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Large endowments would be taxed under final GOP tax plan

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

A proposal to tax some large private college endowments made it into the final version of a tax reform bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators last week. The provision matches the more modest proposal included in the Senate tax bill passed this month, rather than a House proposal that would have affected many more institutions. But many college leaders have said the tax is bad policy and sets a dangerous precedent. At the same time, many provisions in the tax legislation that alarmed colleges and students were left out of the final bill. A House tax plan passed last month stripped from the tax code many benefits for students and borrowers. It also would have imposed for the first time a tax on college endowments with a provision targeting investment income of private colleges. A Senate plan passed Dec. 2 left those student tax benefits in place but included many other provisions higher ed groups said would be harmful to colleges, including the endowment tax. Lobby groups and students have for weeks urged members of Congress to drop from a final bill provisions affecting students and colleges. Graduate students in particular ran a highly visible campaign to convince lawmakers to leave tax-exempt tuition waivers in place. Leaks from negotiations last week indicated that that message was received and that the final bill would leave the tuition benefits in place, as well as student loan interest deductions for borrowers repaying their loans. Similar efforts made to kill the proposed endowment tax -- including those of Republican and Democratic lawmakers -- ultimately came up short. A rundown of key provisions for higher ed in the final tax reform deal follows. Graduate student tuition waivers: The plan leaves in place a provision of the tax code allowing colleges and universities to waive or discount tuition for graduate students without having those benefits count as taxable income. The House bill would have eliminated the tax-exempt status of those tuition waivers. Employee-dependent tuition benefits: The final bill leaves untouched tax-exempt benefits for the spouses and dependent children of college employees. The House bill would have eliminated the tax-exempt status of those benefits. Student loan interest deductions: The plan maintains tax benefits for student loan borrowers, allowing them to deduct up to $2,500 paid toward student loan interest from their taxable income each year. The House bill had proposed eliminating that provision. Private endowments tax: The bill includes a 1.4 percent excise tax on investment income at private colleges with an enrollment of at least 500 students and with assets valued at $500,000 per full-time student. That reflects the more narrow proposal included in the Senate bill. The House bill would have taxed colleges with assets valued at $250,000 per full-time student. The provision is estimated to raise about $1.8 billion in revenue over 10 years. Lawmakers have estimated it will affect about 35 institutions (listed below). State and local tax deductions: The bill allows taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes from their federal tax bill. Many public higher education leaders had warned that the proposal in the original Senate tax plan to eliminate the deductions would put pressure on state budgets that support public universities -- and possibly lead to cuts in funding. The cap on those deductions will likely still create new worries for public universities in high-tax states like California and New York. Student loan discharge: The bill includes a House proposal that makes student loan debt discharged for death or disability tax exempt. That provision will sunset by 2025. Standard deduction: The bill doubles the amount of the standard deduction to $24,000 for joint filers and $12,000 for individuals. That means the number of taxpayers who would benefit from itemizing deductions -- including charitable contributions to entities like colleges and universities -- would shrink. Nonprofit groups, including colleges, say tha[...]



