Around the industry: Wheaton College to 'part ways' with professor who expressed support for Muslims

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • Illinois: Wheaton College announced Saturday that it will "part ways" with a professor who said that Christians and Muslims worship the same God and posted photos of herself on social media wearing a hijab in an act of solidarity. Larycia Hawkins, the first black woman to become a tenured professor at Wheaton, was suspended in December for what college officials deemed a violation of its Statement of Faith. The college in a statement on its website said it and Hawkins had "reached a confidential agreement" (Grimm, Chicago Sun-Times, 2/6).
  • Massachusetts: Under an agreement approved by the Suffolk University board of trustees Friday, university president Margaret McKenna will step down from her position in fall 2017, when a new president is set to take over. The board contended that McKenna had made unauthorized expenditures, among other complaints. The agreement also includes a commitment from board chair Andrew Meyer to leave his position when his term ends in May. In addition, the board will adopt by that time new bylaws under a recommendation made two years ago by the accreditation arm of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Arsenault/Krantz, Boston Globe, 2/5).
  • North Carolina: The state Senate is considering a plan to significantly reduce tuition at several University of North Carolina system campuses. Under the Access to Affordable Education Act, tuition would be lowered to $500 per year for in-state students and $2,500 per year for out-of state students. According to the draft of the legislation, the reduced tuition could cost the state about $65 million annually to account for lost revenue. An incentive program for UNC system students to finish their degrees on time also is under consideration (Stancill, News & Observer/Courier-Tribune, 2/6).

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