A Summary Listing of Higher-Ed-Related News from Around The Nation
Ala. College Shutting Down Athletics
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — Calhoun Community College is shutting down its athletics program at the end of next spring because of budget cuts.
WAAY-TV reports baseball, softball and golf will be suspended at the end of the 2018 spring semester.
In a news release, president Jim Klauber says the decision was made after much consideration and deliberation of all possible options and felt the move was in the college’s best interest.
Klauber says students and staff who will be affected by the decision have already been notified.
He says scholarship commitments will still be honored and student athletes in those programs have been given the option to stay for the last season. Any that want to transfer will be released from their Calhoun commitment.
Iowa Panel OKs $1.5M for Classrooms
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Sioux City School Board has approved an agreement to buy unused space for classrooms in the downtown Sioux City Public Museum.
The second-floor space would be converted into 19 classrooms so the district could hold Life Academy and Career Academy courses there. Those courses now are spread out at all three high schools, Wester Iowa Tech Community College and the Ho-Chunk Centre downtown.
The district plans still face reviews from city officials.
Before becoming a museum, the building held a Delta Air Lines call center that closed in 2012. The building was built as a J.C. Penney retail store more than three decades ago.
Family of Murder Victim Sues Ore. College
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The family of an Oregon homicide victim has filed a federal lawsuit against the community college that employed the man charged in the crime.
Police say Edwin Lara kidnapped Kaylee Sawyer in July 2016 while working as a campus safety officer at Central Oregon Community College.
The lawsuit filed in Eugene asserts the woman accepted a ride from Lara, believing he was a police officer she could trust. Instead, she became trapped in a patrol car equipped with a cage and doors that wouldn’t open from the inside.
The lawsuit alleges the college failed to do an adequate background check on Lara and was negligent in providing officers with uniforms and vehicles made to resemble police.
Lara and three campus officials are also listed as defendants.
Lara has pleaded not guilty to murder and other crimes.
Campus officials did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Calif. Teacher Pension System Beats Target
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s teacher pension system says it earned a 13.4 percent return on its investments in the last fiscal year.
The earnings reported surpass the 7 percent target for the first time in three years.
The returns were driven by strong performance in public and private equity, which together comprise nearly two-thirds of the $209 billion portfolio.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System covers more than 900,000 current and former public-school teachers and administrators, including community college educators.
It’s the second largest public pension system in the nation after the California Public Employees Retirement System, which reported 11.2 percent investment earnings last year.
A year ago, CalSTRS had enough assets to cover 64 percent of its liabilities.
NM College Adding Several New Certificates
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Community College is adding several new certificates next fall.
The school recently announced it would offer certificates and an associate in applied science. Under the program, students will have access to the planned 12,000 square foot 4-Bay Gutter Connected greenhouse.
In addition, the school is offering a certificate in building science and construction technologies.
SFCC’s new Infant and Family Studies Certificate also will prepare students to work in the Early Childhood fields of home visiting, early intervention, and infant/toddler education.
Other new offerings include certificates in web development, business administration, manufacturing engineering technologies and medical bill coding.
Dual Enrollment Grows as Okla. Funding Shrinks
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — More Oklahoma high school students are registering for college courses as funding for the state’s concurrent enrollment program shrinks.
The concurrent enrollment program has allowed high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits since 2005, The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/2vBBUka ) reported. Seniors are also eligible to receive tuition waivers for six credit hours per semester.
In the 2016-17 school year, nearly 19,400 of the state’s high school seniors completed more than 91,000 college credits and didn’t have to pay tuition fees. A State Regents for Higher Education report said the students saved an average more than $100 per credit earned.
Colleges and universities were reimbursed for about 27 percent of the cost.
For the 2017-18 year, schools are being forced to find new ways to keep the program going after the Legislature denied the Regents’ $6.4 million funding request.
“I’m losing over $1 million at 27 percent,” said Jack Bryant, president of Redlands Community College in El Reno. “I can’t continue to lose funding.”
“We’re not going to give up on concurrent,” Bryant said. “We’re going to have to figure out a way to revamp it.”
Oklahoma City Community College spokesman Cordell Jordan said students who take concurrent courses are more successful in college and are more likely to complete their degrees.
“Concurrent enrollment for community colleges is a great thing because it gives the student an affordable option to get a taste of college,” Jordan said.
Kansas College Leader Placed On Leave
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The president of Kansas City Kansas Community College has been placed on administrative leave.
The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2tRRrxg ) reports that the college provided no information about led to the action being taken against Doris Givens in a closed executive board meeting Friday. The board of trustees named the Dean of Math, Sciences and Computer Technology as the acting president.
Givens didn’t attend the meeting, and the campus was informed of the action via email. Givens, the first woman and first African-American president of the college, was hired in 2011. She had been vice chancellor for educational services for the Kern Community College District in Bakersfield, California.
Ark. Tech Institute Merging with Neighboring College
FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) — A technical institute in Arkansas plans to merge with a neighboring community college.
The Times-Herald (http://bit.ly/2uFwsMV ) reports the Board of Trustees at Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute voted 3-2 to merge with East Arkansas Community College. All three members who voted in favor of the merge were appointed this week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Officials of the technical institute say they’re concerned about how the meeting was called and that they weren’t notified.
Board president Fredric Smith says the biggest concern of the merger is that no information has been provided about how the process will be handled.
It’s unclear how students will be affected.