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2017 April 15 - 04:34 pm

News Briefs

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

NJ Trustee Resigns After Racist Tweets

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (AP) — A Brookdale Community College trustee accused of liking racist and misogynistic tweets has resigned.

College spokeswoman Avis McMillon confirmed that Joseph DiBella stepped down, the Asbury Park Press reported (http://on.app.com/2nYopHC ).

DiBella took a leave of absence in September after several racist tweets liked by his Twitter account surfaced.

DiBella’s account liked tweets that used racial slurs to refer to President Barack Obama and mentioned Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a sexually explicit manner.

DiBella denied that he liked the series of tweets and said his account was hacked, but students at the Middletown college called for his resignation.

The college also received a “death threat” that targeted him, he said. The college confirmed a threat came by email.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation, but the results remain unknown.

DiBella heads the employee benefits division for the insurance brokerage firm Connor, Strong & Buckelew.

Ark. College Placed on Probation

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas community college has been placed on probation after a regional accrediting agency said it didn’t meet three criteria related mostly to assessing student learning and could fail another five.

The Arkansas Democrat- Gazette (http://bit.ly/2nP9vUe ) reports Black River Technical College must provide evidence to the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission that it’s worked on the criteria by July 1, 2018. The Pocahontas community college must also host an on-site visit no later than September 2018.

In February 2019, the commission will decide whether to remove the probation or order further sanctions. In the meantime, the technical college will remain accredited. According to the commission’s website, Black River has been accredited since 1997.

Vt. College Names First Female

RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) — The former secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has been appointed president of Vermont Technical College.

Patricia Moulton is the first female president of the 150-yearold college. She has served as interim president since September.

The Vermont State Colleges board of trustees appointed her this weekend after a months-long national search.

She replaces previous president Dan Smith, who left in August to become president of the Vermont Community Foundation.

Miss. College Confirms College Board Members

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Senate has confirmed new members of the state’s College Board and Community College Board.

Senators voted unanimously to approve Gov. Phil Bryant’s appointment of retired state Supreme Court Justice Ann Lamar of Senatobia to the College Board, for a term running until May 2021.

Lamar succeeds Karen Cummins, a trustee who died from cancer in January, representing the northern third of the state on the board running eight public universities.

Gov. Haley Barbour in 20017 appointed Lamar, the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She won a full term in 2009.

Senators also voted unanimously to approve appointment of Luke Crane Montgomery of Fulton to the Community College Board, which coordinates 15 community colleges. He replaces his cousin, Chip Crane, serving until June 2021.

Officer Rescued Woman from College Pond

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a police officer rescued a woman by swimming out to her car submerged in a retention pond at a suburban Chicago community college.

Glen Ellyn police say Officer Kevin Riggle was one of the first to arrive at the College of DuPage pond Friday night and swam out to the car about 30 yards from the shore. He was able to pull the unconscious 61- year-old woman from the car and keep her above water until firefighters reached them.

Officials say the woman regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital in stable condition. Police didn’t immediately know what caused the crash.

Police Chief Philip Norton says Riggle’s action “undoubtedly saved the woman’s life.”

Ill. College Lays Off More Staff

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Richland Community College is laying off more staff due to declining enrollment and a lack of state funding.

The Herald & Review reports (http://bit.ly/2onkZBz ) officials at the Decatur college announced Friday 18 employees will be laid off.

The college recently eliminated five administrative positions and more than two dozen staff took buyouts.

The moves are part of an effort to cut the college’s budget by $1.4 million, or 9.2 percent, this fiscal year.

President Cris Valdez says the layoffs were necessary because of “the enormity of the reductions to revenue.”

Richland has not received any state funding, which would have totaled $2.2 million this year, because Illinois lawmakers haven’t agreed on a state budget. The nearly two-year impasse has led to sharp cuts to higher education across Illinois.

Tuition Hike Recommended for Conn. Colleges

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is recommending tuition hikes.

The proposal from Mark Ojakian calls for increases of 4 percent each of the next two years at state universities and 2.5 percent at community colleges.

That would raise annual in-state tuition to $10,482 next fall at the system’s four state universities, which does not include the flagship University of Connecticut.

Tuition would increase to $4,276 at 12 community colleges next fall.

The Board of Regents Finance Committee is meeting next week to discuss the proposal and a vote is scheduled for April 6.

Ojakian said that the increase does not close the system’s deficit. He said he wants to keep schools affordable and avoid burdening students more than necessary.

SC Lawmakers Proposes $500M for College Upgrades

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers have come up with a plan to borrow millions of dollars to make repairs at various colleges, universities and state-owned buildings.

The State newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/2njUdZb) the House Ways and Means Committee trimmed $2 billion in requests to $500 million.

Colleges, universities and technical schools would get about half of the money.

Anderson Rep. Brian White chairs the committee and says it was hard to trim the requests.

The state’s technical colleges would split $87 million. The University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina would each receive $25 million.

The measure also allocates $80 million to repair state-owned buildings, as well as $30 million to replace old school buses. The Commerce Department would get $25 million for economic development.

Man Accused of Having Gun at Ohio College Indicted

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An 18-year-old man accused of displaying a gun in a community college building in Ohio’s capital city and causing a lockdown at the college has been indicted on charges including inducing panic and aggravated menacing.

Franklin County’s prosecutor said Wednesday that the grand jury also indicted Deandre McClarin on weapons counts. Columbus State Community College closed for a day March 8 after the reports of a man with a gun at the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning. No gunshots were reported.

Court records don’t show an attorney for McClarin.

McClarin was arrested later in suburban Columbus. Classes at the college resumed March 9.

The school has said McClarin wasn’t a student there.

McClarin is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges April 7.

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