Study: humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

With the dearth of available tenure-track faculty positions, professional organizations and others are working to change how Ph.D. programs prepare students for the careers they’re likely to have outside academe. In good news for those efforts, a new study of some 5,000 humanities and social sciences Ph.D.s finds that those working in nonprofits are more satisfied with their jobs than are their peers in tenure-track faculty positions. That’s true even for Ph.D.s who intended to work in academe but did not end up there. The working paper, from the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute at Cornell University, also found a surprising level of permeability between academic and nonacademic work -- meaning that one’s early career isn’t necessarily a referendum on their subsequent success in academe (or lack thereof). Moreover, it found that having children isn’t the death knell for tenure-track faculty success for women that some say it is, at least in the long term. “These findings have the potential to help doctoral students envision and prepare for their careers, as well as to counteract perceptions held by some students that taking a non-tenure-track job or having young dependents in the household early in the career may preclude academic careers,” the study says. “Rather, our findings suggest that doctoral students, administrators, faculty and other stakeholders employ more flexibility in imagining the work lives of Ph.D.s and the many ways and roles in which Ph.D.s can use their training.” The study, led by Joyce B. Main, assistant professor of engineering education at Purdue University, is based on data from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Graduate Education Survey. That survey offers comprehensive longitudinal data sets tracking humanities and humanistic social sciences students from the beginning of their Ph.D. training at more than a dozen selective research institutions through at least eight years after degree completion. The researchers were interested, in particular, in the likelihood of the Ph.D.s becoming tenure-track professors at three different postgraduation points: six months, three years or eight years or more (the last check-in point was 2011). They also wanted to know about the degree of movement between positions in business, nonprofits (including government) and academe -- both on and off the tenure track -- along with job satisfaction across sectors. More than that, the researchers used the “life course” multidisciplinary theory of human agency to examine the influence of gender, marital and family status and other demographic factors on the pathways studied. Significant attention was paid to the long-term career outcomes for Ph.D.s who were parents within six months of completing their degrees and those who were not. Job Satisfaction Over all, a greater proportion of Ph.D.s employed in the nonprofit sector reported being satisfied than those in tenure-track positions. Some 93 percent of Ph.D.s in nonprofits said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their current position, compared to 88 percent of Ph.D.s in tenure-track or tenured jobs. Compensation seemed to a play a big role, with some 80 percent of nonprofit workers saying they were satisfied with their remuneration, compared to 61 percent of their tenure-line faculty peers. Ph.D.s working in business or for-profits weren't as happy as those in nonprofits but they still reported being happier than their tenure-track peers across most metrics. Those working in academe off the tenure track were the least happy overall.  No surprise, the authors found that having aspirations to become a tenure-track faculty member was a strong predictor of becoming one across the three time frames studied. There were also Ph.D.s who held non-tenure-track and nonprofit jobs six months after graduation who held tenure-track positions by 2011, the latest period stu[...]



N.Y. Fed report scrutinizes debt in New York City neighborhoods

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

Among New York City boroughs, the Bronx has the lowest percentage of residents with student loans. Bronx residents with loans tended to borrow smaller amounts than those living elsewhere in the city, and the Bronx has the smallest percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000. Yet the Bronx also has the highest student loan delinquency rate out of New York’s five boroughs. The seemingly contradictory statistics can be explained by comparing student loan balances to income. The median student loan balance represents 43 percent of the median income in the Bronx -- the highest percentage in New York’s five boroughs and a full 11 percentage points higher than the citywide average. In other words, many Bronx residents just don’t seem to be earning enough to pay back student loan balances that look relatively modest on paper. Those loans turn out to be a significant burden in reality. The findings don’t surprise experts, who often point out national statistics showing students who leave college early are likely to have small loan balances but struggle the most to pay off their debt. Indeed, only 12.3 percent of Bronx residents have a bachelor’s degree, the lowest percentage in New York. Just 6.6 percent have a graduate or professional degree, also the lowest percentage in the city. The student loan problem extends beyond the Bronx but is not pervasive in all parts of the city, according to a new report out Friday that is a joint venture between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs. The report, which is the first neighborhood-level look at student debt of its kind, found default rates are troublingly high among New York’s poorest neighborhoods. Low-income areas -- defined by boroughs, neighborhoods or zip codes -- have disproportionately high delinquency and default rates, even though those living in those neighborhoods tended to have lower loan balances, it said. “This potentially indicates that those borrowers either didn’t complete their degrees, or it calls into question the quality of the education they paid for,” said Joelle Scally, administrator for the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data, during a conference call with reporters. While experts might not be surprised by the report’s findings, it still offers a new way to examine student loan data: through the local geographic boundaries that help to shape residents’ everyday lives. Mapping out the data makes clear just how borrowers who live in low-income areas like the Bronx and Brooklyn struggle to pay back loan balances that tend to be much smaller than those in high-income areas like Manhattan. Almost a fifth of borrowers in the Bronx, 19 percent, have student loans that are delinquent -- 90 or more days past due. In Brooklyn, 15 percent have delinquent loans. Only 12 percent of borrowers in Manhattan and Queens have delinquent loans, compared to 11 percent in Staten Island. The trends continue when breaking down data at a smaller scale, by neighborhood. Three of the five neighborhoods with the highest percentage of delinquent borrowers were in the Bronx. The other two were in Brooklyn. Four of the five neighborhoods with the city’s highest default rates were in the Bronx. The fifth was in Brooklyn. Student loan repayment corresponds with income, the report found. Neighborhoods were sorted into five buckets based on income level. Borrowers in the lowest quintile posted delinquency rates of 20 percent. More than half of those who were delinquent were in default. In the highest-income-quintile neighborhoods, the delinquency rate was less than 10 percent. The same trend held true when looking at whether borrowers in certain neighborhood income brackets had ever defaulted. Over half of borrowers in high-income areas were found to be making payments and reducing their loan balances. Just 25 percent of[...]



