Grand Jury Clears Officers Who Killed Gunman at Florida State U. Library

A grand jury in Florida has cleared five police officers involved in the shooting death of a gunman who opened fire at a library at Florida State University last month and injured three people, one of them critically, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The gunman, Myron May, was shot and killed by the officers, who arrived at the library just minutes after he had fired at several students outside and at a welcome-desk worker in the lobby. The officers who responded included four from the universi…


U. of Alabama President Says She’ll Step Down by Next Fall

Judy L. Bonner, president of the University of Alabama’s flagship campus at Tuscaloosa, announced in a letter to the campus on Wednesday that she planned to step down no later than the end of September. Ms. Bonner said she would like to return to her “first love, which is teaching and working more directly with students.”

She said in a letter to the chancellor on Monday that she was announcing her intentions now so the university could begin a search in January and plan for a smooth transition t…


First Look at Obama’s College-Ratings Plan Is Expected on Friday

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to release on Friday the first look at a framework outlining President Obama’s controversial college-ratings plan, sources familiar with the matter told Inside Higher Ed. Mr. Obama publicly unveiled the plan during a speech last summer at the State University of New York at Buffalo, with an eye toward eventually tying financial aid to colleges’ performance. The department has twice pushed back plans to release a draft plan for the ratings system.

Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell said in an interview earlier this month that the draft outline would not include the names of specific colleges or universities, nor would it show how institutions perform under the draft metrics.The department will solicit public input on the framework during the next couple months with a comment deadline of mid-February, several sources said. 

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U. of Massachusetts President Will Take Over Maryland System

The president of the University of Massachusetts, Robert L. Caret, will take the helm of the University System of Maryland, its Board of Regents said in a statement on Wednesday. Mr. Caret became the Massachusetts system’s president in 2011 after serving as president of Towson University, one of the Maryland system’s 12 institutions, for eight years.

He will succeed William E. (Brit) Kirwan, whose cost-cutting plan before the 2008 recession is credited with saving the system hundreds of millions…


46 Groups Raise Concerns About Sale of Corinthian Campuses

Forty-six organizations signed a letter on Wednesday expressing reservations about the proposed sale of 56 Corinthian Colleges campuses to the nonprofit ECMC Group.

Associations including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Institute for College Access and Success, and the Service Employees International Union all signed the letter, which demands that the new system of colleges—the largest nonprofit, career-college system in the country—meet five conditions.

The lett…


Marquette U. Professor Who Blasted TA for Gay-Marriage Discussion Is Suspended

An associate professor at Marquette University says he has been suspended with pay for publicly criticizing how a teaching assistant handled the topic of gay marriage in a class discussion, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Last month a student in the teaching assistant’s class confronted her for not allowing more discussion of whether a ban on gay marriage violated the philosopher John Rawls’s equal-liberty principle, after another student suggested it did. The student recorded the con…


College President Draws Fire for Tweeting Picture With Bare-Chested ‘Hotties’

Faculty members at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania are a little peeved at their president, Marcia G. Welsh, for tweeting a picture of herself standing next to shirtless male students wearing Santa hats. Ms. Welsh was delivering holiday cookies to residence halls across campus, reports The Patriot-News, when she encountered the male students, who call themselves the “Hawthorn Hotties,” and took the photo.


Faculty Leader Questions Use of LSU Arena for Controversial Prayer Rally

A huge prayer rally, with Gov. Bobby Jindal as host and a controversial Christian group as sponsor, is set to take place next month at an arena at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, and a faculty leader is questioning whether that’s an appropriate use of a public higher-education facility, The Times-Picayune reports.

Kevin L. Cope, president of the Faculty Senate at LSU, told the New Orleans newspaper that the senate would not meet in time to try to push the January 24 event off campus, …


To Reduce Loan Defaults, Automate Payroll Withholding, Report Says

Report: “The Case for Payroll Withholding”

Organizations: New America Foundation, Young Invincibles, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Summary: With student-loan default rates rising, a growing number of policy makers, think tanks, and advocacy groups are calling for automatically enrolling some or all borrowers in income-based repayment, or IBR. In this report, a product of the third round of the Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project, financed by the Bill & Meli…


Fraternity Shuts Down Chapter at San Diego State, Citing Misbehavior

The national office of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity has shut down its San Diego State University chapter, whose members were accused of throwing eggs and waving sex toys at students marching to raise awareness about sexual assault last month. The Gamma Alpha chapter cannot reopen before the fall of 2016, according to an agreement between the fraternity and the college. Chapter members involved in the harassment of the “Take Back the Night” march will also be subject to investigation for possible violations of the student code, the university said in a news release.

Leaders of the university’s Greek community suspended all activities last month in response to reports about the “Take Back the Night” march.

The statement from Delta Sigma Phi referred to the Take Back the Night harassment as one of “a series of incidents highlighted behavior inconsistent with the high standards that have been synonymous with the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity at San Diego State University.”

“The Fraternity cannot, and will not, tolerate blatant disregard toward our policies and standards for members and chapters,” the statement read.

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