All posts by Eric Kelderman

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Baylor and U. of Louisville Get Heat From Accreditor

A regional accreditor has placed Baylor University on warning and the University of Louisville on probation for 12 months. Both sanctions typically require the institutions to correct their deficiencies and report back to the accrediting agency on their actions. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, one of the nation’s seven regional accrediting agencies, announced its decision on Tuesday at the end of its annual meeting.

The commission found Baylor out of com…

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Controversial ‘Sports University’ Draws Scrutiny From 2 North Carolina Agencies

Two higher-education agencies in North Carolina are looking into the company calling itself Forest Trail Sports University and could nix its plans to team up with Waldorf University, a for-profit institution based in Iowa that operates mostly online.

Forest Trail had announced plans to lease unused facilities at Barber-Scotia College, an unaccredited institution in North Carolina that’s struggling to stay open. Under the plans, student-athletes would be invited to the campus to play sports year-…

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Report Slams Accreditor as ‘Incapable’ of Assessing College Quality

Calls are growing for the U.S. Department of Education to reject the authority of a controversial accreditor to be a gatekeeper for federal student aid.

A study released on Monday by the Center for American Progress found that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has continued to accredit 17 institutions or companies that are under state or federal investigation, taking little or no action to penalize them. During the past three years, those entities have received about …

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Education Dept. Warns of More Scrutiny for Accreditors

The U.S. Department of Education is, once again, weighing in on accreditation, expanding some flexibility in the accreditation process but also warning of more scrutiny for accrediting agencies.

In an 11-page “Dear Colleague” letter released on Friday, the department lays out some changes in how it expects accreditors to do their jobs and how they will be considered for federal recognition, which is required for them to serve as gatekeepers for federal student aid. Colleges must be accredited by…

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AAUP Blasts Process Used to Hire Bruce Harreld as U. of Iowa’s President

The American Association of University Professors has issued a blistering assessment of the Iowa Board of Regents, concluding that the process it used to select J. Bruce Harreld as the University of Iowa’s president gave “only an illusion of an open, honest search.”

There is little new information in the AAUP’s 21-page draft report on the matter, which recounts the recruitment of Mr. Harreld, a former IBM executive and part-time instructor at Harvard Business School. Bruce L. Rastetter, the boar…

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Spelman College Looks to New York for Its New President

Spelman College, the women’s college in Atlanta, has appointed a new president: Mary Schmidt Campbell, an art historian who is a former leader of the Studio Art Museum in Harlem and was dean of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for nearly a quarter-century.

Spelman’s Board of Trustees voted on Saturday to elect Ms. Campbell to lead the historically black college, succeeding Beverly Daniel Tatum, who is retiring from that post after more than 13 years.

Ms. Campbell, who is 67 an…

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U.S. Appeals Court Backs Accreditor’s Decision Against a Massage School

In January 2014 a federal judge in Virginia reversed an accreditor’s decision to revoke the accreditation of a massage school in Missouri, and took the unusual step of awarding more than $400,000 in damages to the institution.

On Tuesday a federal appeals court reversed the lower court and upheld the accreditor’s decision, ruling that the district court’s action amounted to “a wholesale substitution of the judgment of the court for that of the agency.”

The case stemmed from a March 2012 decision…

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Federal Agency Finds Plenty of Fault With Oversight of Higher Education

Three days before Christmas, the Government Accountability Office put big lumps of coal in the stockings of accreditors and the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal office released a report criticizing accrediting agencies’ efforts to oversee academic quality at colleges, and faulting the Education Department for not increasing its own scrutiny of colleges that are under accreditors’ sanctions.

Colleges must be accredited by a federally recognized accreditor in order to receive federal stud…

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Federal Judge Says Maryland Failed to Desegregate Its Public Colleges

A U.S. District Court ruled on Monday that Maryland had failed to fully desegregate its public higher-education system.

The ruling was issued in a lawsuit filed in 2006 by a group of students and alumni of Maryland’s four historically black universities: Bowie State, Coppin State, and Morgan State Universities and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

The plaintiffs accused the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which sets policy for the state’s public and private colleges, of allowing tr…

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Connecticut Governor Seeks $1.5-Billion Boost for STEM Fields at UConn

Public colleges in most states are expecting little or no increase in state appropriations for the coming fiscal year. But Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, a Democrat, is proposing to pump $1.5-billion into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields at the University of Connecticut over the next decade.

A report in The Hartford Courant says the plan, which will be formally announced on Thursday, includes money for upgrades to science facilities at the university’s main cam…