Category Archives: academic administrations

One Texas university won’t give up on sports

An excerpt from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website:

The University of Texas at El Paso is urging students and faculty members to avoid coming to the campus “wherever possible,” closing the student center and campus dining for two weeks. Professors should conduct only critical aspects of classes in person, according to a Thursday letter to the campus. The changes come as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in El Paso have climbed steadily this month.

One big exception? Athletics. “UTEP athletic teams competing in their championship season will continue to practice and compete under the NCAA and Conference USA stringent testing protocols,” Heather Wilson, the university’s president, wrote.

A football game against the University of North Texas has been canceled, despite Wilson’s advocacy to keep the game scheduled. She said in a statement this week that the university had a “safe place to play” and was “disappointed” in North Texas’s decision. 

What is not clear to me is whether these “stringent testing protocols” can be made available to the entire campus — not just at UTEP but throughout the country — and are not being done (too costly?), or if there’s some special arrangement between the NCAA and its partner institutions in which it pays for these tests.

Does anyone know?

18 majors cut at one university in Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch reports 18 majors — including journalism — are being eliminated at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Effective Dec. 19, the university will no longer accept new students to these majors that are to be phased out and eliminated: comparative literature, computational neuroscience, dance, earth science education, earth sciences, geology, German, health promotion, journalism, Middle Eastern studies, planetary science, pre-optometry, pre-public administration, pre-theology, religion, urban studies, and certain chemistry and biochemistry majors that were certified by the American Chemical Society.

Potential for 350 faculty cuts in Pennsylvania

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 27May2017

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports as many as 350 full-time faculty throughout Pennsylvania could be laid off over the next few months.

The cuts would bring faculty-student ratios more in line with enrollment declines over the last decade — part of a system redesign in the works since January 2017. The timeline to achieve that initially was five years, but Chancellor Daniel Greenstein condensed that to two years this spring as the pandemic compounded financial struggles at the 14 member universities.

I wrote this blog post earlier today, but I was unaware of the announcement about the potential cuts mentioned above.