August 02, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A University of California, Davis, police officer who sprayed demonstrators with pepper spray during a campus protest last fall no longer works for the university.
The Sacramento Bee reports that a spokesman for UC Davis says Lt. John Pike’s employment with the university ended Tuesday.
Spokesman Barry Shiller told the newspaper that he could not discuss the details of Pike's departure because of privacy rules.
When reached by The Bee, Pike declined to comment.
The 39-year-old Pike had been on paid leave since the incident last November when video images showed him and another officer spraying demonstrators who were seated on a sidewalk and refused police orders to disperse during an Occupy protest.
The images were watched online and on broadcast stations around the world.
California State University, Dominguez Hills is among the nation’s top degree grantors to minority students, according to the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which each year publishes its Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers and Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers lists.
Overall, CSU Dominguez Hills came in at 60th for granting bachelor’s degrees to 1,406 students of color in 2011 — the graduation year used in the 2012 rankings — and 64th for conferring master’s degrees to 492 students of color. That year, the university granted 3,005 degrees in total.
Using data reported by universities to the National Center for Education Statistics to compile its two lists, the magazine gives several rankings, from an overall standing for total number of degrees conferred on all minority groups combined to degrees by individual minority group, as well as breakdowns by disciplines for each group.
The university ranked in the Top 100 – and even in the top 50 — in a number of the rankings, including 38th for undergraduate and 36th for graduate degrees granted to Hispanic students, and 82nd for graduate degrees to Asian American students.
CSU Dominguez Hills was also the only public university in California to make the magazine’s list for the number of master’s degrees conferred on African American students, coming in at 87th, and was one of only two public universities in the state to make the list for bachelor’s degrees granted to African American students, ranking 88th.
“The story behind these numbers is one of successful students, period,” said University Interim President Willie Hagan. “Our service area has a high number of underserved, underrepresented students, and their success positively impacts their families and our community. At CSU Dominguez Hills, we work hard to provide an intentional network of support that includes excellent academic programs and services that enhance student success. As we improve current efforts and add new initiatives in the area of student retention and graduation, our minority student graduation rankings will climb even higher in the future.”
Other highlights in the undergraduate ranking included fourth for liberal arts/humanities and 12th for public administration/social service degrees to Hispanic students; 8th for degrees in public administration/social service and 11th for liberal arts to all minority students; 14th for degrees granted in the public administration/social service professions to African American students; and 17th in the same degree field to Asian American students. By total minority groups for specific disciplines at the undergraduate level, the university ranked eighth for public administration/social service.
Highlights of the many master’s degree rankings by categories the university received included third for rehabilitation/therapeutic professions and fifth for nursing degrees to Asian American students; fifth in nursing, seventh in interdisciplinary study, and ninth in engineering-related fields degrees to Hispanic students; seventh in interdisciplinary degrees to African American.
July 05, 2012
By Pamela K. Johnson
LAWT Contributing Writer
The first ever Health Happens Here Summer School is being held on the campus of John Muir Middle School at 5929 South Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. The program is going on now and will run Monday through Friday, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., through July 27, 2012.
A range of courses including summer basketball and soccer leagues (for youth 13–16 years of age), youth workforce development, fitness, healthy cooking, Zumba, nutrition, radio broadcasting, violence prevention, sex education and gardening will be offered free to all South Los Angeles residents with a free hot lunch provided daily for children 5-18 years of age.
The program is sponsored by the Brotherhood Crusade, L.A.’s Promise, Peace Over Violence, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, Planned Parenthood, UMMA Health Clinics, The California Community Foundation, Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow, Fitness Bunch, the Weingart YMCA, Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches, LAUSD District 7, American Heart Association Teaching Gardens, Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, and BLOOM-Investing in L.A.’s Black Male Youth.
“The California Endowment, the Brotherhood Crusade and their partners are offering an amazing summer program here at John Muir,” said Nisha Dugal, PhD, the principal at John Muir. “We look forward to involving the community as a whole.”
Register today at John Muir or call 213.745.4928.
July 19, 2012
By GARY FINEOUT
Florida A&M University’s president reached an agreement with school officials to immediately resign July 11, after facing months of criticism in the hazing death of a marching band member.
Last week, James Ammons had submitted a letter stating his resignation would not take effect until Oct. 11. However, he waived a provision allowing him to give 90 days notice to the FAMU board in exchange for getting paid bonuses.
Ammons will be paid more than $98,000 in performance bonuses from his last two years in office — and will still earn his full presidential salary of more than $341,000 over the next year while he remains on sabbatical. Ammons plans eventually to return to FAMU as a member of the faculty.
