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As Baylor holds its commencement ceremonies this weekend, the most famous member of the senior class will be an openly lesbian basketball star, Brittney Griner. Twice the winner of the Naismith Trophy as the nation’s top female player, first pick in the recent W.N.B.A. draft, Ms. Griner came out last month in a Sports Illustrated interview, followed by an essay in The New York Times. By dint of her celebrity status, Ms. Griner has instantly altered the relationship between Baylor and its gay students, one that has been awkward at best and contentious at worst.
Despite a year of considerable hype as leading colleges and universities created online partnerships to try to redefine higher education, a recent spate of strong faculty reactions make clear that tradition will not change easily or silently, especially at institutions with a strong history of faculty influence. The decisions by the three universities (Duke University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Rochester) offer a spectrum of reactions to a new wave of online learning and the companies that are trying to drive that change.
Would you be willing to pay about $13,000 more a year in tuition to go to a college that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels? That’s the amount of revenue that Swarthmore College administrators recently estimated the college would forgo in endowment returns if the college’s governing board decided to divest from fossil fuels. The bulk of Swarthmore’s estimated losses would not come from screening out fossil fuel companies directly, but rather through requiring the college to fundamentally change how it manages its endowment.
Stonehill College has named Rev. John Denning, C.S.C. as its tenth President today, Friday, May 17. Currently the Vice President for Student Affairs at the College, Fr. Denning will assume the presidency on July 1, as Rev. Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C. steps down after 13 successful years of leading the 65-year-old Catholic liberal arts college. Fr. Denning began his service at the College in 2000 as its Director of Campus Ministry.
Hiram College president Thomas V. Chema announced that he will step down at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year. He has led the small private college since 2003. Hiram said it has launched a national search for Mr. Chema's replacement. The next president is slated to begin July 1, 2014. Prior to his arrival at Hiram, Mr. Chema served as a partner at Arter & Hadden LLP in Cleveland.
U.S. News & World Report has moved York College of Pennsylvania and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to its “unranked” category after learning that they had submitted inflated admissions data, according to a blog post on Tuesday by Robert J. Morse, the magazine’s director of data research. Officials at the two institutions each advised U.S. News that they had reported inflated data. In both cases, the inaccuracies resulted in the colleges’ receiving higher rankings than they otherwise would have.
Berry College sued the Tennessee Higher Education Commission on Monday, charging it with illegal discrimination against out-of-state institutions and infringement on interstate commerce. That's because the commission told the college that due to a billboard it put up in Nashville, the college must register as if it were operating a college in the state. Berry is located in Georgia, operates no campuses in Tennessee and does not offer online education.
Trustees voted Tuesday to name Nayef Samhat the private college's new leader. Samhat has served as provost and a political science and international studies professor at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, for the past four years. He will replace Benjamin Dunlap this summer. Dunlap, who has been Wofford's president since 2000, will take a yearlong sabbatical, then return as a humanities professor.
Yale University faces a $165,000 fine for “very serious and numerous” violations of the law requiring Yale to report incidents of crime on campus. The U.S. Department of Education, in an April 19 letter to President Richard Levin, charged that Yale did not report four “forcible sex offenses in its campus crime statistics,” two each in 2001 and 2002. Yale admitted the omission in 2004 and said it had implemented corrective action.
Mount St. Mary’s University President Thomas Powell said Tuesday he will depart the president’s office in June 2014 for a yearlong sabbatical that will include working in an orphanage in East Timor. He says he’ll return to campus as president emeritus in 2015 to teach. The school’s Board of Trustees says it will launch a national search next month for Powell’s successor.
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