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This week in higher ed

•A decision at Southern University at New Orleans to direct part of student academic excellence fees to enhancing the salaries of two deans is drawing sharp criticism from the Faculty Senate, which cites a state law barring use of the money for administrative pay. The controversy arose after the Senate obtained an internal report showing $70,000 from a budget of roughly $800,000 from the new fee was being spent to upgrade salaries of deans of the colleges of education and business. (NOLA.com)
•A decision at Southern University at New Orleans to direct part of student “academic excellence” fees to enhancing the salaries of two deans is drawing sharp criticism from the Faculty Senate, which cites a state law barring use of the money for administrative pay. The controversy arose after the Senate obtained an internal report showing $70,000 from a budget of roughly $800,000 from the new fee was being spent to upgrade salaries of deans of the colleges of education and business. (NOLA.com)

•About 20 homicides occur on college campuses each year, compared to more than 70 when the areas adjoining campuses are included, according to Daniel Carter, vice president of Security on Campus, a national campus victims' advocacy group. At Butler University, students and faculty are provided wireless pendant transmitters that alert Butler police to the caller's location in case of emergency. (Indianapolis Star)

•House Republicans are considering legislation a major revamp of the present system of permitting recent college graduates to consolidate student loans at fixed interest rates. (The Washington Post)

•Community colleges in Arizona could start offering bachelor's degrees to help meet rural demands for teachers, nurses and other professionals under a bill posed by a Mesa lawmaker. Since 2000, the state's 10 community college districts have seen a 29 percent increase in enrollment. (The Arizona Republic)

•A handful of universities across the nation are offering roommate selection software, allowing students to log on and choose their own roomie. Students enter personal profiles, answer questions about lifestyle and habits and indicate what they are looking for in a roommate. Then, they can view profiles of compatible students and communicate with them via phone or e-mail. The service is free. Thirteen universities outsource the service to the Atlanta-based firm WebRoomz. (The Christian Science Monitor)

•College students convicted of serious crimes connected to campus riots face hefty financial penalties under a bill approved by a Minnesota House committee. Those convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony would lose state financial aid and have to pay the same tuition as out-of-state students for one year. (Pioneer Press)

•Under a contentious provision of federal law, tens of thousands of would-be college students have been denied financial aid due to past drug offenses. Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, who wrote the law, said the penalty was meant to discourage students from experimenting with drugs, not to punish people trying to get their lives back on track. (The New York Times)

•When officials at Duquesne University needed more space for housing, the school bought a $22 million apartment building. For the financially struggling city, the development meant losing another taxable property. Now, the city is challenging the tax-exempt status of the dorm and may take the fight to other universities. (Yahoo News)

•The parents of a Fresno State University equestrian team member who died after falling from a horse have filed a $10 million negligence claim against the school. The parents say their daughter was put at risk by the school's lack of coaches or supervision. In addition, they are “very concerned” about apparent discrepancies in university reports about their daughter's death. (CNN)