Iowa State U. Defends 9/11 Assignment Against Lawmaker’s Criticism

When an Iowa State University lecturer assigned students to write about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, from the perspective of a terrorist group, he drew harsh criticism from an Iowa legislator, but campus administrators have defended the assignment.

The 500-word paper was part of an online course taught by James Strohman for the university’s department of world languages and cultures, The Des Moines Register reported. The assignment has been part of the course for years, but it r…


Faculty at Morehouse College Vote No Confidence in Board Chair

Last week faculty members at Morehouse College voted to express no confidence in the chairman of its Board of Trustees, Robert C. Davidson, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The vote is at least the second to occur at a historically black college this month. Faculty members at Kentucky State University also voted to express no confidence in the chair of its board last week.

Several members of the campus community at Morehouse were upset by the board’s January decision not to renew the …


Adjuncts at Colorado Community Colleges Lack Academic-Freedom Protections, AAUP Says

The American Association of University Professors is citing the firing of a Colorado adjunct instructor as evidence of a broader lack of academic freedom for part-time faculty members throughout that state’s community-college system.

The case of Nathanial Bork, who lost his job at the Community College of Aurora last fall after he complained to its accreditor about a new curriculum there, “exposes the absence of adequate procedural protections for the adjunct faculty in the regulations of the …


Moody’s Calls Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts a Credit Negative for Higher Ed

Steep cuts in research funding and the elimination of some programs in President Trump’s budget blueprint would be a credit negative for the higher-education sector, according to a report released on Tuesday by Moody’s Investors Service.

In the “skinny budget” released this month, President Trump called for a $9-billion cut at the U.S. Department of Education, reductions at academic research agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and the eliminati…


With IRS Data Tool Down, Lawmakers Ask Education Dept. to Help Students

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate has asked the U.S. Department of Education to help families who may be affected by the outage of a popular online tool that had made it easier to apply for federal student aid.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Education Department announced this month that they had suspended the data-retrieval tool, a device that automatically pulls federal tax information into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, th…


U. of Tennessee at Chattanooga Fires Reporter After Lawmakers Complain

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has fired a reporter after lawmakers accused her of having failed to identify herself as a journalist during a meeting between legislators and high-school students who opposed a state transgender-bathroom bill, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The reporter, Jacqui Helbert, worked for WUTC, a university-owned NPR affiliate. In early March, she accompanied a group of students who met with legislators and expressed their opposition to the bathroo…


Australian Academic Is Barred From Leaving China, Lawyer Says

A Chinese-born professor from an Australian university has been barred from leaving China, where authorities are questioning him as a suspected threat to national security, a lawyer told news organizations on Sunday.

The scholar, Feng Chongyi, is an associate professor of Chinese studies at the University of Technology Sydney, who has criticized Beijing’s crackdown on political dissent. He is a permanent resident of Australia who was traveling on a Chinese passport, according to reports by The N…


Louis Freeh Savages Penn State’s Leaders and Calls for Its President to Resign

Louis J. Freeh, who five years ago produced a scathing report on the culpability of Pennsylvania State University administrators in the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal, released a two-page statement on Friday that tore into the university’s leaders and called for the resignation of President Eric J. Barron.

The statement, reported by Penn Live, appeared hours after a jury in Dauphin County Court convicted Graham B. Spanier, Penn State’s former president, on one misdemeanor count of enda…


Berkeley’s Chancellor Misused Fitness Benefits, Investigators Find

Private investigators have found that Nicholas B. Dirks, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, improperly took advantage of the institution’s fitness benefits, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday.

The investigators’ report of their findings, which the newspaper said was heavily redacted, states that Mr. Dirks failed to pay nearly $5,000 in gym-membership fees and personal-training costs, and transferred unspecified exercise equipment from a public gym to his private home.


In First College Visit, DeVos Praises Career Prep and Community Colleges

Betsy DeVos made her first official visit to an institution of higher education as education secretary on Friday, touring the jobs-training programs at Valencia College, a two-year college in Florida.

Ms. DeVos’s interest in community colleges — specifically, in career preparation — is consistent with her past statements on higher ed. In her first higher-ed address, in February, she noted “the importance of expanding vocational and technical education, the types of career and technical education…