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2018 November 6 - 10:37 am

News Briefs

A Summary Listing of Higher-Ed-Related News from Around The Nation

Miss. College Settles Discrimination Suit

MOORHEAD, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi community college will pay a counselor $75,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit.

The federal government both sued and settled with Mississippi Delta Community College on behalf of Pamela Venton.

The college hired Venton as a counselor at its Greenville campus in 2006. The lawsuit says Venton discovered through a 2012 public record request that she was paid less than two other full—time counselors and little more than two half—time counselors. Venton is black and the other counselors were all white.

After meetings with college leaders, the college increased Venton’s salary from $40,000 to $51,000, but refused her request for back pay.

The settlement provides $30,000 in back pay and $45,000 in compensatory damages.

The college agrees to train people to identify and correct wage discrimination.

New College Campus Planned in North La.

RUSTON, La. (AP) — A north Louisiana community college is building an $8 million campus to anchor a planned technology park.

The new Delta Community College campus will be in Ruston.

The News—Star reports that Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Monty Sullivan expects construction on the campus to begin next year and be completed sometime in 2020.

Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker committed that the city will spend $7 million to build a road leading to the campus and park, along with infrastructure. The city also will construct a building to house high—tech robotics and manufacturing firms.

The land for the campus was donated.

Delta Community College operates campuses in eight northeastern Louisiana towns and cities, with the main campus in Monroe. The new Ruston campus will be co—branded with Louisiana Tech University.

Wis. Student Sues College Over Valentine Distribution

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Northeastern Wisconsin Technical college student is suing her school because it forced her to stop handing out Valentine’s Day cards with Bible references.

The conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of student Polly Olsen.

The lawsuit alleges Olsen was handing out the cards in the Green Bay college’s student center in February when security workers forced her to stop, saying she might offend people.

The lawsuit contends Olsen’s free speech rights were violated and challenges the college’s policy of restricting public forums to a small section of campus.

The school posted a response on its website, saying the college is committed to free speech and the space restriction has been under review since October.

Cybersecurity Training Set For WV Seniors

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two West Virginia community and technical colleges plan to offer free training to senior citizens on computer safety.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says in a news release his office will partner with Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield. He says his office also will partner with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Mount Gay.

The pilot program will connect college students with local senior citizens on password protection, avoiding computer scams and using other cybersecurity precautions.

Morrisey says his office hopes to expand the program to other parts of the state.

RI Awards Fellowships To STEM Grads

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A total of 240 Rhode Island college students working in science, technology, engineering, math and design occupations have been awarded state fellowships to help pay their student loans.

The state Commerce Corporation announced the awards and says the average award is about $3,600 for student loan repayment. The Providence Journal reports the Wavemaker Fellowships are intended to keep college graduates living and working in Rhode Island.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says graduates are faced with a tough choice of moving out of the state or staying in Rhode Island, and the fellowships can help make that decision easier.

Nearly 400 people applied for the program this year. In its first year, 2016, the program awarded tax credits to 208 people.

Athletic Director Named College President

SCOOBA, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi community college is naming its athletic director as interim president, after a previous interim leader resigned.

East Mississippi Community College announced that Randall Bradberry will become interim president beginning, while a search for a permanent president continues.

Rick Young, president of the Scooba-based college for 11 years, resigned after coming out of retirement to be interim leader. Young told trustees he felt they didn’t have confidence in his leadership.

Former president Thomas Huebner resigned to seek the presidency at Meridian Community College.

Bradberry became East Mississippi’s athletic director in 2016. He was the school’s football coach for 12 years before moving to another school and then to work for the state Community College Board.

Trustees extended the application deadline for permanent president to Oct. 31.

New Scholarship Offered To Ky. Students

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — A new scholarship is available to students enrolled in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

A statement from the school system says the 15 to Finish scholarship will pay $500 to students who successfully complete 15 credit hours in a semester and sign up for 15 hours the following semester. Officials say the aim is to help students complete their associate degrees in two years or less.

The statement says studies show students who take at least 15 hours per semester are more successful.

The scholarship is being offered beginning this fall to new and current students.

Average In-State College Tuition Up 5 Percent in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In-state tuition and mandatory fees at Virginia’s universities and community colleges is up an average of 5.1 percent or $612 this school year.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s recent report to lawmakers found that students at four-year institutions will pay an average of $13,370 while community college students will pay an average of $4,620.

Room and board charges at four-year schools will average $10,633, up 3.5 percent from last school year.

Virginia has some of the highest in-state tuition and fees in the country and students and their families have steadily paid more for school costs since 2002.

Some SC Tech Colleges Drop Textbooks

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Some technical colleges in South Carolina are going digital and have dropped their textbook requirements for classes.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported the schools are adding a fee that gives students access to digital textbooks and online course materials.

Trident Technical College Vice President Catharine Almquist said the fees are much more affordable than buying the books for the classes.

The U.S. Education Department created a regulation in 2015 allowing schools to include book and supply costs in their tuition bills.

At least five technical colleges using some form of the program this year: Trident in North Charleston, Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, The Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, Greenville Technical College and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

Ivanka Trump Tours College Welding Center

GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — Ivanka Trump toured the welding facility at a southwestern Illinois community college as she promoted the importance of continued worker training.

The daughter of President Donald Trump traveled to Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, which opened a $4.5 million training center in 2016 with 30 welding stations.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports Trump said during a roundtable discussion with business leaders and students that a new national council for U.S. workers is aiming to provide information to mid- and latecareer workers about training they could seek for jobs of the future.

Jerry Knoyle is manager of the Wood River refinery for Phillips 66. He says retirements are causing a lot of turnover at the refinery and programs such as those at Lewis and Clark help provide needed training.

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