Posted on November 26th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Syracuse University used its "Orange Alert" system for the first time on Tuesday, according to the Central New York News.
According to the paper Anthony Callisto Jr., SU's director of public safety, issued the alert because he had heard a "shots fired" call on a police scanner while in his car. A 19 year old Syracuse resident had been shot at 11:30am. Kevin Quinn, SU vice president for public affairs, said the alert reached about 27,000 university students and employees via e-mail, text messaging and automated phone calls at 11:39 a.m.
A second alert was sent at 12:24pm when SU officials learned that the suspect in the shooting had headed away from campus in his vehicle
According to the paper, the alert system costs the university about $50,000 annually. It was started in response to the April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech's own emergency alert system crashed earlier this month during a false alarm.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Rich Legg
Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Juicy Gossip Dot Com is now blocked on the campus of Tennessee State University and at Hampton University in Virginia, according to the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Anonymous posters at the slander site are also being sued by a student at the University of Delaware.
Juicy Gossip showed up on radar about a years ago. The site allows anonymous posting by pretty much anyone on pretty much anything.
Students at the schools and personnel at Juicy Gossip have complained that free speech is being restricted by the blockages and compared the actions of the universities to Chinese government censorship. Of course, free speech is not the idea that anyone has the right to say anything. Free speech has limitations when it begins to trample on the rights of other people; and speech is only protected by the First Amendment when it is in the public interest.
It will be interesting to see if more schools block the site.
Posted on November 19th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Oral Roberts University is laying off about 100 employees, or 10% of its staff, according to an Associated Press report.
The layoffs come after the university signed off on a $450,000 separation agreement with the former president, Richard Roberts, who stepped down last year after allegations that he misspent school funds. Richard Roberts is the son of the school's founder, Oral Roberts.
According to the AP story, ORU's budget for this fiscal year is about $92 million, and the school is more than $17 million in debt.
Posted on November 17th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Safety on campus has changed a lot since the tragedy at Virginia Tech back in April of 2007. Many schools, Va Tech among them, have implemented emergency alert systems that include sending text messages students.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported today that the text-message alert system at Virginia Tech partly failed during a false alarm recently.
A report of what sounded like gunshots prompted Virginia Tech to use its text-message emergency-alert system last week for the first time, but the system failed to deliver all of the messages.
About 30,000 people have signed up to get the emergency text messages on the Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. Lawrence G. Hincker, associate vice president for university relations at Virginia Tech, said in an interview with The Chronicle that "The system froze up. We're very disappointed, and I am not happy in the slightest at this level of service."
Tech uses a company called 3n to manage the alert system and the Chronicle could not reach 3n for comment.
Posted on November 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
That's right. There is now a gay fraternity on the campus of the University of Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News.
According to the paper, Delta Lambda Phi, a nationally recognized gay fraternity, was inducted at UT earlier this year. Evidently a lot of fraternities exclude gays from membership – at least according to Delta Lambda Phi campus president Russell van Kraayenburg.
"Everyone's been so supportive on campus," van Kraayenburg said. "There's not been a single person I've talked to who's been against the idea or even questioned the idea."
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Gregg Mack
Posted on November 13th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
In a local election in Grafton County, N.H. the county's long time treasurer (a Republican) has been unseated by a 20-year-old junior who attends Dartmouth (which is located in the county), according to The Boston Globe.
The Dartmouth student, Vanessa Sievers, beat incumbent Carol Elliott by about 600 votes in a 42,000 vote race. That's around 1.5%. Sievers is a native of Montana. Elliott says she won because "brainwashed college kids" from Dartmouth and from nearby Plymouth State University turned out to vote her.
Elliott is unhappy. The Chronicle of Higher Ed calls Elliott's statements "sour grapes" in its blog…
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Denis Jr. Tangney
Posted on November 12th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Having a $37 billion endowment evidently isn't all it's cracked up to be. According to Reuters Harvard President Drew Faust is saying that "the school is looking at ways to cut spending and will review compensation costs, which account for nearly half of the budget."
In the words of Reuters, "…the economic slowdown has reached America's richest university."
Harvard is also reconsidering some of its expansion plans. The school is concerned that federal grants may dry up and the falling stock market will shrink its massive endowment.
So far financial aid programs at the school have not been affected.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Image# 6154143
Posted on November 8th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
The Kappa Alpha Theta sorority is on probation until May of 2009 after an alleged hazing incident involving 17 members, according to the Stillwater NewsPress.
According to the paper:
The university issued individual sanctions for nine upperclassmen sorority members who were involved in the incident, which occurred on campus during the early morning hours of Oct. 22.
The investigation found there was no malicious intent, and no students suffered physically or mentally during the incident.
Kappa Alpha Theta's chapter at OSU, founded in 1919, has 150 to 200 members. It has no previous allegations of hazing or other misconduct, officials said. Oklahoma State banned one fraternity from the campus for 15 years in 2007 over a hazing incident.
One Greek blog on hazing has a comment that supposedly describes thee incident:
The hazing activity was a little short of being illegal or corrupt. The activity did not include any alcohol, drugs, pot or meth, but was a game of Duck, Duck, Goose, Goose blindfolded, during a party at 12:30 in the morning at a KAO member's off-campus resident. The only thing these ex-members are truly guilty of is stupidity…
Posted on November 6th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Education was not much of an issue this election. At least, it didn't get much attention because the war in Iraq and (more recently) the economy took center stage in this election.
So what will higher education look like under the incoming Obama administration? The President-elect has talked about a number of policy issues surrounding higher education in the last couple of years. He's suggested a program to reform student loans, and to push most loan money into direct aid that doesn't have to be paid back. He's talked about increased funding for community colleges. He's discussed the state of science education in particular and made several proposals on that topic.
Inside Higher Ed has a more detailed look at what President Obama probably means for higher education.
© Center for American Progress Action Fund
Posted on November 2nd, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
The Chronicle of Higher Education said last week that Arizona State University is getting ready to lay off at least 200 non-tenure track faculty members of the next couple of months.
ASU has about a thousand such adjunct faculty. No tenure track faculty members are being laid off. No classes are being cut. And enrollment will not be reduced. So that leave bigger class size as the main option, I guess.
ASU has cut $30 million from its budget and expects to have to cut another $25 million. hard economic times…