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2008 November 3 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • English Prof Cleared in Flap Over Palin   Assignment

DENVER (AP) — A college English instructor’s assignment to write an essay on whether Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is living a fairy tale has been cleared of wrongdoing.

Metropolitan State College of Denver probed the assignment by Andrew Hallam after some students complained it was politically biased.

Hallam’s class was reading “Sleeping Beauty” and the assignment was to consider Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention. The speech was based on Palin’s life and the assignment was to discuss whether the nominee is living a fairy tale.

An internal investigation found the assignment didn’t require students to undermine Palin. The inquiry concluded students didn’t feel personally belittled or insulted by Hallam.

 

  • Enrollment Is Up by 3 Percent In Minnesota’s  College System

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is reporting a 3 percent increase in enrollment over the last year.

Officials say growing numbers of students of color and high school students helped boost enrollment to more than 186,000 this fall. That’s up by about 5,300 over last year.

Officials say they’ve also seen a 16 percent increase in the number of students taking online courses.

Some campuses among the MNSCU system’s 32 universities and two-year colleges, however, did see large drops in enrollment. With an enrollment  decline of 20 percent, Rainy River Community College experienced the  largest percentage loss, leaving the school with 342 students. Vermilion Community College saw its enrollment drop by about 8 percent.

  • Librarian Who Shot Colleague Charged With Texas Murder

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A 62-year-old librarian was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of a fellow librarian at a community college here.

Alan Godin, an adjunct librarian, allegedly walked into the library at Northeast Lakeview College on Monday afternoon and shot Devin Zimmerman, 37, to death, said school President Eric Reno.

Godin allegedly shot Zimmerman and then sat down and waited for police.

The men were co-workers, Zimmerman staffing the library during the day and Godin at night. There had apparently been some previous dispute about “work ethic,” said Dan Pew, the acting chief of the Live Oak Police Department, which was assisting in the investigation.

Godin had worked part-time at the library since 2003. Zimmerman started working at the school last fall.

The campus, one of five Alamo Community Colleges around the city, has about 4,100 students.

  • Server Crash at SW Mississippi Exposes 7,000 Records on Web

SUMMIT, Miss. (AP) — Southwest Mississippi Community College officials say the records of more than 7,000 students and former students were left vulnerable by a recent computer breach.

Southwest officials say the junior college has hired a firm to help determine the extent of the breach and notify students, whose names, Social Security numbers, addresses, genders, races and grade point averages were leaked over the Internet.

The college says all potentially affected people will be contacted by mail.

Officials say when a crashed server was brought back online, several files were available on the Internet. Officials say the problem was corrected within a few hours.

The college also is making available an Identity Theft Resources Center to students.

  • Athletic Group Probes Booster Club Spending At Three Rivers

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) — The National Junior College Athletic Association is looking into Three Rivers Community College.

The school’s president, Joe Rozman, said the organization has asked to see documents on the creation of the Three Rivers Booster Club and the club’s collections and expenses for the past three years.

The association will review NJCAA-mandated scholarships, including the names of athletes who received scholarships and the funding source. It will also look at related audits for the Booster Club and the men’s and women’s basketball program for the 2008-09 school year.

  • Embattled Chief Resigns Post at Oregon’s Coos Bay CC Campus

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — The embattled president of Southwestern Oregon Community College has resigned.

Relations with the college board were so strained that the board did not even want Judith Hansen back on campus after she finished work the day she resigned.

After a hastily called executive session, the college board accepted her resignation and agreed to pay her a year’s salary and benefits, totaling $148,654.

Three employee groups at Southwestern Oregon Community College held no-confidence votes in Hansen at the end of the past academic year.

Hansen took the job in 2005. 

  • 3 Va. Colleges Pool Resources To Create New Internet Service

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Three Virginia colleges have pooled their resources to create a more powerful Internet network.

Jeff Crowder with Virginia Tech says students and professors at Radford University, New River Community College and Virginia Tech can connect at speeds millions of times faster than a typical home broadband uplink.

The new network is called Multimedia Services Access Point. It also helps to control costs by allowing Radford and New River access to Virginia Tech’s connection to national and international research networks.

  • Fort Wayne’s Ivy Tech Gets First Endowed Professorship

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — The Fort Wayne campus of Ivy Tech Community College will have the system’s first endowed professorship.

Officials at Ivy Tech Northeast say the $1.3 million endowment from the Dekko Foundation of Kendallville is the largest gift ever received by the campus. It will be used to endow a professorship in early childhood education. Ivy Tech also has received $150,000 from its student government association to be used in the renovation of a fitness center in the new student life building.

  • Enrollment at Mass. Colleges Is Climbing to Record Levels

BOSTON (AP) — Education officials say students looking for lower tuition costs helped drive up enrollment at the state’s universities and colleges by 4 percent this fall.

The state Department of Higher Education said on Tuesday that the number of students attending the state’s 28 undergraduate institutions rose by about 7,000 from last fall to a record high of 176,314.

The state’s 15 two-year community colleges experienced the largest increases. Enrollment at Mount Wachusett Community College based in Gardner jumped nearly 11 percent, while enrollment at Bristol Community College based in Fall River leapt about 10 percent.

  • Tribal College Starts Certified Program in Horsemanship

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates has started a certified horsemanship program.

It’s designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the care and training of horses, along with the significance of the tribal horse culture.

Program director Joe Dunn says the program provides both classroom instruction and hands-on training.

Students can participate in National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association events. They can also take part in the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s annual Future Generations Ride, held each December to retrace the route Chief Bigfoot   took when he fled the Standing Rock Reservation after Sitting Bull was killed.    

  • Maldonado Is Selected To Be President at TSTC Harlingen

WACO, Texas (AP) — Cesar Maldonado has been chosen from among four finalists as the next president of Texas State Technical College Harlingen.

Texas  State Technical College Chancellor Bill Segura announced selection  of the former vice president of System Development at Maverick Engineering Inc. Maldonado has worked in industry service for 30 years.

The search for a new president began in July when J. Gilbert Leal announced his retirement after serving the college for 30 years. 

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