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2011 November 28 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Contract Approved at Ohio College After Strike

CINCINNATI (AP) — A new contract has been ratified at a two-year college in Cincinnati where teachers staged a weeklong strike in September.

Cincinnati State Technical &Community Collegesays in a news release that the school’s trustees approved the three-year labor agreement during a special meeting. Members of the union that represents about 200 full-time instructors voted to accept the deal.

The college says the teachers will receive no additional pay in the contract’s first year, followed by raises of 2.75 percent in the second and third years.

The major issue in the dispute involved the teachers’ workloads. On that front, the contract represents the midpoint of the original proposals made by the union and the administration.

  • Missing Laptop Contains Info About NJ Students

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — An employee of acommunity college’s financial aid office either lost or had stolen his laptop computer, putting over 5,000 students and applicants at risk of having their Social Security numbers and other sensitive information misused, college officials said.

Warren CountyCommunity Collegeofficials said the employee reported the laptop missing Sept. 27. The name of the employee was not released.

College President Will Austin told The Express-Times of Easton, Pa. as many as 5,461 students and applicants could have had their information compromised.

Austin said the employee was working from home at night, which is why he or she had the sensitive information on students going back “a couple of years.”

Warren CountyCommunity Collegeis offering access to free credit monitoring services.

The college is also offering a privacy hot line to help those affected by the potential security breach.

  • Tidewater Students, Staff Getting Free Rides on Light Rail

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Students and staff at TidewaterCommunity Collegeare getting a free ride.

Tidewater announced an agreement with Hampton Road Transit that will give students and staff free access to the agency’s buses, ferry and The Tide light rail.

The six-month agreement begins Jan. 1, 2012, and runs through June 30, 2012.

Tidewater President Deborah M. DiCroce says in a news release that the agreement will give students a reliable means of transportation.

  • Former Chancellor Gets Probation, Fine In Funding Case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The former chancellor of City College of San Francisco has been sentenced to five years probation for misusing public funds.

Philip Day pleaded guilty in September to three felonies and agreed to pay $30,000 in fines. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the felonies were reduced to misdemeanors during sentencing Tuesday.

Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee also said she would not require Day to reimburse the college.

Day, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2008, diverted nearly $100,000 in college funds to campaign forcommunity collegebond ballot measures.

The judge also sentenced another former official, Stephen Herman, to five years probation for helping Day misuse funds.

Charges are still pending against a third former official, James Blomquist. He is scheduled to be in court Nov. 22.

  • NC College To Return Student Fees Contributed to PAC

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Asheville-Buncombe TechnicalCommunity Collegeis returning $10,000 in student fees contributed to a political action committee backing a sales tax increase to benefit the school.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that the school’s announcement on followed questions over whether the contribution contradicted promises by the college that only private donations would be spent on the effort.

Join Our Buncombe Solutions said in a donation disclosure report that the school’s Student Government Association — funded entirely through student fees — gave the money to the political action committee.

The committee raised $140,475 in support of the quarter-cent sales tax increase. The proposal was narrowly approved by Buncombe County voters in a Nov. 8 referendum.

Supporters say the sales tax increase will pay for nearly $130 million in renovations and infrastructure upgrades.

  • RI Board Approves College Tuition Hikes As Funding Shrinks

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The state’s higher education board has approved tuition hikes for Rhode Island’s three public colleges.

The Providence Journal reports the Board of Governors for Higher Education approved the increases to balance a proposed $591.6 million budget for the next fiscal year. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the General Assembly must also approve the spending plan.

The tuition hike increases college costs for Rhode Island residents by 9.5 percent at the University of Rhode Island. Bills would increase by 4 percent at Rhode Island College and by 7.5 percent atCommunity Collegeof Rhode Island.

State funding for higher education has plunged by nearly 30 percent over the past five years.

  • Death of Student at La. College in 2010 Leads to Lawsuit

GONZALES, La. (AP) — A man whose son was killed in an accident last year during a class at River ParishesCommunity Collegehas filed a lawsuit.

The Advocate reports that 19-year-old Joshua Wallace of Prairieville was killed in October 2010 during an electrical lineman class in Ascension Parish when a piece of equipment called a harness beam struck him.

Named defendants are River ParishesCommunity CollegeFoundation Inc.; Buckingham Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Binghamton, N.Y.; and Wallace’s instructor. The suit seeks damages and funeral expenses.

