golf and baseball programs because of the bu…

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Maine’s Governor Calls Protesting Students ‘Idiots’ and Storms Off Stage

[Updated (4/27/2016, 4:44 p.m.) with Mr. LePage's apology and a video of the incident.]

Gov. Paul R. LePage of Maine stormed off the stage in the middle of a speech on Tuesday after seeing two students holding up signs that criticized him during a dedication ceremony at the University of Maine at Farmington, reports the Portland Press Herald.

The Republican governor, who has drawn criticism from academic leaders during his term, was the featured speaker at the dedication of an education center …

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Justice Dept. Changes Counterespionage Tactics After Wrongful Arrest of Temple U. Professor

The U.S. Justice Department has announced a new national-security protocol meant to prevent cases like those that have misidentified Chinese-Americans as spies, The New York Times reports.

Last September the department dropped such charges against Xi Xiaoxing, a Temple University physicist who was accused in May 2015 of selling secrets to his native China.

Mr. Xi was at least the fifth Chinese-American arrested and wrongfully suspected of economic espionage in a little more than a year.

Now, acc…

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Minnesota State Officials Shelve Controversial Rule to Examine Employee Cellphones

Administrators in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system have shelved a controversial rule that let university officials examine employees’ personal cellphones, the Star Tribune reported on Monday.

The rule, which took effect on April 1, would have allowed administrators to look over employees’ private phones, computers, and other mobile devices they use for work. The rule has drawn resistance from state lawmakers and university employees alike.

The system decided to put a hold on …

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Justice Dept. Slams U. of New Mexico Over Sexual-Assault Policies

The U.S. Department of Justice has found that the University of New Mexico violates federal law in how it responds to reports of sexual harassment and assault, the department said on Friday in a news release. According to the department, an investigation of the campus found, among other things, that:

  • Students, faculty members, and staff members do not know their options for reporting sexual misconduct.
  • The university’s procedures for handling allegations of sexual misconduct are “confusing, dis…
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Legislators Approve $600 Million to Help Illinois Colleges Stay Afloat

Illinois state lawmakers have approved $600 million in short-term higher-education funding to keep public colleges and universities operating during the state’s budget deadlock, the Associated Press reports.

Illinois’s public colleges and universities have gone without state funding for more than nine months, and their leaders have pleaded with politicians to come to an agreement to avoid more financial fallout. Several institutions have resorted to layoffs and other cuts to make ends meet.

The …