New Jersey's Essex College faces probation

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

The turmoil at Essex County College has led to a point where now the institution's accreditation is on the line. In five years the college has seen three presidents; senior administrators have been fired, board members have fought in public and federal and state officials have launched investigations. And now the college is at risk of losing its accreditation after being placed on probation by its accreditor, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, last month. The problems have drawn the concern of a community that doesn't want to see the college fail to provide an education for the thousands of minority and low-income students who attend the Newark, N.J., institution. allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="605px" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Festeban.rodriguez.1840%2Fposts%2F1923332194350441&width=500" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="500px"> But it's that threat of losing accreditation -- and the federal financial aid tied to it -- that could push the college in the right direction. "This college is a treasure to the community," said the Reverend Ronald Slaughter, pastor of Saint James AME Church in Newark, adding that the college is vital to black and Latino students. "Look at the enrollment. Ninety percent of students are minorities, and this is their only shot at success in America as we know it. This is a necessary step for them to get to a four-year institution and fulfill that education requirement … and that has been jeopardized." The turmoil at Essex started after the longtime president A. Zachary Yamba retired in 2010 after 30 years in the position. The college's problems came to a head last year when the board fired President Gale Gibson and the college's attorney and vice president for human resources, Rashidah Hasan. Gibson notably doubled the three-year graduation rate at the college from 5 percent to 10 percent, according to a paper she co-authored with a former trustee. Both Gibson and Hasan have since launched wrongful-termination suits and claim they were let go by the board in retaliation for investigating financial misconduct by administrators. That dismissal was followed by the New Jersey attorney general's office opening an investigation into questionable athletic credit card purchases. That eventually led to a former track coach pleading guilty to stealing $150,000 from the college. A separate, unrelated federal investigation was also launched. In the midst of this, enrollment at the college has continued to drop -- it decreased by 1,300 students from 2015 to 2016, to approximately 9,600 students, according to 2017 state data. The current president, Anthony Munroe, was hired in May, but he soon experienced his own troubles. The Board of Trustees, the majority of whom are appointed by the county executive, rejected two of Munroe's personnel appointments -- one for a chief financial officer, which Middle States cited the college for not having. Meanwhile, accusations and allegations of wrongdoing have been thrown among administrators, trustees, the president and the county executive. "We had to speak out on behalf of the student body and on behalf of taxpayers, because this is tax money and federal money being mismanaged," Slaughter said. "Yes, they are on probation. But now the school is headed down a path to success … we believe with the new board structure and with the president and some of the things he's trying to do, it'll propel Essex to be one of the premier community colleges." Slaughter is part of a group of clergy and other local leaders who have taken an active interest in resolving the college's problems. The group, which is supportive of Munroe, called on certain trustees and administrators to step down from their positions. They also have accused Essex County Executive Jo[...]



Northern Colorado 2011 championship vacated after coaches committed academic fraud

