Supreme Court case has implications for N.C. universities

A case before the Supreme Court could change the way public universities in North Carolina and across the nation allocate student-activities fees. The Justices agreed to hear a suit five law students at the University of Wisconsin brought against their school over how the university allocated a portion of the mandatory activity fees it collects. Across the country, there has been several similar cases recently concerning potential First-Amendment violations by universities in their collection and expenditure of mandatory fees.




St. Augustine’s fires admissions director

St. Augustine’s College of North Carolina made national headlines last week when it announced the firing of admissions director, Keith M. Powell. The announcement prompted the resignation of the entire admissions staff, except for a counselor who was on vacation until Monday, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on March 11. Graham Watt, executive assistant to the president, said that the decline in enrollment at St. Augustine’s did not factor into the decision to fire Powell. Watt told The News and Observer on March 9 that the decision was part of a larger effort to make the college more efficient: “We talked about it as an administrative team…. It brings the whole process together. It just works better when you have people not bumping into each other and working in harmony.”


Victory at Wisconsin

The Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison voted Monday to narrow an 18-year old speech code that permits the punishment of professors for remarks that students find offensive. The new code, which was approved by a vote of 71 to 62, says that “all expressions germane to the instructional setting — including but not limited to information, the presentation or advocacy of ideas, assignment of course materials, and teaching techniques — is protected from disciplinary action.”

AND

Students in some N.C. State University courses are doing their homework and even taking quizzes on the World-Wide Web, thanks to a program designed primarily by N.C. State professors. The program, WebAssign, is used in physics, math, computer-science and statistics courses at N.C. State, provides instant feedback to students as they submit their homework and quiz answers online.


Sign of the Times, UNC-CH more Y2K ready than most

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst announced Feb. 18 that it would shift away from using race preferences in its admissions policies. The university will instead consider socioeconomic status and extracurricular activities when deciding whether to admit students and award financial aid.

AND

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is at a comparably high level of preparedness for the computer glitch known as the “Year 2000” (Y2K) problem, the campus’s University Gazette is reporting.


Community Colleges Need More Funds, Consultant Says / College Seniors “Don’t Know Much About History”

N.C. Community Colleges will need upward of $1.2 billion for capital expansion if they are to meet projected enrollment growth for 2000-2005, according to Kent Caruthers, a consultant with MGT of America, Inc. in Tallahassee, FL.

A recent survey of seniors at America’s top colleges and Universities reveals that more than 80 percent are ignorant of the most basic elements of American history. Among the elite institutions surveyed were Duke University and Davidson College.


N.C. Community Colleges to Examine “Critical Needs” / Federal Regulations Help Push Up College Cost

Members of the State Board of Community Colleges met today to begin developing a proposal for financing capital needs at the state’s community college campuses. The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) announced last Friday that they would partner with UNC to create a funding package that would address both systems’ capital needs.

An estimated 12.5 cents out of every $1 increase in tuition goes to pay for compliance with federal regulations.