Judge Rejects Proposed Merger of U. of Baltimore and Morgan State U.

A proposal to merge the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University has been rejected by a federal judge who described it on Tuesday as “extreme,” The Baltimore Sun reports.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission and representatives of the state’s historically black colleges are engaged in mediation over claims that the state has underfunded the colleges and has allowed largely white colleges to duplicate their programs and thereby enroll students who might have attended the HBCUs inst…


Professor Who Was Promoted While in Prison Resigns

Ravi Shankar, an English professor at Central Connecticut State University who in 2014 was promoted from associate professor while in prison for a probation violation, has resigned, the Hartford Courant reports. The university placed Mr. Shankar on leave in July after he was arrested and charged with shoplifting.

As part of an agreement with the university, the Courant reports, Mr. Shankar will receive a payment of an undisclosed amount, and will drop claims against the Connecticut State College…


AAUP Asks Mizzou to Lift Suspension of Melissa Click

The American Association of University Professors has called on the University of Missouri to lift its suspension of Melissa A. Click, the assistant professor who drew scorn for her videotaped attempt to remove a student journalist from the site of a campus protest.

Ms. Click, who was charged last week with assault but reached a deal to avoid prosecution, is serving a suspension while the system’s Board of Curators investigates.

In a letter to the Columbia campus’s interim chancellor, Henry C. (…


Brown U. Faculty Votes to Recognize ‘Indigenous People’s Day’

On Brown University’s 2015-16 academic calendar, Columbus Day does not appear. The day in October when classes aren’t held is called the Fall Weekend holiday. Starting next autumn, though, the day will bear a new name: Indigenous People’s Day.

Faculty members at their monthly meeting on Tuesday approved a student-led effort to rename the campus holiday, The Brown Daily Herald reports.

Members of the group Native Americans at Brown, among other student organizations, gathered before the vote with…


Announcement via Sky-Dive? Athletes’ Signing-Day Stunts Reach New Heights

National signing day, the designated date when high-school football prospects announce their commitments to college programs, has long been an occasion of ceremony for the athletes. They’ve hosted news conferences and gleefully broadcast their decisions on Twitter.

But, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the athletes’ announcements are poised to reach a new level of madness this year. The press conference is out. The elaborate video is in.

Enter Bleacher Report, the online sports publication, whi…


U. of Chicago Scientist Resigns Amid Sexual-Misconduct Investigation

A prominent molecular biologist at the University of Chicago has resigned after an investigation there concluded with a recommendation that he be fired for violating the university’s sexual-misconduct policy, The New York Times reports.

The professor, Jason Lieb, made unwelcome sexual advances to several female graduate students at an off-campus retreat and engaged in sexual activity with a student who was “incapacitated due to alcohol and therefore could not consent,” states a letter descri…


Better Data Are Key to Improved Performance by Students and Colleges

As college costs and student-debt levels continue to rise, the public and policy makers are increasingly demanding evidence of a return on their investment. Yet, says a new report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, consumers lack critical information that would help them answer the trillion-dollar question “Is college worth it?”

The problem, according to the report’s author, Jennifer Engle, is not that the data to answer that question don’t exist, but that they’re not widely available or …


Adjuncts Vote to Unionize in 2 of 3 Schools at U. of Southern California

[Updated (2/3/2016, 1:31 p.m.) with response from the university's provost.]

A campaign to unionize non-tenure-track faculty members at the University of Southern California succeeded in two out of three divisions of the private institution, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The campaign, led by the Service Employees International Union Local 721, drew overwhelming support from adjunct faculty members at two small units of the university, the Roski School of Art and Design and the Internat…


U. of Iowa’s Search for Escaped Goat Enters Day 5

The University of Iowa is still searching for a goat that made a daring bolt to freedom five days ago. The male goat escaped Friday morning from a portable carrier while being transferred to an animal-housing facility at a university research park, and it has eluded the university’s animal-research officers ever since.

There have been a handful of sightings in the City of North Liberty, a suburb of Iowa City about three miles north of where the goat went missing, but university and law-enforcem…


Education Dept. Suspends Student-Aid Eligibility for Dozens of For-Profit Programs

[Updated (2/1/2016, 6:39 p.m.) with comment from a Marinello representative.]

The U.S. Department of Education has suspended student-aid eligibility at 26 for-profit education programs, in California, Illinois, and Nevada, after an investigation found several rules violations by the programs, the department announced on Monday.

The programs found in violation were 23 Marinello Schools of Beauty campuses in Nevada and California, with about 2,100 active students, and three Computer Systems Instit…