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By CCW Staff  /  
2009 October 6 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS: Higher-ed-related news summaries from around the nation

  • Journalism Group Drops Censure of Kan. College

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A national college journalism association has lifted its censure of a Kansas school over the firing of the student newspaper’s part-time adviser.

College Media Advisers said it lifted the censure against Barton County Community College because former adviser Jennifer Schartz had settled her lawsuit against the school, and because the rights of student journalists had been guaranteed by the college’s president.

Schartz’s contract to advise the Interrobang was not renewed in 2004 because of the newspaper’s coverage of an investigation of the men’s basketball team.

A federal probe into financial aid and academic fraud led to convictions against seven coaches and the school’s athletic director, and prompted the firing of BCCC president Veldon Law.

  • Partnership Adds ‘Green’ Courses At W. Va. College

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — Pierpont Community & Technical College is offering new continuing-education classes to help people develop careers in the field of sustainable and green energy.

Through a partnership with Gatlin Education Services, it’s offering courses that can lead to certification as a building analyst, sustainability professional, indoor-air-quality manager and green-supply-chain professional.

Other courses focus on biofuel and natural-gas production operations, and wind-energy apprenticeship.

While most are designed for professionals looking to enhance their skills, others are designed to help prepare people for entry-level positions in a growing career field.

  • Work Starts On Tribal College Science Center

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — United Tribes Technical College has broken ground for a new science and technology center.

The new building will have more than 16,000 square feet of space for classrooms, laboratories, offices and teaching simulators. It will be the first structure on the college’s new campus.

Work on the first phase is expected to be completed by early 2011 at a cost of $3 million. Planned additions call for expanding the building to 50,000 square feet.

Most of the buildings on the current United Tribes campus were built more than 100 years ago for the military. The new campus will feature a circular layout with vehicle traffic kept on the perimeter.

  • Auditor Seeks Repayment of Embezzled Funds

LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi auditor’s office is demanding a former Jones County Junior College employee repay $90,000 she’s accused of stealing.

A grand jury indicted Tracy Laird, 39, on one count of embezzlement.

Auditor Stacey Pickering said Laird turned herself in to authorities and was released on $5,000 bond.

Laird worked at Jones Junior College from May 1999 until February of this year. She was fired the same month college officials reported possible accounting violations to the state auditor’s office.

Pickering is demanding Laird pay $109,408. That covers the $90,000 she is accused of taking since July 2007, plus interest and investigative costs.

  • Iowa College Planning $3.1M Expansion

PERRY, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines Area Community College plans to begin work this fall on a $3.1 million center in downtown Perry.

The center will offer a variety of classes for high school students and adults, but students won’t be able to earn associates degrees. College officials say some will get enough training to get better jobs and others will transfer to another DMACC campus.

Officials plan to pay for the building with $1.6 million in borrowed money from the state, private donations and $500,000 from the community college.

Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2011. The community college has six campuses and three smaller centers.

  • Fired Louisiana Chancellor Loses Tenure Case

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ A state appeal court overturned a district judge’s $125,000 award to the first chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College.

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that Marion Bonaparte did not have any tenure rights because the junior college had not established a tenure process when he was fired.

Bonaparte was hired in 1996 and fired in 1999 because of audit troubles, including allegations of sloppy bookkeeping. That was the same year the college was transferred to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System from operation by LSU and Southern University.

District Judge Don Johnson ruled last year that Bonaparte was entitled to tenure as a teacher.

A three-judge appeal panel overturned that decision.

  • Harvard Honors Tenn. City’s Higher Ed Efforts

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — The city of Kingsport’s efforts to promote higher education have been honored by Harvard University.

The city was named one of six 2009 Innovations in American Government Award winners by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government out of more than 700 applicants. The award comes with a $100,000 grant that Kingsport officials plan to use to tell others about their programs.

Among the city’s initiatives is a new Kingsport Center for Higher Education that offers courses from five local colleges and universities, and a scholarship program that offers every Kingsport high school graduate four free semesters at Northeast State Technical Community College.

Kennedy School official Stephen Goldsmith says cities across the country can learn from Kingsport’s example.

  • Nursing School Plans Delayed At Miss. College

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Plans for a new nursing school and allied health facility at East Mississippi Community College have stalled because Oktibbeha County cannot commit to its share of the funding for the project.

The facility was to be built on land donated near the Golden Triangle Regional Airport at a cost between $10 million and $20 million. Funding was to be shared by the five counties in the EMCC district — Clay, Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Noxubee and Kemper.

Oktibbeha County Board President John L. Young Sr. says his county supports the school plan, but doesn’t have the funding. Young says the county expects to have money available for the project next year.

  • Iowa College Wins Grant for Fuels Program

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Senator Tom Harkin has announced that Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge will receive $475,750 in funding for the Fuel Quality Testing Laboratory, which provides a testing site for the renewable fuels industry.

The Iowa Democrat said that the funding comes from the U.S. Department of Energy. Harkin is a senior member of the panel that funds energy initiatives.

The funds will allow the school to continue with its creation of a laboratory to provide a full-service testing site for the renewable fuels industry. Upon completion, the laboratory will be involved in the improvement of existing fuel testing procedures.

  • Minn. Tribal College Gets Permanent Prez

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has a familiar face as its newly confirmed president.

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities appointed 58-year-old Larry Anderson to the post.. He’s been the interim president of the college in Cloquet since July 1, 2008.

Chancellor James McCormick recommended the move. He told the trustees that Anderson has done an exceptional job during his time as interim president.

The trustees were so impressed by Anderson that they waived their usual policy of doing an outside search for college presidents.

  • Enrollment in Hawaii System Breaks Record

HONOLULU (AP) — Enrollment in the 10-campus University of Hawaii system has reached a record 58,157 students.

School officials said that’s 8.7 percent more than the previous mark of 53,509 set last fall.

University of Hawaii officials say all 10 campuses experienced higher enrollment this fall.

The largest gains were seen on the community college level, with an overall increase of 13.5 percent from a year ago.

Maui Community College had a gain of 26 percent, while enrollment at Kauai Community College surged 22 percent.

  • Utah College Class Trains ‘Green’ Workers

KEARNS, Utah (AP) — A mix of hands-on training and the latest innovations in solar power is providing some Salt Lake Community College students with the tools for a bright and sunny future.

Students in SLCC’s advanced photovoltaic systems class spent a recent Saturday installing solar panels as part of an energy overhaul on a Kearns home.

Launched with the help of the Utah Solar Association, the class is part of the Green Academy initiative to train students for Utah’s emerging renewable energy economy.

Salt Lake County partnered with Community Development Corporation of Utah on the project and purchased the home with an energy efficiency grant.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert toured the home and says it’s an example of the kind of partnerships needed to find solutions to the demand for energy efficiency.

  • CC Transfers Fuel Enrollment Jump at ISU

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Fueled by community college transfers, Indiana State University says enrollment jumped on its Terre Haute campus for the first time in seven years.

ISU says its head count for the fall semester is 10,534, an increase of 77 students from the fall semester last year.

The greatest area of enrollment growth was transfer students, whose numbers increased nearly 30 percent over last year.

Many of those transfer students came from Ivy Tech Community College’s Wabash Valley campus, said ISU vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications John Beacon.

ISU has been working with the community college to help students earn four-year degrees.

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