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

The University of Northern Colorado men’s basketball team will see its 2011 conference title stripped after the former head coach and other staffers were found to have done classwork for players, with the head coach reporting that he cheated to continue the athletic success of his predecessor. The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced punishments against Northern Colorado Friday, commending the university for “exemplary cooperation” but still slapping it with fairly severe penalties, including vacating the 2011 win in the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference and returning all money from the team’s appearance in the championship -- neither the institution nor the NCAA specified how much that will be. Former head coach B. J. Hill, a longtime coach at Northern Colorado, was fired in 2016 after allegations emerged he had helped players with their course work. The NCAA found that Hill, along with five assistant coaches and one graduate assistant, had either completed classes for prospective athletes or paid for the online courses. Depending on whether they cooperated with the investigation or not, the staffers received show-cause orders ranging from three to five years -- this will severely limit their ability to secure an athletics job at any NCAA member institution. Hill received a six-year show-cause order. For its part, Northern Colorado completely accepted the NCAA sanctions and did not indicate it plans to appeal any of them. “We respect the NCAA’s decision and are disappointed that actions by members of a former coaching staff have led to consequences that have affected the entire program, past and present,” Darren Dunn, Northern Colorado athletics director said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing a great student-athlete experience while building champions for life. I’m excited about the future of our men’s basketball program.” Northern Colorado also reduced scholarships and didn’t participate in postseason play in the 2016-17 year. Hill was elevated to the head coach position in 2010 after the previous coach took another job. Per the NCAA report, Hill “placed tremendous pressure on himself and his staff to build on his predecessor’s strong record.” In the summer of 2010, Hill finished classwork for a prospective player enrolled in an online algebra class at Brigham Young University and ordered an athletics trainer to do the same for a biology course. Later, in 2012, Hill told his staff that not securing one particular prospect was “not an option,” leading them to complete work for that player in three online classes. Another assistant coach arranged for a friend to pay for and complete an online class in another player’s name in 2014, according to the NCAA. “The head coach took shortcuts to success, putting his own self-interest and ambitions ahead of student-athlete welfare,” the NCAA report states. President Kay Norton released a statement to the campus Friday. “When we started this process, I pledged that regardless of what emerged from the investigation that we would take responsibility, do our best to make amends and move forward. With the leadership of head coach Jeff Linder, that’s what we’ve been doing and what we will continue to do,” Norton said in the statement. Linder took over for Hill for the last two seasons. Hill was credited with guiding the Bears to the championship win and earned a 21-11 record in his first season as head coach. Jokes abounded on social media Friday because Northern Colorado shares its initials with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which recently escaped all NCAA punishment despite many athletics experts saying the institution had committed one of the worst cases of academic fraud in memory. NCAA: We've got to nail North Carolina! *North Carolina avoids punishment* [...]



Is the public really losing faith in higher education?

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

Last summer’s Pew Research Center and Gallup surveys showing sharply declining public support for colleges and universities -- especially among Republicans -- seriously rattled higher education leaders. Understandably so: with the GOP running the federal government and two-thirds of the states, those trend lines can translate not just into fewer Americans willing to finance a college education personally, but also less favorable treatment of colleges and universities by politicians and policy makers. A pair of new surveys conducted this fall offer a more nuanced picture of public attitudes about higher education. The surveys, by Civis Analytics and Echelon Insights, probably won’t make college leaders rest easy: they reveal meaningful public doubts about college affordability and the value of degrees. (More than four in 10 Americans agreed, for example, that “for most high school students today, pursuing a college degree is not a worthwhile investment because it will lead to student debt with little chance of finding a good-paying job.”) But the new surveys may help focus the conversation on the issues on which higher education appears most vulnerable and on the audiences that are most skeptical. The data suggest strongly, for instance, that Americans hold a much more favorable view of two-year colleges than of four-year institutions, and that Republicans and Democrats alike overwhelmingly believe that most students should pursue some kind of postsecondary education or training after graduating high school. A Summer's Worth of Troubling Data The release of the Pew and Gallup surveys in July and August stunned and troubled many college presidents and higher ed leaders. Asked whether “colleges and universities have a positive/negative effect on the way things are going in the country,” 58 percent of Republicans said “negative,” up sharply from the 37 percent who answered that way just two years ago. Older Republicans and self-described conservatives had the most skeptical views. Among Democrats, meanwhile, positive views of colleges and universities continued to edge up. Gallup’s question (which it asks about a range of American institutions) was phrased “Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in colleges and universities -- a great deal, quite a lot, some or very little.” A majority of all Americans -- 56 percent -- said some (34 percent) or very little (22 percent), while 44 percent said a great deal or quite a lot. Democrats and those who lean Democratic took a more favorable view -- 56 percent confident and 43 percent less so -- while a full two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) expressed some or very little confidence. (Thirty-one percent of Republicans said "very little.") Gallup’s survey offered some insights into the why behind the public's doubts. Of those who said they had some or very little confidence, Republicans were mostly likely to cite political or cultural reasons (32 percent said the institutions were too liberal/political, and 21 percent said colleges were “not allowing students to think for themselves” or were “pushing their own agenda”). Democrats who answered negatively were far likelier (36 percent) to say that the institutions were “too expensive” than to proffer any other reason. How to Interpret? The Pew and Gallup surveys share a few things. First, both surveys lumped all colleges and universities together, as so much public discussion of higher education does. That makes it impossible to know whether a particular respondent was thinking about Harvard and its $35 billion endowment, the cherished State U where the kids went, the community college downtown or a for-profit university that's been in the headlines. Second, the questions posed t[...]



