Higher Ed, University News

Higher ed roundup: Oct. 2, 2012

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Senior Staff Writer

Grinnell reviews need-blind policy

In a letter to alums last Thursday, Grinnell College announced it would consider amending its financial aid policies, prompting rumors that the college could end its need-blind admissions policy, though nothing in the letter explicitly referenced such a plan. The school has the fifth-highest endowment of any liberal arts college, but Grinnell President Raynard Kington expressed concern about its financial sustainability in the letter, Inside Higher Ed reported.

Kington’s letter comes on the heels of an announcement from Wesleyan University in June that the school would be ending its need-blind admissions process.

“If we took the path of least resistance, what we were inevitably going to do is cut and cut and cut so that we would find ourselves having an inferior education, so that the least painful thing in the world would be to slide into mediocrity,” Kington told the Scarlet and Black, Grinnell’s student newspaper.

The school’s financial future is still under review.

Former U. president under heat for $7.7 million expense account

Former Brown President Gordon Gee has earned $8.6 million dollars so far during his five-year tenure as president of Ohio State University, the Dayton Daily News reported. The Daily News investigation has sparked national attention after revealing that Gee also has a multimillion-dollar personal account he uses for parties, luxurious travel accommodations and bowtie memorabilia. His expense account neared $7.7 million, the Huffington Post reported.

This past fiscal year, Gee’s salary reached nearly $2 million, according to the Daily News. The Ohio Ethics Commission reported last month that Gee failed to report over $150,000 in travel expenses. Gee’s term as president has been marked by a football scandal that arose last year and resulted in the firing of Coach Jim Tressel

Ohio State released a statement in defense of Gee’s large bowtie and party budget, clarifying that gifts to the University fund his expense account.

“Given the size, stature and reputation of Ohio State University, the glad handing that comes with being the university chief executive officer is a requirement of the job,” Dan Hurley, spokesman for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, told the Daily News.

After search, Northwestern sophomore found drowned

The search for Harsha Maddula, a sophomore at Northwestern University who disappeared last week, ended last Thursday when his body was discovered by a fisherman in Wilmette, Ill. Officials have confirmed that the cause of death was drowning, according to ABC News Chicago WLS-TV

Maddula went missing after attending a party off-campus, the Chicago Tribune reported. There were no signs of theft, and Maddula was found with all his belongings.

“Some other media outlets have written that he was ‘party hopping,’ (but) that statement is a clear misrepresentation of Harsha and his character,” Nasira Rafiq, a former teacher of Maddula, told the New York Daily News.

A memorial service was held for students at Northwestern, and Maddula’s funeral took place Monday in New Hyde Park, N.Y.