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2011 December 26 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • NJ’s Largest 2-Yr. College Issued Warning

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s largest community college has been warned its “accreditation may be in jeopardy.”

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education says Bergen Community College has failed to show evidence that assessments of student learning were used to strengthen teaching, allocate resources and ensure graduates had necessary skills.

The Paramus-based school, which has about 17,000 students, must submit another monitoring report in September.

Essex County College and Kean University got warnings for similar problems in June.

Commission spokesman Richard Pokrass told The Record newspaper schools typically given a warning are not in dire shape and come into compliance within a year or less.

  • Ill. College Faculty OKs New Contract

GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — Educators at a southwestern Illinois college have reached a strike-averting, three-year contract.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports that educators at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey ratified the deal.

Eighty-two members of the bargaining unit voted in favor of the proposal, which gives full-time wage increases of more than 6 percent over the contract’s length. It’s retroactive to mid-August.

The contract also increased compensation for lab and clinical instructors.

College President Dale Chapman says the administration is grateful for the union’s approval of the contract and its vote not to strike.

The 103 full-time faculty members have been working without a contract since July.

  • La. Tech Signs Transfer Deal With Ark. College

RUSTON, La. (AP) — Louisiana Tech University has signed an agreement with South Arkansas Community College in an effort to create a smoother transition for students who want to transfer between the two institutions.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau and South Arkansas President Barbara Jones.

The News-Star reported that the agreement ensures that each institution serves provides students with appropriate information on transferring between the schools.

  • Nevada Regents Extend Contract Of Chancellor

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada regents have renewed the contract for Chancellor Dan Klaich.

The board meeting in Las Vegas unanimously endorsed Klaich by approving the five-year pact that runs from July 1 of next year through June 30, 2017.

His salary will remain the same at $303,000 annually.

Klaich oversees the Nevada System of Higher Education that includes two universities, four community colleges, a state college and an environmental research institute.

Klaich was appointed chancellor in 2009. He is also a former regent, having served on the board from 1983 to 1997.

  • Student Settles Lawsuit with Kan. College

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Johnson County Community College has settled a lawsuit with a former student who sued after the school asked for $47,000 to meet an open records request.

Marcus Clem and the Student Press Law Center sued the college in October, accusing it of charging excessive fees to produce public documents.

The 21-year-old Clem, of Stiwell, sought seven months of emails between a college employee who had been fired and the employee’s supervisor.

School officials said it would cost $47,000 to compensate for the time and expense of satisfying the request.

The school gave Clem three months of emails. It charged $450, which the law center paid.

The Kansas City Star reported that Clem, who dropped classes after filing the lawsuit, shared the documents with the college’s student newspaper.

  • Ga. Tech Schools Approve Plan to Increase Grads

ATLANTA (AP) — The Technical College System of Georgia has approved an agreement with the state university system to help increase the number of students who finish college.

The technical college board OK’d the “Complete College Georgia” initiative during a meeting to address statistics showing that only 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 will now be presented to the governor’s office. It is part of a $1 million grant Georgia received in August from the Complete College America Foundation.

  • Dental Training Program Gets OK in Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Higher Education Commission is upholding the creation of a new dental hygiene training program in Hagerstown over the objection of another western Maryland school.

The commission ruled last week on an appeal filed by Allegany College of Maryland. The Cumberland college objected to a September decision by the secretary of higher education favoring an associate’s degree program at Hagerstown Community College.

Allegany College has run its program since 1971. It claims there isn’t enough demand to support another such program just 70 miles away.

The commission found that Allegany wouldn’t be harmed. It says Allegany had 97 qualified applicants for 40 slots last year and will likely be able to fill its program despite the competition.

  • Ky. Colleges Settle Suit with Fired President

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by a former community college president against the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Under terms of the settlement, former Owensboro Community & Technical College President Paula Gastenveld will get $250,000, according to the Messenger-Inquirer.

The agreement is not an admission of guilt or liability. In court documents, the college system said it agreed to the settlement in order to avoid “further controversy or litigation and the associated costs’’ and it denies violating any policies, procedures or laws.

Gastenveld filed suit against the college system and 10 others claiming a conspiracy let to her dismissal as president in 2009. All those named denied her claims.

The settlement resolves all pending lawsuits in the case except one, which names philanthropist and former newspaper publisher John Hager.

Gastenveld sued Hager over a letter he wrote to Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Michael McCall stating his concerns with how she handled a contribution from his family. Hager’s attorneys deny that the letter defamed Gastenveld or interfered with her contract.

The settlement that was reached also contains a provision that parties cannot discuss details of the case or the agreement.

  • La. Colleges Agree To Merge Departments

MONROE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Delta Community College and Northeast Louisiana Technical College say they’ll consolidate eight departments to increase efficiency and save money at a time when there’s more demand for their services.

The News-Star reports that the departments are: facilities, finance, grants and contracts, human resources, public relations and marketing, information technology, purchasing, and workforce training/continuing education.

“We believe it’s time to radically rethink our approach to a number of routine business operations that are a part of our daily work at the colleges,” said Delta chancellor Luke Robins, who is also interim regional director for Northeast Louisiana Technical College. “We believe this agreement will usher in a new level of collaboration and cooperation between the two colleges.”

He and Margie Mixon, dean of the technical system’s Delta Ouachita Campus, signed the official papers. Robins said the human resources departments were consolidated in August without losing any jobs, and the joint department is providing better service and saving money.

  • Wyo. Colleges Approve Hike in College Tuition

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Community College Commission has approved a $4 per credit hour tuition increase for resident students.

But the commission rejected charging for credits a student takes over the full-time 12 credit hours a semester.

The new tuition rates take effect in the 2012-13 school year. Full-time students from Wyoming will see their tuition cost rise from $1,704 to $1,800. Tuition rates for out-of-state students, who pay more than resident students, will also pay more.

It is the second tuition increase in as many years for students attending Wyoming’s two-year colleges.

Opponents of the increase argued it would burden students financially, but supporters said it was a reasonable price for a quality product.

  • Ex-Workers Climb Aboard College Express in Tenn.

DYERSBURG, Tenn. (AP) — A new fast-track option at Dyersburg State Community College is being tapped by workers who lost their jobs when a Goodyear tire plant closed.

The program, called the College Express, allows students to earn an associate degree in five semesters. Former Goodyear employees already accepted into the college’s registered nursing program are the first to use College Express.

Student Gerald Hurt of Rutherford told the State Gazette that he’s looking for more economic stability after building tires for nine years and going through two plant closings.

“I wanted something with a little more job security. Nursing is a career, not just a job,” Hurt said.

The 43-year-old Goodyear plant was Obion County’s largest employer until it closed in July, putting 1,800 employees from West Tennessee and western Kentucky out of work.

The College Express program tries to support students by helping them form a community at the college.

College President Karen Bowyer said a $10,000 grant from AT&T has been used to create 10 scholarships worth $1,000 apiece for students who enroll in College Express and start classes in January.

  • Mo. Panel Wants Funding Based On Performance


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri task force is recommending that funding for state colleges and universities should be based partly on performance criteria such as graduation rates.

The proposal being presented to the state Coordinating Board for Higher Education suggests that Missouri start using a performance-based model in the 2014 fiscal year to determine funding increases beyond the institutions’ core budgets.

Each institution would be judged on five criteria, which could vary by school. The recommended criteria for community colleges could include the number of students who complete a degree within three years or transfer to a university.

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