New calls for clear, easily accessible data on Ph.D. program outcomes in life sciences

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

Ten institutions on Thursday announced their commitment to providing life sciences Ph.D. students -- current and future ones -- transparent data on admissions, training opportunities and career outcomes. Most students aren't going to end up in faculty jobs, and the founding members of the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science want potential trainees to know that up front. “Open data will allow students and postdoctoral fellows to understand fully the range of likely outcomes of their eventual training and career choices,” the chancellors and presidents of all 10 coalition members wrote in a co-authored article about the initiative in Science. More than that, they said, clear data will help universities better align their programs to Ph.D. students’ actual career outcomes -- and hold institutions “to account for their success in training and placing graduate students.” The “cardinal goal” of such transparency is "making advanced training in the life sciences more efficient and humane,” the presidents added. In February, the nine universities and one research center that make up the coalition will begin to publish reports on admissions and enrollment data on their doctoral programs in the life sciences, along with students’ median time to degree. Within the ensuing 18 months, they'll share detailed information on student demographics, how many years their graduates spend as postdoctoral fellows, and the jobs their Ph.D.s and postdocs eventually get. “While many students come in with the expectation that they’re going to be able to have academic careers, that’s just not what the facts show,” said Peter Espenshade, project co-leader and professor and dean of graduate biomedical education at Johns Hopkins University. Indeed, the presidents’ article estimates that just 10 percent of life sciences Ph.D.s earn a tenure-track position within five years of graduation. Contributing to that downward trend, the article says, is a 22 percent decrease in federal research funding since 2003, adjusted for inflation. (Other factors not cited in the article include the increased hiring of professors off the tenure track.) Espenshade said that students’ awareness of the poor academic job market seems to be growing, especially within the last 10 years. Yet many still see graduate school as “a next logical step after leaving undergrad,” he said, and don’t address the realities of that market “until it’s too late.” The initiative is not, however, about discouraging graduate study, Espenshade said, arguing that it would be impossible to overeducate the U.S. population -- especially in terms of science. Rather, he said, “What we want to do is provide [trainees] the best education, based on the array of careers they’ll have.” Elizabeth Watkins, coalition co-leader and dean of the graduate division and vice chancellor of student academic affairs at the University of California, San Francisco, also disagreed that there is a Ph.D. supply problem. Trained scientists and scholars who can think critically, reason analytically, solve problems and make sense of large amounts of data benefit society, she said. They also find “meaningful employment and make valuable contributions” not only in academe but in business, nonprofits and government. The Coalition for Next Generation Life Science includes Hopkins and San Francisco, plus Cornell University; Duke University; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; the University of Pennsylvania; and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. That’s for now. Members are confident that other institution[...]



Following cheerleader protest inquiry, Kennesaw State president resigns

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

Sam Olens (below left), the president of Kennesaw State University, named to the position over student and faculty protests just last year, has announced his resignation from the Georgia institution, effective in February. The resignation marks a short term for the university leader who has been plagued by a cheerleader protest scandal this year and whose appointment as president in November 2016 came amid faculty leaders criticizing his lack of higher education experience and his defense of the state’s same-sex marriage ban as attorney general. “I have decided that new leadership will be required for KSU to fully realize its potential,” he said in an email to students and employees Thursday. “Accordingly, I have advised the chancellor and the Board of Regents of my intention to step down as the president of Kennesaw State University.” The resignation comes after a scandal dragged out during the fall semester over the way the university -- and Olens, specifically -- handled cheerleaders who protested during the national anthem before a football game. Olens didn’t mention the cheerleaders in his resignation, and instead congratulated the university for the challenges it has overcome in the past year. In September, a handful of cheerleaders -- later dubbed the Kennesaw 5 -- took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before a football game. The university would later change its pregame ceremony, keeping the cheerleaders off the field during the anthem. The university said that the change -- though it came after the protest -- was logistical in nature and had nothing to do with the protest. But holes would start to emerge in that story. Kneeling during the national anthem has become a form of political protest over the last year, since Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, started kneeling during the anthem before National Football League games in an protest against racism and police brutality. The protest has drawn supporters and opponents, largely split along Democratic-Republican party lines, respectively. Opponents of the protest have said it disrespects the military. In the days following the game, both the local sheriff -- who is a Republican -- and a Republican state representative who chairs a subcommittee in charge of appropriations for Georgia’s public universities complained publicly in the press. Both said Olens -- a Republican attorney general before assuming the presidency -- had been helpful, and they expressed confidence that the situation would not happen again. At the time, a university spokeswoman said that politics had nothing to do with the decision, and the timing and political intricacies of the narrative were all a coincidence. Olens had simply passed along information that was already decided upon by the athletics department to Sheriff Neil Warren and State Representative Earl Ehrhart, the university said. The political intricacies of the situation raised eyebrows, and subsequent public records dumps placed things on even shakier ground. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution unearthed text messages from Warren and Ehrhart bragging about influencing the university’s decision to change the pregame ceremony. Following the publishing of the texts, the University System of Georgia issued a statement saying it would conduct a “special review” of the allegations that the decision to remove the cheerleaders from the field during the national anthem was a political one. “Not letting the cheerleaders come out on the field until after national anthem was one of the recommendations that Earl and I gave him!” Warren said in one text message. More texts, between Olens and his staff, would be unearthed in a public records request by one of the cheerleaders’ brothers. “Not good. Can you help set up a[...]



