A Summary Listing of Higher-Ed-Related News from Around The Nation
Bergen CC Trustees Fire President
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Trustees of a New Jersey community college have fired the school’s president who had a year left on her contract.
Bergen Community College trustees voted unanimously to fire B. Kaye Walter and buy out the remaining year on her contract. NorthJersey.com reports (https://njersy.co/ 2rZU9xj ) the board voted to appoint professor of religion and philosophy Michael Redmond as interim president.
Walter says she was shocked to learn her contract was in jeopardy. Her contract was last renewed in 2014 amid a no-confidence vote from the union representing faculty and staff.
Carol Otis, chair of the Board of Trustees, says there was “no cause” to the sudden end of Walter’s contract. Otis says the school has complete confidence in the current administrative team during the transition period.
Ore. Scaling Back Oregon Promise
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Promise may not be kept to students from wealthier families.
The program approved by lawmakers two years ago allows students to attend community college for nearly free, after scholarships and grants are subtracted from the tuition bill.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports (https://is.gd/1PbHOz ) lawmakers have budgeted $40 million for the program over the next two years — $8 million less than officials say is needed to pay for it. The state might cut off grants to students from wealthier families to make up the difference.
Truitt To Retire As Black Hawk President
MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — The president of a community college in western Illinois is planning to retire after nearly 30 years in various positons at the school.
Black Hawk College President Bettie Truitt says she’ll step down at the end of 2017 from the office she’s held since 2014.
Truitt tells The Moline Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2rNMTVy ) that the greatest challenge during her presidency has been dealing with funding issue during the state’s ongoing budget impasse.
Truitt started at Black Hawk in 1989 as a mathematics instructor. She became the dean of instruction and academic support in 2007 and was promoted to vice president for instruction in 2012.
College officials say they are working on a timeline for selecting a new president.
Money Woes Mean Probation for Ala. College
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (AP) — Central Alabama Community College has been placed on probation because of some financial issues.
Al.com reports the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges put the school on 12-months’ probation, but officials say it will retain its accreditation during that timeframe.
Central Alabama President Susan Burrow says the probation is the result of audit findings from previous years that have mostly been resolved. Burrow says it wouldn’t affect students or any school programs.
SACS said the probation was the result of failure to comply with standards concerning financial stability and control of finances.
A state audit released in March shows the school paid $100,914 in penalties and interest for failure to properly pay employees’ taxes in 2011, 2013 and 2014. The college says that problem has been corrected.
$3M Donation To Aid Iowa College
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A family foundation is giving $3 million to help build a student service center on the Fort Dodge campus of Iowa Central Community College.
The Messenger reports (http://bit.ly/2sESizr ) that the Greehey Family Foundation’s gift will cover a third of the center’s $9 million cost. Bill Greehey, who was chief executive officer of Valero Energy Corp. for more than 25 years, told the newspaper that “it’s nice to be able to do something in Fort Dodge, where I grew up.” He graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 1954.
The Greehey foundation donated $1 million in 2015 for scholarships to Iowa Central.
Prof Suspended After Fox News Appearance
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An adjunct professor at a New Jersey community college is questioning why she was suspended after appearing on Fox News.
Lisa Durden says she learned about the suspension June 8 when she arrived to teach a class at Essex County College.
Durden, who is black, had appeared two days earlier on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” where she discussed a Memorial Day event for black people only that was staged by a Black Lives Matter group.
Durden says her suspension letter didn’t mention her appearance but said administration officials discussed it with her.
The Associated Press left messages seeking comment from a school spokesman. Jeffrey Lee, the school vice president who signed the suspension letter, issued a statement noting the college’s attorney “has handled this matter in a way that complies” with state law.
Kan. Colleges Expand Nursing Education
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Two colleges are planning to launch new programs that would expand opportunities for nursing education in central Kansas.
The Salina Journal (http:// bit.ly/2rRyoik ) reports that Salina Area Technical College announced plans Monday to begin a one-year practical nursing program with a 40-student capacity beginning fall 2018, followed by a two-year associate in nursing degree program in fall 2019.
Both programs still need approval from the Kansas Board of Nursing before Salina Tech can accept applications.
Kansas Wesleyan University will be launching an online registered nurse to bachelor of science degree program beginning January 2018. The program will allow nurses who already have an unencumbered registered nursing license to complete a bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing in one year.
Salina Tech President Greg Nichols says there’s a statewide nursing shortage.
College Cops Face Increased Training Rules
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Aspiring Missouri college police officers will face the same training as other future cops under a bill signed by the governor.
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed the legislation. Current law calls for at least 320 hours of training for college police compared to at least 470 hours for most other aspiring officers.
The bill also will give community college police officers the ability to enforce traffic rules, such as speed limits, on campus. Only university police now have that authority.
The legislation takes effect Aug. 28.
Ore. City, College Agree on Safety Rules
BEND, Ore. (AP) — Central Oregon Community College will call Bend Police as soon as possible when notified of a crime, under a new agreement it signed with the city of Bend over public safety.
The Bend Bulletin reported (https://is.gd/4V8HPI ) that under the memorandum of understanding signed last month, the college agreed not to carry out investigations off campus and to avoid using uniforms and vehicles that closely resemble Bend Police.
Scrutiny of the college’s enforcement intensified last year when campus public safety officer Edwin Lara was charged with killing 22-year-old Kaylee Sawyer on July 24.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel had said many of the college’s public safety operations were illegal though school officials denied wrongdoing.
College spokesman Ron Paradis says the parties were able to get an agreement where everyone is comfortable.
He says college campus officers are still told not to make arrests, but the May agreement reserves their right to do so.
NM College Votes To Oust President
LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — The Luna Community College board of trustees has voted to oust President Leroy “Huero” Sanchez.
The Las Vegas Optic reports (https://goo.gl/9De2Zj) that the college’s Board of Trustees voted last week to end Sanchez’s employment contract on June 30.
Sanchez’s tenure, which began in June 2015, has been plagued with claims of nepotism and other issues prompting investigations from outside agencies.
Last year, Sanchez said he and the school’s board of trustees made a mistake by doing away with its nepotism policy. He said hiring decisions were based on the good of the institution, but he said he understood the perception.
His comments came after a special audit of the Las Vegas community college questioned the school’s hiring practices.
Ohio Allows 4-Yr. Degrees At 2-Yr. Colleges
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s community colleges could request to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain circumstances under provisions of the state budget bill before Gov. John Kasich.
The Springfield News-Sun reports (http://bit.ly/2tuKovC ) the bill would allow the chancellor of higher education to approve applied bachelor’s degree programs at a community college if the school can demonstrate the degree would serve a workforce need or a growing long-term need. Unusual degree programs that demonstrate “a unique approach” also would be eligible.
Traditionally, bachelor’s degrees are only available at fouryear colleges and universities.
Community colleges also could increase general and instructional fees by no more than $10 per credit hour under the legislation, as long as the increases funded academic support and programming, career services or need-based financial aid. Room and board could not increase.