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By CCWeek Staff  /  
2015 March 16 - 11:34 pm

News Briefs

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

  • Iowa House Panel OKs Expanded Adjunct Hours

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill that would allow Iowa community colleges to expand teaching hours for certain adjunct professors was approved by a House panel.

Members of an education subcommittee discussed the bill before advancing it to a full committee for review.

Adjunct professors are currently allowed to work up to 35 hours per week at community colleges. This bill would expand it to 40 hours for certain adjunct professors.

Republican Rep. Josh Byrnes is sponsor of the legislation. He said the bill is aimed at filling a small void for officials at community colleges that have instructors in career and technical courses such as welding that need just a few more hours a week but are limited by law.

“It’s just hard for some of us in the rural areas to find good quality adjunct faculty,” he said of the challenges for community colleges.

Byrnes, who oversees industrial programs at North Iowa Area Community College, supported similar legislation last session but it failed to advance in the House. Byrnes said he would be open to working out a waiver system through the state Department of Education if law makers have concerns about the bill’s language.

  • Lost Thumb Drive Puts NC Student Data At Risk

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Officials at Pitt Community College say the personal information of at least 5,300 former students may be at risk because a device containing their information has been lost.

Rick Owens, the college’s vice president of administrative services, told local media outlets that the information was placed on a thumb drive and was supposed to be transferred to a secure location, but was lost before it got there.

Owens said the school has talked to the employee who lost the thumb drive. He said the school doesn’t believe it was stolen.

Administrators say former students who completed the GED at the school between January 1967 and December 2001 may be at risk. The thumb drive contains their full names, social security numbers and addresses at the time they took the test.

  • W. Va. First Lady Stepping Down As College Prez

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin says she’s retiring as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Tomblin announced that she wants to work over the next two years to promote the initiatives of her husband, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, across the state.

She has 33 years of service to the two-year college, including the past 15 as president. The college has campuses serving seven counties.

  • Tenn. Bill Seeks To Benefit Military Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Legislation that would allow military students to maintain a scholarship that covers the costs of a two-year college degree has unanimously passed the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville was approved 32-0.

The proposal helps students who are eligible for the Tennessee Promise scholarship but can’t attend college in the fall semester after completion of high school because of certain military commitments. The legislation allows students to enroll the first term after military obligations are met.

The Tennessee Promise program is considered a “last-dollar scholarship,” which means it will cover up to $4,000 tuition and fees not covered by other financial aid for five consecutive semesters at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology.

  • Kalamazoo Promise Marks 10th Anniversary

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — An initiative that awards college tuition to Kalamazoo high school graduates is celebrating its 10th anniversary and nearly 4,000 scholarships.

The Kalamazoo Promise has offered full-tuition scholarships since 2005 to students who spend kindergarten through 12th grade in the city’s public school district. High school graduates are able to attend any community college, public university and a select group of private colleges in the state.

More than $60 million in scholarship awards has been given, and nearly 1,000 degrees have been earned through the Kalamazoo Promise.

Events are being planned to commemorate its upcoming anniversary. A citywide celebration will be held in downtown Kalamazoo this August.

About 500 students will be able to take advantage of the Kalamazoo Promise after they graduate this spring.

  • Calif. College Goofs in Sending Welcome Notice

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — When it comes to making students feel welcome, Riverside City College might have gone a little overboard.

A welcome letter intended for about 500 students instead went out to 134,000 email addresses due to an employee error.

A spokesman for the Riverside Community College District says the school computers weren’t hacked and no student data was improperly released.

It’s not the first email goof. In June, an employee mistakenly sent Social Security numbers, birth dates and some academic records for more than 35,000 students to the wrong address.

District officials say they’re not aware of any fraudulent use of that data.

  • NM Senate Dems Say Bills To Create 73K Jobs

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) _ Senate Democrats have pitched a lofty jobs bills package that promises 73,000 new positions in New Mexico in the next four to five years.

They say the more than 40 bills they have introduced this session address the need for increased employment and economic activity in the state.

Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla says Democratic leadership is also united in stopping right-to-work legislation supported by the Republican-controlled House.

Democratic leaders announced what they billed as their ``Ready to Work’’ package at a news conference Wednesday. It includes increased funding for job training through community colleges and $300 million in road funding paid for by an increase in the gas tax.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has also proposed increasing job training funds and spending on highway projects through severance bonds.

Pat Garrett, a spokesman for the Republican majority in the House, said: ``It is stunning that the Senate Democrats’ job plan is to raise the gas tax, which is not only bad for economic development, but it would hit working families the hardest.’’

  • Ind. House Plan Would Provide $36M for Campus

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A House Republican spending plan includes nearly twice as much for a medical school campus in downtown Evansville as Gov. Mike Pence set aside in his proposed budget.

The House GOP budget released Monday calls for $36 million in financing for the regional Indiana University medical school campus.

The state would cover $32 million for IU and project partners Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Southern Indiana. The private University of Evansville would account for $4 million. Partner schools plan health science programs at the medical school campus.

The Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/1zl515s ) reports Pence’s budget includes $19.2 million in cash for construction of the campus.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said the House’s funding increase ``sends the message that legislators around the state understand its importance.’’ Schools involved with the project had asked for nearly $50 million following the announcement of the site’s location last year.

The House plan would include bond issuances to help pay for the project. State Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said bonds make sense with interest rates low.

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