Pasadena City College Blames ‘Errors’ for Commencement-Speaker Dispute

A Pasadena City College official on Monday apologized for what he called “errors in following procedure” that led to a controversy over the California institution’s commencement speaker.

The college’s student newspaper reported last week that Dustin Lance Black, an alumnus who won an Academy Award in 2009, had been disinvited as the institution’s commencement speaker after the board learned that explicit photos of him had previously surfaced on the Internet. The college said that Mr. Black had…


Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Ban on Race-Conscious Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s voter-approved ban on racial preferences in college admissions, reversing an appeals court’s 2012 decision that found the ban to be unconstitutional.

Tuesday’s decision in the case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (No. 12-682), concerned a dispute over a ballot measure called Proposal 2, which voters passed in 2006 and which barred the use of race-conscious college admissions by the state’s public colleges.

A divided federal …


Chapel Hill Researcher at Center of Turmoil Over Athletes’ Literacy Resigns

Mary C. Willingham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill instructor whose data about the poor reading skills of some college athletes became a new flashpoint in a long-running academic-fraud scandal at the university, is resigning at the end of the semester, two North Carolina newspapers reported.

Ms. Willingham confirmed her resignation in an email to the News & Observer, in Raleigh, but said she could not provide details until after she had posted grades for her students and had tal…


7 Senators Call for Steps to Improve Colleges’ Handling of Sexual Assaults

A bipartisan group of seven U.S. senators is calling on the White House’s task force on campus sexual assaults to adopt three reforms that they say will improve how colleges respond to cases of sexual violence.

In a letter released by the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, the lawmakers asked the U.S. Department of Education to designate one employee to coordinate enforcement of the Clery Act, the federal campus-crime-reporting law, and Title IX of the Education Amendments …


Pension-Law ‘Glitch’ Could Prompt Retirement Wave, U. of Illinois Warns

University of Illinois system officials are seeking a legislative fix for what they are calling an “unintended glitch” in the state’s new pension law, warning that faculty members and employees could retire en masse by the end of June over looming reductions in their retirement benefits, The News-Gazette reported.

The university said its Board of Trustees had directed its president, Robert A. Easter, to work with other public universities and the legislature to amend the law.

“Right now people a…


U. of North Texas May Have Misstated Its Finances by $23-Million

The University of North Texas’ flagship campus may have overstated its financial health by $23-million since 2012 because of misreporting, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle and The Texas Tribune.

Audits by the system and a private firm found that a misleading journal entry had been made to account for unresolved collections. The audits were prompted by a 2012 complaint to the state auditor’s office that suggested the entry had been made to “hide thousands of unreconciled transactions…


Civil-Rights Agency Will Investigate UC-Berkeley Assault Allegations

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said on Friday that it would investigate a complaint filed by dozens of University of California at Berkeley students and alumni, according to the Oakland Tribune. The complaint alleges that university officials did not keep them informed about disciplinary proceedings resulting from their sexual-assault allegations and did not sufficiently punish the perpetrators.

“This is an important issue,” said Janet Gilmore, a UC Berkeley spokeswoman. “We certainly understand their interest and concern, and we’ll cooperate fully with their investigation.”

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UConn Recognizes New Graduate-Assistant Union

The University of Connecticut has recognized a new union of graduate assistants that will represent more than 2,100 people. The agreement between UConn and the union covers negotiations on such matters as wages, hours, and working conditions, but not academic issues. The university said it was neutral toward the union drive.

A spokeswoman for the university said The UConn Board of Trustees and the administration stayed out of the students’ decision on unionizing.

“The University has been, and will continue to be, neutral with regard to this effort. Individual graduate students are free to make their own decisions. The University and its senior administrators will not seek to influence the decision of any GA,” said Stephanie Reitz in a statement.

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Faculty Members at Virginia Intermont College Vote No Confidence in Chief

Faculty members at Virginia Intermont College, in Bristol, Va., have voted no confidence in E. Clorisa Phillips, the institution’s president, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

The no-confidence vote took place a few hours after Ms. Phillips announced that a proposed merger with Webber International University, in Babson Park, Fla., had fallen through. Virginia Intermont has also run into accreditation troubles over its finances and declining enrollments.

Grievances cited by faculty members in…


U. of Chicago Economist Wins John Bates Clark Medal for Work on Media

Matthew Gentzkow, a University of Chicago economist, has won the John Bates Clark Medal, the American Economic Association announced on Thursday.

The association honored Mr. Gentzkow for what it said were his contributions to “our understanding of the economic forces driving the creation of media products, the changing nature and role of media in the digital environment, and the effect of media on education and civic engagement.”

The medal recognizes American economists under the age of 40 who a…