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2012 February 20 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Complaint on Nev. Sex Class Dismissed

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education is dismissing a complaint that a Carson City community college’s human sexuality class is inappropriate.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights says that Western Nevada College conducted a proper investigation of the student complaint, and the office is deferring decisions about the course to the school.

WNC’s human resources vice president Mark Ghan tells the Nevada Appeal the college is pleased with the decision. An independent investigation commissioned by the college had earlier ruled the complaint unfounded.

Western Nevada College student Karen Royce filed a complaint with the college in October, saying professor Tom Kubistant crossed a line with some assignments, including asking students to increase their masturbation routine.

Ghan says that was a suggestion, not an assignment.

  • Conn. Colleges To Boost Manufacturing

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Three Connecticut community colleges have been selected for new programs to boost high-tech manufacturing training, an area in which employers expect to need many new workers in the coming decades.

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education says it’s creating manufacturing centers at Housatonic in Bridgeport, Naugatuck Valley in Waterbury and Quinebaug Valley in Danielson.

They were picked based on their ability to establish or expand manufacturing technology programs, including those in which students are taught high-tech precision skills.

The centers are being created as part of a legislative bill passed last year to bolster Connecticut’s job market.

The idea was spurred by the success of a manufacturing center at Enfield’s Asnuntuck Community College, where more than 1,000 graduates have taken their new skills into the workforce.

  • Governor Backs Independent Ala. Fire College

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley says he supports legislation that would grant independence to the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that Bentley made the comments to leaders of firefighter service organizations.

The Fire College has been in Tuscaloosa since 1936 and was on the University of Alabama campus until it moved under the control of Shelton State Community College in 1980.

Legislation by two Tuscaloosa County lawmakers would separate the college from its affiliation with Shelton State, although it would remain on the Shelton State campus under a long-term lease.

Bentley met with legislators, fire chiefs and representatives of fire service associations in the State House about creating a stand-alone institution.

  • Ariz. College Consultant Sent Lewd Emails


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Pima Community College consultant who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years forwarded lewd emails to the school’s executives and billed the public for a personal massage.

An Arizona Daily Star investigation also found that the hiring of Wisconsin resident John Crnokrak bypassed the college’s normal competitive bidding process.

He has received more than $300,000 from taxpayers since 2006 to provide executive coaching and leadership training for college administrators.

PCC policy requires bids for work worth more than $15,000 unless no other alternative exists.

College spokesman C.J. Karamargin says the hiring was approved but they won’t use him anymore because of the emails and Crnokrak’s mischaracterization of his relationship with Chancellor Ray Flores.

Crnokrak didn’t respond to emails or phone messages from the Star.

  • Tidewater CC Names Spina as Interim President

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Tidewater Community College has named a new interim president.

Peter A. Spina will take over as interim president of the two-year school on March 1, when Deborah DiCroce leaves the post.

Spina is a higher-education consultant and president emeritus of Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. Among other jobs, he also served as interim president at Virginia’s Thomas Nelson’s Community College in 2003-04.

DiCroce has served as TCC’s president since 1998. She will become president and chief executive of the nonprofit Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

  • Iowa House Approves Tuition Aid for Veterans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The House has unanimously sent Gov. Terry Branstad a measure increasing spending on tuition assistance for deployed veterans who want to attend public Iowa colleges.

A big deployment of Iowa National Guard troops has led to increased demand for the program, forcing officials to reduce funding from 90 percent of tuition to 50 percent. The measure approved Thursday by the House adds $1.3 million to restore the 90 percent funding level.

Tuition is available only at Iowa community colleges and the state’s three public universities.

Last week, the Senate unanimously approved the measure.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the governor would review the measure before deciding whether to sign it into law.

  • W.Va. Colleges Cut Deal To Aid Adult Students

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University and the state’s community and technology colleges are partnering to help adult students complete a bachelor’s degree in their own communities.

WVU President James Clements and James Skidmore, chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, signed the partnership agreement in a ceremony in Charleston.

The deal is aimed at helping more nontraditional students earn their degrees by providing greater access to courses at community and technical colleges. It also calls for a streamlined transfer process for students pursuing an online degree in multidisciplinary studies at WVU.

  • Vt. Tech College To Launch 4-yr. Aviation Degree


WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Technical College is going to begin offering a four-year bachelor of science program in aviation called Professional Pilot Technology.

The college said it had received approval for the program from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is accepting applications for the fall semester.

The college said retirements in the aviation industry are expected to surge over the next decade and the demand for pilots, engineers, technicians and information specialists is expected to be high.

Vermont Tech’s aviation degree is designed to offer a comprehensive aviation education and flight instruction will be offered by the Vermont Flight Academy. Graduates will be eligible for direct access to jobs and internships at airports and Federal Aviation Administration facilities.

  • Idaho Rejects Plans To Expand College Boards

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The House Education Committee rejected efforts to expand Idaho community college district boards from five to seven trustees after opposition from the schools’ leaders.

The panel voted 11-6 to reject Rep. Frank Henderson’s proposal. The Republican championed expanding boards as a means of giving citizens a stronger voice in overseeing the schools — especially setting their budgets and their curriculum.

Some in his community have long complained North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene is disconnected from their interests.

But College of Western Idaho President Bert Glandon urged a “No” vote, arguing Henderson’s push was tantamount to meddling in issues best handled locally.

Glandon said bigger boards could mean rising costs.

Idaho has three community colleges: Glandon’s school in Nampa, North Idaho and Twin Falls-based College of Southern Idaho.

  • ND Tribal College Gets Science Building Grant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — United Tribes Technical College is getting a $750,000 matching grant to help complete a science and technology building on the Bismarck campus.

The money is coming from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which operates a Minnesota casino and other enterprises and runs a charitable giving program.

New construction on the United Tribes building this year will add three laboratories, four classrooms, offices and conference areas. The project will complete 16,000 square feet on the center’s second floor.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community helped fund initial construction of the building with a $1 million matching grant. The total cost of the center is estimated at $6 million.

United Tribes Technical College serves about 1,200 students annually who come from more than 50 tribal nations around the country.

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