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News Feeds - Chronicle’s Breaking News
Below is a news feed from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s "The Ticker” blog, providing breaking news in higher education.  Fresh content is pulled from the feed at 15 minute intervals.

Federal Agency Asks Banks for Straight Talk on Help for Student-Loan BorrowersOpen in a New Window

Federal regulators are keeping up the pressure on banks to do more to help struggling student-loan borrowers.

A year ago, Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, convened the nation’s largest lenders and loan servicers to urge them to offer modified repayment plans to borrowers facing default. Since then, two of the largest lenders, Wells Fargo and Discover, have announced that they will offer modified plans. (Wells Far...


Dispute Among Scholars Dooms Gift to Russian-Studies GroupOpen in a New Window

A controversy among scholars of Russian studies has resulted in the death of a proposed gift to a major association that would have provided much-needed financial support for the discipline, The New York Times reports.

The dispute concerns the Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen, who is an emeritus professor at New York and Princeton Universities. Mr. Cohen’s views about American foreign policy in Ukraine are controversial, and he has been described as an apologist for Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’...


Academics vs. ‘Ballghazi,’ Round 2Open in a New Window

News outlets are no longer the only ones asking academics about the science of deflated footballs. Investigators for the National Football League have approached physics professors at Columbia University to help them understand how footballs supplied by the New England Patriots might have lost two pounds of air pressure during the first half of a conference championship game last week.

After first calling the university’s physics department, a representative of the law firm hired by the league...


Salaita Goes After University Donors in Lawsuit Over Job Loss at IllinoisOpen in a New Window

[Updated (1/29/2015, 2:52 p.m.) with the university's response.]

Steven G. Salaita’s widely anticipated lawsuit over the University of Illinois’s decision to deny him a tenured professorship takes the innovative step of also demanding damages from university donors who pressured its leaders not to hire him.

Along with its expected targets—top campus and university-system administrators, and nearly all of the system’s trustees—Mr. Salaita’s federal lawsuit names as defendants several as-yet-unide...


Dartmouth Will Ban Hard Liquor on the Campus, President SaysOpen in a New Window

Dartmouth College’s president on Thursday proposed that hard liquor be banned at campus parties, among other steps to curb what he called “harmful behaviors,” The New York Times reports. Philip J. Hanlon’s proposal is the latest effort in the college’s longstanding battle with its legendary fraternity culture.

In a speech, President Hanlon proposed that hard liquor be banned at all events open to the public, whether they are sponsored by Dartmouth or by student groups. He also said the college w...


Cal State Students Will Get More Say Over Campus ‘Success Fees’Open in a New Window

The trustees of California State University voted on Wednesday to give students more say over the “success fees” some campuses tack onto their tuition bills, The Sacramento Bee reports. Critics have accused institutions of using the controversial fees, which are now in place on 12 of the system’s 23 campuses and can run to several hundred dollars a semester, to circumvent a tuition freeze that Cal State and the University of California agreed to in 2012 in exchange for increased state support.



Critics Boo as College of DuPage Reaffirms President’s BuyoutOpen in a New Window

Despite the boos of a sometimes-raucous crowd, the trustees of the College of DuPage reaffirmed on Wednesday a controversial $763,000 severance deal for the two-year institution's president, Robert Breuder, the Chicago Tribune reports. The Illinois college's Board of Trustees first approved the buyout agreement last week, but it scheduled a special meeting this week to deal with concerns over a procedural error in the earlier vote. The board was not there to reconsider the buyout, the college's lawyer, Kenneth Florey, said at the start of Wednesday's meeting. Instead, it was "taking the high road and voting again."

The unusual do-over vote, required because of a "procedural" error, comes six days after the board approved a $763,000 severance deal for President Robert Breuder, which sparked widespread criticism over the amount of the agreement and a lack of transparency at the publicly funded community college in Glen Ellyn. That outrage continued Wednesday night as a standing-room-only, sometimes raucous crowd filled a larger meeting space, which a judge ordered the board to use. About 400 people, some of them standing on an overflow balcony, listened as students, faculty, residents and two state lawmakers asked the board to reconsider the severance agreement and the effect it was having on the college's reputation. Many asked the board members to resign. The board, however, decided to approve the deal. Trustee Kim Savage defended it, saying the remainder of Breuder's contract, which goes until 2019, would have paid him $2-million. Instead, he will retire in May 2016.

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University Can Deny a Medical Degree Over Lack of ‘Professionalism,’ Court RulesOpen in a New Window

A federal appeals court has ruled that Case Western Reserve University can deny a student a medical degree if it determines the student lacks “professionalism,” The Plain Dealer reported.

The student at the center of the case, Amir A. Al-Dabagh, had completed all of the requirements to receive his degree. But the university said it would expel him after learning about character issues that came up during his college years, including a conviction for driving under the influence.

A federal judge s...


Cache of Records Released by U. of Oregon Is ReturnedOpen in a New Window

The 22,000 University of Oregon records that were released without permission to a professor have been returned, The Register-Guard reports. According to the university, the records contained confidential information about faculty members, staff members, and students that should have been combed out before their release.

The Chronicle identified the recipient of the records as William T. Harbaugh, an economics professor who runs the blog UO Matters, which advocates for administrative transparenc...


Health Officials Shut Down California Graduate Students’ Community FridgeOpen in a New Window

Three graduate students at the University of California at Davis are fighting for the right to set up a community refrigerator on their front lawn, The Sacramento Bee reports. Looking to reduce food waste and become closer to their neighbors, the students set up the refrigerator with the instructions "Take what you need. Leave what you don't." Dozens of items were exchanged through the project, until it was shut down late last year by county health officials over concerns about food safety. The three graduate students—Ernst Bertone, Eric Yen, and Ali Hill—say they plan to lobby Davis politicians for community refrigerators. Mr. Bertone said he had the idea for the community refrigerator while traveling in Europe. "It was in Romania," he told the Bee. "We were talking about food waste at the time. When I came to Davis for grad school, it was the perfect moment."

Three UC Davis graduate students experimented last fall with a communal fridge on their front lawn until health officials shut them down.

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