Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bunnies with Teeth: Newman resigns

This was good news:
My piece on the illegality of his plan under Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation act was here, for The Establishment.
Welcome to the Trumpification of higher ed.
There are many reasons to be concerned about the bunny-drowning president. He’s trying to discard at-risk students, ignore the best traditions of Catholic higher education, and attack core principles of academic freedom and the meaning of tenure. What’s gotten less attention is this: the tool Newman’s administration hoped to utilize involved identifying mentally disabled students and driving them from the university. That’s not just ableist; it’s also probably illegal.
Both the Faculty members who stood up to Newman (prompting the now infamous bunny comment) and the student newspaper that reported on it deserve a lot of credit, followed by the general uprising from more students, faculty, parents, and beyond.

One underreported angle: Accreditation. From Inside Higher Ed:
In June, Mount St. Mary's University received reaffirmation of its accreditation, with strong reviews, from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
But after a month of controversy at the Maryland institution, Middle States may be having second thoughts. It has told the university that it must provide answers by March 15 to questions about how “recent developments” may “have implications for continued compliance” with one requirement and four standards that are crucial to being accredited. And the standards in question aren’t minor technical issues, but core requirements on issues such as integrity, admissions and the way faculty members are treated.
Alas, he's not alone. See the University of Iowa and beyond. Swaggering CEOs who think they can fix higher ed, or lower ed, for that matter. Turns out swaggering CEOs are generally fairly ignorant about education.
At any rate. this is good for the Mount, and best of luck to them going forward. And watch out for killer rabbits that jump about and have sharp teeth.



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