UC Davis professor stripped of status amid sexual assault allegations

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

In 1987, his freshman year at the University of California, Davis, Danny Gray says, he was sexually assaulted by a professor. He reported this incident to the university, but to no avail. Now, 30 years later and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which has spurred the firings of a number of high-profile men accused of sexual assault and harassment, Gray is ready to tell his story again. That’s the narrative Gray laid out in a blog post published this week. In an agreement reached with the university, D. Kern Holoman, the former university symphony orchestra conductor accused of assaulting and later raping Gray, has relinquished his titles of professor emeritus and distinguished professor, though he denies Gray’s allegations. Gray -- who now works at UC Davis himself as the director of academic employment and labor relations -- wrote a blog post detailing the allegations against Holoman, and showed a draft to the university last week. A spokeswoman said that the draft “helped spur some activity” leading to Holoman’s discipline. Holoman, Gray wrote, sexually assaulted him in a hot tub at Holoman’s home, and later raped him. Gray said Holoman apologized, but the professor's unwelcome advances continued in the form of letters and correspondence sent to Gray, and Holoman assaulted Gray again. “Although in hindsight I can see viable options for resolving this situation, at the time I felt I had no choice but to try to navigate my relationship with him,” Gray said. “I believe I responded to Holoman’s dozens of communications that summer with one or two letters, written in language that I hoped would be received as polite but not welcoming of his romantic and sexual advances.” In a statement given to Gray by Holoman’s lawyer, Steven Sabbadini, Holoman denied the allegations. “I am distressed and deeply apologetic for my role in any event that has harmed Danny Gray in any way, and heartsick at the thought of harm that has festered for 30 years,” Holoman wrote. “Our memories of that time differ markedly, but the remorse is very real. I continue to treasure memories of our long friendship and its focus on the beauties of art, literature and history.” A representative from Sabbadini’s office said that neither Holoman or Sabbadini would be issuing further comment. According to a disciplinary letter signed by Holoman and the university, provided by UC Davis, Holoman agreed to have his distinguished professor and professor emeritus titles removed in lieu of an investigation into the allegations, which, “if true, would have been a violation of the university’s sexual harassment policy.” Per the letter, he is allowed to continue with his current projects with the university library, though he is not allowed to have in-person interactions with graduate or undergraduate students. In a separate disciplinary letter signed by Holoman in 1997, also provided by the university, Holoman faced a complaint alleging “unprofessional conduct.” He agreed to receive counseling, according to the letter, and “any such future conduct” found to be a violation of the campus sexual harassment policy or the Faculty Code of Conduct “shall result in filing formal charges against you with a proposed sanction of dismissal.” There are no records of Gray’s 1987 complaint to the university, though Gray said in the blog post that he made the complaints within the calendar year. In a statement Monday, UC Davis Chancellor Gary May acknowledged that the university has not always adequately served victims of sexual assault. “Many of the reports of abuse emerge after years and sometimes decades of silence and shame. In the past, few if any institutions had adequat[...]



Colleges start new programs

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

  • Columbia College Chicago is starting a minor in hip-hop studies.
  • Columbia University is starting a master's degree in business analytics.
  • Indiana Tech is starting an online bachelor of science in cybersecurity.
  • Manhattan College is starting a sports media production concentration for communications majors.
  • Marist College is starting an accelerated dual-degree accountancy program, allowing students to complete a bachelor of science and a master of science in professional accountancy in four years and four months.
  • Mississippi Valley State University is starting an online master of science in criminal justice.
  • Stonehill College is starting a master's program in integrated marketing communications.
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