Attorney Mark Boyer, who represents Wallace’s father, Eddie Beard, declined comment this past week. College officials also declined comment.

H. Andrew Batty Jr., Buckingham’s president, said the product had been altered by the time of the incident in a way the company would not have done.

  • Sitting Bull CollegeTo Offer Classes In Vacant School

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — Sitting BullCollegewill once again be offering classes in Mobridge, S.D., next spring when it opens a new campus site.

Thecollegerecently announced that it purchased the former Beadle Elementary School earlier this year for classroom use.

Sitting Bull has offered classes in Mobridge off and on since 1989 at various locations around town. It most recently held classes in Mobridge at a retail space, but it had to close in the summer of 2009 because of a lack of funding.

Jan Brockel has been hired as the site coordinator for the new Mobridge campus that will open in January.

Sitting Bull College opened in 1973 on the Standing Rock Reservation. The main campus is located in Fort Yates and a remote campus is located in McLaughlin, S.D.

  • Miss. Developing Plans To Mitigate Hazards on Campus


PERKINSTON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is developing a new multi-campus hazard mitigation plan and will be seeking public comment in the upcoming weeks.

MGCCC disaster mitigation committee member John Shows tells The Sun Herald the college received a $100,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop the plan. The college must have a FEMA-approved plan to remain eligible for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds following a presidentially declared disaster.

The plan will be implemented at the college’s Perkinston, Jefferson Davis and Jackson County campuses and the George County, West Harrison County and Advanced Manufacturing and Technology centers.

The purpose of the plan includes protecting life and property, reducing the potential for future damages and economic losses resulting from disaster and outlining speedy recovery and redevelopment following disaster.

  • Ga. Regents Approve Plan To Increase Number of Graduates

ATLANTA (AP) — The state Board of Regents has approved a plan to increase the number of students who finish college.

The board approved the “Complete College Georgia” initiative during a meeting to address statistics showing that 42 percent of adults in the state have some kind of education past high school.

The plan calls for more cooperation between the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. It also will focus on helping Georgia’s public schools produce more college-ready graduates.

The plan must also be approved by the Technical College System of Georgia before it is presented to the governor’s office.

  • W. Va. Schools Sign Deal To Help Soldiers Earn College Credit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s 10 community colleges are vowing to help soldiers pursue their educational goals even as they serve their country.

The Community and Technical College System of West Virginia and the U.S. Army have approved an agreement to let soldiers convert certain training and skills from their military service into credit toward a degree.

College system Chancellor James Skidmore says veterans deserve every chance to enter higher education, and the agreement being signed Wednesday in Charleston helps create that access.

The agreement also includes a commitment to provide online classes and help soldiers and their families to obtain financial aid.

  • Wis. GOP Seeks Formal Rule on Tech College IDs

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislators ordered state election officials to make their policy allowing technical college students to use their school IDs at the polls into a formal rule, a move that would effectively allow Gov. Scott Walker to block it.

The Government Accountability Board adopted an interpretation of the state’s new voter identification law that concluded technical college IDs qualify on Election Day just like any four-year university ID.

The interpretation angered Republicans on the Legislature’s rules committee. They said the voter ID law’s authors never intended to include technical college IDs. Tech school students generally live in the communities where they attend school and have alternate state identification they can use to vote, they said.

The committee voted 6-4 along party lines to order the board to put all the policy in the form of administrative rules. The order would allow Walker to block the regulations. Republicans adopted a law earlier this year that requires the governor to either approve or reject all state agency rule proposals.

The order comes as Republicans fight for every advantage they can as a recall attempt against Walker looms. Democrats and their allies are outraged over Walker’s contentious law stripping nearly all public workers of almost all their union rights.

Democrats on the committee accused Republicans of trying to disenfranchise technical college students and micromanaging elections.

“Why do you want to treat tech college students as second-class citizens?” Rep. Gary Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, said.

Republicans countered they’re not trying to prevent anyone from voting. The voter ID law’s main sponsor, Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, who sits on the rules committee, said he doesn’t “necessarily” believe the GAB’s policy is wrong, but that it’s so substantial that it rises to the formal rule level.

“The more important something is, the more it should be put in rules,” Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, said.

Almost 400,000 students, or 10 percent of the state’s voting age population, are enrolled at a state technical college.

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