Category Archives: Leadership

The executives who run college campuses.


Exasperated College President to Student Protesters: ‘I Resign. Happy?’

The embattled president of Burlington College, Christine Plunkett, had a surprising response to a group of student protesters who crowded around her car and demanded her resignation on Friday:

“I resign. Happy?”

The students, who had been blocking Ms. Plunkett’s car from leaving a Board of Trustees meeting, were shocked to silence but then cheered as she drove away. A spokeswoman for the college, when asked by the Burlington Free Press if Ms. Plunkett had resigned, said, “No comment.”

Ms. Plunke…


Judge Upholds $3-Million Award in Chicago State U. Whistle-Blower Case

An Illinois judge has denied the appeal of Chicago State University in a whistle-blower case that is set to cost the university $3-million, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In February a jury found that James Crowley, the university’s former senior legal counsel, had been fired for reporting misconduct by the university’s leadership. The jury awarded Mr. Crowley $2.5-million and ordered that he be given his job back. Later, Judge James P. McCarthy of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., increased…


Chancellor Resigns Abruptly at Montana State U. Campus

The chancellor of Montana State University-Northern resigned Thursday morning, effective on Friday, the Havre Daily News reports. In an email to the campus, James Limbaugh, who had been chancellor since 2012, said “continuing controversy on campus and in the community” had made it difficult for the institution to move forward.

Mr. Limbaugh has dealt with a handful of controversies during his tenure. In June it was revealed that a former provost had been accused of inappropriately touching a dean…


President of Suffolk U. Is Abruptly Replaced

[Updated (8/27/2014, 9:56 p.m.)] Suffolk University announced on Wednesday that it was appointing an interim president to replace James McCarthy, who has led the Massachusetts institution since February 2012 and had one year left on his contract. Suffolk’s Board of Trustees named Norman R. Smith as the university’s interim president, effective September 1, saying he “has a proven track record of dramatically improving institutions of higher education.” Mr. Smith is president emeritus of Wagner C…


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…


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…


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…


Colorado Professor Who’s Fighting Dismissal Won’t Be Teaching This Fall

David Barnett, the tenured professor of philosophy who is the subject of dismissal proceedings at the University of Colorado at Boulder amid allegations that he retaliated against a female graduate student who had accused a peer of sexual assault, is being given time off from teaching this fall, The Daily Camera reports.

Brian Moore, a lawyer for the professor, told the newspaper that Mr. Barnett had requested relief from teaching duties “until he is given a hearing on the allegations against hi…


After Criticism, U. of Houston Chief Halts Plan to Make Freshmen Live on Campus

The University of Houston’s president has scrapped a proposal that would have required freshmen to live on campus after the plan drew heated criticism from a state senator, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Administrators had pointed to data showing that students performed better when living on campus, and the university’s president, Renu Khator, has sought to make it more of a residential institution.

But State Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat and Houston alumnus, harshly criticized the plan, sayin…


College Trustees Are Urged to Be More Active in Governance

A group of 22 individuals that includes college presidents, business leaders, academics, and others has signed on to a report calling on trustees to take a more active role in college governance.

The report, “Governance for a New Era: A Blueprint for Higher Education Trustees,” was released on Tuesday by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. It stemmed from a project led by Benno Schmidt, chairman of the City University of New York’s Board of Trustees and a former president of Yale Univ…