The school’s governing board — which held an emergency conference call to discuss Ammons’ resignation — voted in favor of the deal and named FAMU Provost Larry Robinson as interim president.
The death of 26-year-old Robert Champion unraveled the hazing culture at the university, specifically within the famed Marching 100 band. Trustees have complained about a lack of oversight of the band as well as lax management on other issues at the university.
Eleven FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts for their alleged roles in Champion’s hazing. They have pleaded not guilty. Meanwhile, Champion’s family has sued the university.
The band has already been suspended until 2013. And there are still two investigations under way, including a probe by the Florida Board of Governors into whether university officials ignored past warnings about hazing prior to Champion’s death
Interim president Robinson had previously served President Barack Obama’s administration as assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also briefly served as the top official in charge of FAMU back in 2000, before Ammons was appointed president.
FAMU's board spent more than an hour discussing whether to make Robinson interim president so quickly. Questions remain about whether other candidates should be considered — and whether an interim president is eligible to apply for the job permanently.
But both the student body president and head of FAMU's faculty senate pressed to appoint Robinson immediately to bring stability to a campus that has been reeling since Champion’s November death.
“I know how jittery the university community is at this time,” Narayan Persaud, a FAMU professor, told other board members.
Still, in order to reach consensus, trustees agreed to take a more formal vote when they meet again in August. The choice of interim president will also have to be approved by the Florida Board of Governors, the panel that oversees the entire state university system.
Robinson said in a statement he was “grateful” to serve “at this critical time in the university’s history.”
“There is work to be done and I stand ready to do my absolute best to keep FAMU on its path of success,” Robinson added.
Ammons had vowed a month ago to remain at his job, despite a no-confidence vote from trustees in June.
During the recent conference call, Ammons agreed to step down immediately but did not comment further about his decision.
Ammons was first brought on five years ago to help stabilize the school's financial troubles and threats to its accreditation.
Other problems have come out in the past year. A top auditor resigned after it was discovered false audit summaries had been distributed. It was revealed that more than 100 members of the Marching 100 weren’t students. And there is an ongoing state criminal investigation into band finances.
Additionally, the athletic department has a multi-million dollar deficit, and it appears that enrollment will drop this fall.
Ammons had already launched initiatives to battle hazing, including strict new requirements for membership in the Marching 100.
It could take as long as a year to find a new president, but FAMU board members said Robinson will need to help deal with the damage now.
“I just believe there is some major cleaning up that needs to be done in the interim,” said Torey Alston, a FAMU board member.
June 21, 2012
By JONATHAN J. COOPER | Associated Press
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Drawing on memories of her childhood and early career, Michelle Obama told Oregon State University graduates Sunday to live life for themselves, not for anyone else.
The first lady spoke at the invitation of her older brother, Craig Robinson, the head men’s basketball coach at Oregon State. The siblings grew up in a working-class family with high expectations, and both chased successful and lucrative careers — Robinson in finance, Obama in a prominent law firm.
“We still had all the traditional markers of success with a fat paycheck, the fancy office, the impressive lines on our resumes,” the first lady told a crowd of about 30,000, including 5,000 graduates. “But the truth is, neither of us was all that fulfilled.”
“I was living the dream, but it wasn’t my dream,” Obama said. “Craig felt the same way, unbeknownst to me.”
Eventually, both left their lucrative jobs for other passions. Obama went to work for the Chicago mayor, Robinson to coach basketball.
“Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own,” Obama said.
A rich life is defined by more than a paycheck, Obama said, urging graduates to focus on what they have rather than what they lack.
Obama also advised graduates to keep in close touch with the family and friends who are important to them, saying she never missed a chance to tell her father she loved him before he died from complications of multiple sclerosis. She fought tears as she recalled her mother’s assurances that her father was proud to be her dad.
“Liking them on Facebook doesn’t count,” she said. “Nor does following then on Twitter. What counts is making the time to be there in person.”
Obama’s stop in Oregon was also a chance for her to catch up with family and meet a new nephew. Aaron Robinson was born four months ago to Robinson and his wife.
Robinson said he was surprised, but pleased, to see excitement on campus after the university announced the commencement speaker
“It’s exciting, as her brother, to be able to hear her doing such a good job for our country,” Robinson told reporters before Obama spoke.
Obama was awarded an honorary doctorate in public health for her work as first lady on fighting childhood obesity and improving health. She held up the diploma and mouthed, “Go Beavs,” a rallying cry for Oregon State Beavers’ athletics.
The Oregon State speech was Obama’s third commencement address this year. She spoke last month at Virginia Tech and North Carolina A&T, both in swing states for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The first lady had campaign events scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday in Western battlegrounds Nevada and Colorado.
Page 8 of 9