U-Va. star professor: Why I won’t ‘un-resign’

Computer scientist William Wulf was a star professor at the University of Virginia until he recently resigned to protest the forced resignation of popular President Teresa Sullivan by leaders of the governing board, the Washington Post reports. Sullivan was reinstated earlier this month after a revolt on campus, but Wulf has refused to reconsider his decision, despite pleas by faculty and administrators, including Sullivan herself. Here is a letter that Wulf, president emeritus of the National Academy of Engineering, has written and publicly released explaining why he will not “un-resign.” For Wulf, the crisis has not really ended. Here’s the letter where he explains why…

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U-Va. deans hatched online plan the day Teresa Sullivan was asked to resign

Unfolding details of the negotiation that led the University of Virginia into Stanford University’s Coursera online consortium last week reveal a poignant episode of bad timing, the Washington Post reports. On June 8, the leaders of the university’s Board of Visitors asked for the resignation of President Teresa Sullivan. Among their chief complaints: U-Va. was ignoring perhaps the most significant development in the brief history of online collegiate learning, the vast experiment in global online learning launched by Stanford, MIT and Harvard. Earlier that day, a group of academic deans at U-Va. had discussed the prospect of entering one of those experiments, Coursera, at a retreat. During the retreat, the university’s arts-and-sciences dean, Meredith Jung-En Woo, asked Philip Zelikow, an associate dean, “to reach out to Coursera and another group to learn more,” according to an e-mail Woo sent to an alumni group last week. The previous day, June 7, a group from the university’s Darden graduate business school had visited the Coursera offices in Silicon Valley…

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Big rewards, less job security for college leaders

Helicopter parents, impatient trustees, overworked professors, entitled athletics boosters and deeply partisan lawmakers with little cash to spare. It’s enough to make people wonder why anyone would want the job of college president, the Associated Press reports. Sure, the pay is pretty good, and the perks sizable, from free housing and a company car to travel budgets. But when it comes to running the 21st century American university, the men and women in the president’s office are increasingly on high alert that their stays at the top could prove short. Look no further than the University of Virginia, where the sudden ouster and subsequent rehiring of President Teresa Sullivan has made national headlines. Or to state flagship universities in Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin, where presidents resigned or were forced out in the past year after relatively brief stints in charge…

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U-Va. upheaval: 18 days of leadership crisis

The call summoning Teresa Sullivan arrives at 3:30 p.m. June 18, as she lingers on the edge of the Lawn at the University of Virginia, thousands of supporters massed between her and the Rotunda, the Washington Post reports. Inside, the university’s board awaits her farewell address.

Her husband and elder son trailing, the outgoing U-Va. president wades through the hordes on the sloping green, her steps slowed by outstretched hands.

“U-V-A! U-V-A!” they chant, the din so thunderous Sullivan can barely make out the shouted greetings.…Read More

Indiana Gov. Daniels named next Purdue president

With Indiana hemorrhaging revenue during the Great Recession, Gov. Mitch Daniels targeted higher education to help fill the gap — including nearly $30 million in state cuts at Purdue University, the Associated Press reports. On Thursday, trustees there unanimously approved him as the school’s 12th president. Students, faculty members and legislators wondered how the governor would transition to a new job with such starkly different duties — particularly considering he still has six months left in his old one. Daniels said it will involve a lot of listening. The former White House budget director and Eli Lilly executive has a Princeton bachelor’s degree and Georgetown law degree but virtually no experience working in academia.

“I don’t even know what I don’t know yet. All I know is there’s a lot I don’t know,” he told about 100 students at an afternoon gathering on campus…

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Admissions officials: Students shouldn’t bank on application gimmicks

The University of Michigan admitted 42 out of 4,498 waitlisted students last year.

College applicants shouldn’t rely on a viral YouTube video to spring them from the confines of a university’s lengthy wait list, admissions officials say—despite the success of one high-profile applicant whose video plea went viral.

Campus admissions officials frown on gimmicks like tins of homemade cookies or phone calls from vaguely famous relatives. But for one college hopeful, a Motown love song did the trick: After posting a YouTube video of himself singing about his love for the University of Michigan (UM), Lawrence Yong was plucked from the waitlist and admitted to the school’s 2012 freshman class.

Students who receive waitlist letters in April typically must wait until late June to see if any spots remain after admitted students submit their enrollment deposits.…Read More