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2014 December 22 - 05:48 pm

News Briefs

A summary listing of higher-ed-related news from around the nation

Iowa College Ending Equine Program

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — One of the Midwest’s largest two-year degree programs to prepare students for jobs in the horse industry is closing.

Kirkwood Community College announced that it would accept no new applications for its horse science credit program, citing low job placement rates among graduates.

School officials told current students that they will be able to finish program classes by spring 2016. Horse-related classes will still be offered at the Iowa Equestrian Center through Kirkwood’s continuing education division.

The program was meant to prepare students for a variety of jobs in the equine industry, such as stable managers, horse dealers and groomers.

But Kirkwood said that of 26 graduates over three years, only 15 are known to be working as a rider, a horse trainer or as a stable worker.

Chattanooga CC President Retiring

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Chattanooga State Community College President James Catanzaro is retiring at the end of the month.

The Tennessee Board of Regents said in a statement that Catanzaro’s retirement will be effective Dec. 31.

Catanzaro has served as president of Chattanooga State since 1990. In October, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that state auditors were investigating Catanzaro after he hired a woman he met on vacation in Barbados to a six-figure job at the school.

According to the newspaper, the woman did not have a college degree as required in her job description and her visa agreement.

The TBR said an interim president will be appointed while a national search for a permanent leader is conducted next year.

Vermont Tech Lays Off Eight Faculty Members

RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Technical College is laying off eight faculty members as it continues to grapple with a multimillion dollar budget shortfall.

College President Dan Smith says the eight affected employees come from five different departments and include five tenured faculty members. Their last day of work will be next July 31.

Smith says the layoffs were unavoidable given that paltry state support makes the college especially vulnerable when fewer students come through the door. But he says the demand for students trained in applied technical programs is growing, and that he has no doubt that the future of the institution is strong.

The college has two residential campuses, two regional campuses and six nursing campuses. It has 80 full-time faculty and 128 parttime faculty members.

Maricopa District Agrees To $4M Settlement

PHOENIX (AP) — The Maricopa County Community College District has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle claims that it submitted false information for education awards.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that it will ensure that money from the Corporation for National and Community Service is given only to eligible individuals. The independent federal agency administers AmeriCorps and other national service programs.

A whistleblower lawsuit alleged that the college district lied about the number of service hours students had to complete to be eligible for education awards. It also alleged that the college district improperly received grant funding to administer the project.

An employee of the college district who was party to the lawsuit, Christine Hunt, will receive more than $775,000 from the settlement.

The settlement did not determine liability.

NH Colleges Sharing $180K Tobacco Grant

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — The University System of New Hampshire and the community college system are sharing a $180,000 grant to help reduce tobacco use on campus.

The systems include the University of New Hampshire; Plymouth State University; Keene State College; Granite State College; Great Bay, Lakes Region, Manchester, Nashua, River Valley and White Mountains Community Colleges and the New Hampshire Technical Institute.

UNH Health Services educator Melissa Garvey said the average use of cigarettes on campus is about 23 percent and about 8 percent for tobacco, and officials are trying to bring the rates down.

Ivy Tech Plans Expanded Auto Tech Program

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College is looking to increase the number of students in its automotive technology program with a planned state-ofthe-art training center at a former central Indiana car dealership.

Ivy Tech’s East Central board of trustees has accepted the donation of the former Ford Autoworld property in Anderson from Mary and Paddy Jamerson, but it still needs approval from school’s state board.

The college is planning a $1.4 million project at the Anderson site because its current automotive technology program in nearby Muncie lacks adequate space and is outdated, The Star Press reported (http://tspne.ws/1vFa5o2 ).

Plans are for the new center to have space for 200 students, about double the current enrollment.

The expanded program would help meet the area’s need for more trained and certified technicians to diagnose and repair today’s hightech vehicles, Ivy Tech regional Chancellor Andy Bowne said.

Conn. College Eyes Mall for Satellite Campus

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Norwalk Community College and a retail developer have had preliminary discussions about putting a satellite campus at a proposed mall in Norwalk.

The Hour reports (http://bit.ly/1uAGhlV ) that David L. Levinson, president of Norwalk Community College, said job training could be part of the college’s presence in the mall. He says workforce training could be available to mall tenants.

Levinson said rent or cost is not yet an issue.

Douglas T. Adams, senior director of General Growth Properties Inc., which develops retail properties, welcomed education as one of the uses.

Over the next year, GGP hopes to win approvals to begin building the $285 million shopping center. It would open in 2018.

Norwalk Councilwoman Shannon O’Toole Giandurco questioned the proposal, asking if the college would fit into a retail and hotel site.

La. College Names Interim Chancellor

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — Rick Bateman Jr. has been named interim chancellor at Bossier Parish Community College.

KTBS-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1yC3c6y ) Bateman, interim chancellor at Northwest Louisiana Technical College, will hold both jobs temporarily starting Jan. 1.

He replaces BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson, who will take over as president at Northwestern State University on Jan. 1.

In the next several weeks, the Louisiana Community and Technical College Board of Supervisors will conduct a nationwide search to permanently fill the BPCC chancellor’s job.

The process will include the selection of a search committee, stakeholder meetings, campus meetings, and public forums. Officials say faculty, staff, and students will be included in the process.

Ky. College Falling Short of Training Goals

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Leaders in northern Kentucky are working to address a shortfall in trained workers who can fill advanced manufacturing jobs in the region.

A $28.5 million training center that opened four years ago at Gateway Community & Technical College has fallen well short of its goal of turning out 10,000 graduates and trainees by 2015, officials said.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1y66AW3 ) the region needs about 600 new advanced manufacturing workers each year. Employers have been faced with a rapidly-aging workforce and a shortage of new trained workers.

A new coalition of business, education training and elected leaders has been formed to figure out why the college isn’t meeting its training goals.

In October, Gateway said it was falling short of its goals in advanced manufacturing, and asked for help from the community.

4 ND Colleges Getting Grant For Job-Training

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The federal Labor Department is giving a $9.9 million grant to four North Dakota colleges to support technical programs related to energy, transportation and construction.

The money going to Bismarck State, Williston State, Sitting Bull College and Turtle Mountain Community College is the second award to the Training for Regional Energy in North Dakota Consortium, which includes partnerships with local employers.

The Labor Department provided the initial grant of $14.6 million in 2012. The money is through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. It’s a four-year, $2 billion federal effort to help train workers and fill in-demand jobs.

Bismarck State is leading the North Dakota project and getting $4.1 million. Turtle Mountain is getting $2.1 million, Williston State $2 million and Sitting Bull $1.7 million.

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