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2012 January 23 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • No Fault Found in Teacher’s Fatal Fall from Tower

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — State investigators found no safety violations in connection with the fatal 65-foot fall of an Ivy Tech Community College instructor from a wind turbine training tower.

The Indiana Department of Labor report doesn’t give a reason for why Craig Porter fell Nov. 2 while teaching a student about safety and climbing on the metal tower at the Lafayette campus.

A thorough investigation found that training and safety standards were being followed at the time, agency spokesman Bob Dittmer told the Journal & Courier.

“As a consequence, no safety order will be issued, and this case is considered closed,” Dittmer said.

Ivy Tech officials have said Porter and the students were wearing full-body harnesses approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. No one else was injured.

The school’s training tower is expected to be used by instructors and students for classes again this spring, campus spokesman Tom McCool said.

Porter, 37, was chairman of the energy technology program for Ivy Tech’s Lafayette region, which offers technical certification for wind energy technology, which includes wind turbine maintenance and climbing safety.

Ivy Tech announced this month it was naming a new center after Porter that will concentrate on teaching courses about renewable energy technologies.

  • Math Professor Gets National Teaching Award

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A professor at Southern Maine Community College has been awarded the 2011 Teaching Excellence Award from the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

Florence Chambers, who came to the South Portland campus in 2001, is one of six instructors nationwide to receive the award. She tells The Portland Press Herald that teaching has always been her passion.

The association presents the award every two years to math instructors at two-year colleges who display excellence in the classroom, superior professional development and outstanding leadership qualities.

  • National Security Official Promotes Needed Skills

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — The general manager at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., says it’s critical for employees to have the needed skills to meet national security challenges.

Darrel Kohlhorst commented as the complex announced an agreement with Roane State Community College giving employees who want to return to college more scheduling options for classes. The agreement also gives college credit for work and apprenticeship experience.

Roane State will offer additional classes on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings when the majority of Y-12 employees who work four 10-hour days are off the job.

Y-12 maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and provides nuclear fuel for the Navy and for research reactors worldwide.

  • Ivy Tech Plans $25M Campus Expansion

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College is looking at a possible $25 million project to add a new classroom building to its Lafayette campus.

Campus officials say it could be a few years before Ivy Tech will have the money to construct the planned 80,000 square-foot building. But campus chancellor David Bathe says the school is using all of its campus space and is nearing capacity at its new downtown Lafayette site.

Bathe tells the Journal & Courier that the new building would likely be built on current campus property, possibly using a portion of an existing parking lot.

About 7,500 students took at least one class in Ivy Tech’s Lafayette region during the fall semester.

  • Miss. College Bans All Tobacco Use on Property

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Northeast Mississippi Community College starts 2012 with implementation of a complete ban on the use of tobacco products on its property.

The ban will apply to all locations including the Booneville main campus and the centers in Corinth and New Albany.

NEMCC President Johnny Allen tells the Daily Corinthian that the ban came out of a concern for public health and is part of the school’s overall efforts to create a healthy and safe environment.

He says smoking has been prohibited inside campus buildings for several years.

The decision to ban tobacco was announced in May, giving staff, employees and students to get ready for the Jan. 1 implementation. Signs have been posted throughout the campus since that time announcing the move.

  • Music Instructor Charged with Tricking Student

TACOMA, Washington (AP) — Authorities in Washington say a former Tacoma Community College music instructor tricked a teenage voice student to take off her clothes while singing in hopes she would reach lower octaves.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports 37-year-old Kevin Gausepohl is charged with seven counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and one count of obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Investigators say he told a Gig Harbor High School student he was conducting a study on how sexual arousal affects vocal ranges. The girl was 17 at the time. She was attending the school as part of the Running Start program that allows high schoolers to take college courses.

Other students told investigators they were also approached by Gausepohl, who resigned in October and denies the allegations.

  • Basketball Team At Iowa College Forfeits Games

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — The Southeastern Community College men’s basketball team is forfeiting the season’s remaining 12 games because 10 players have been dismissed for violating college and athletic department rules.

The Hawk Eye of Burlington reports that two other players have been declared academically ineligible.

That left only two players from the 14-man roster.

The team had gone 13-3 so far this year.

Terry Carroll is the men’s coach and the school’s athletic director, and he says the players violated the school’s athletic code of conduct.

In a statement, Carroll says “these have been good kids who made some incredibly irresponsible and poor choices.”

Because of confidentiality and student privacy laws, the college would not disclose details.

College President Beverly Simone says she supports Carroll’s decisions.

  • S. Dakota Draws More Students Than It Loses

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota attracts more high school graduates from out of state to attend college and technical schools than it loses to other states.

The U.S. Education Department reports that 2,134 students who graduated from high school in other states started in South Dakota postsecondary institutions in the fall of 2008. That’s 570 more than the 1,564 South Dakota high school graduates who left the state to further their education that year.

Paul Turman, associate vice president of academic affairs for the South Dakota Board of Regents, tells the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls that the gain in college students will help fill jobs being created in South Dakota. He says South Dakota used to lose more students than it gained, but a drop in nonresident tuition changed that.

  • College Ends LPN Program in Michigan Town

BAD AXE, Mich. (AP) — After 40 years, a program that trained nurses in a small Michigan town has produced its last graduates.

St. Clair Community College is closing its nurse education center in Bad Axe. Future classes will be held in Port Huron, 80 miles south. It’s a blow to people who enjoyed having a respected program in a small community.

A graduate, Kristina Fisher, tells the Huron Daily Tribune that the Bad Axe program often allowed people to get an education and a job without leaving town.. Instructor Janet Bryant says almost all 1,000 graduates since 1971 have passed the state exam to become licensed practical nurses.

The college says it must watch how it spends money in tough economic times.

  • Kipp Named President of Tribal College

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A former Blackfeet Indian Reservation resident with a doctorate in clinical psychology is the new president of Blackfeet Community College in Browning.

Billie Jo Kipp tells the Great Falls Tribune the fact that she earned an advanced degree after dropping out of college on her first attempt could help inspire struggling students.

Kipp graduated from the University of Great Falls in 1996 before getting her master’s and doctorate at the University of Montana.

She has served as associate director of training and education at the University of New Mexico’s Center of Native American Health while also maintaining a private clinical practice counseling Native Americans.

Kipp says she hopes to add more four-year college programs and develop courses to train people for jobs.

  • La. Panel Nixes Single College Board Proposal

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The latest study panel looking at how best to govern Louisiana’s public colleges is recommending against consolidating all college management into a single board.

Instead, the Governance Commission suggested giving the Board of Regents more power over the four individual university system boards and the state dollars allocated to them.

The proposals are among 21 suggestions in a final report adopted by the commission, most of which would need legislative approval to be enacted.

The study commission says that there is no direct link between the type of college governance structure and improved performance, and that the consolidation into a single board could be costly.

Its report recommends that lawmakers clarify the power of the Board of Regents to establish its authority over the other management boards.

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