IN THE NEWS: The late Sam Walton has left much more of a legacy than big-box Wal-Mart retail stores and low prices. He is helping higher education in perpetuity thanks to a $300 million donation his heirs made to the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. The Walton heirs, through their foundation, made their gift in 2002. It remains the largest amount given to a public university. The $300 million came with a condition, though, that the university raise a
matching $300 million by June 2005. This spring the U of A Fayetteville gladly announced: mission accomplished... Hakan Yalincak's case is a most interesting one. At the tender age of 21, the mathematics student at New York University was able to devise a complex $43 million scheme that transferred bogus checks from banks in Switzerland and Greenwich, Conn. Part of the scheme involved creating phony corporations and fake certified checks--an effort he worked on for months. He wept in court as he was charged with bank fraud. Yalincak apparently didn't need to commit the crime for the money. His parents reportedly donated $21 million to NYU last year... Blogging may be the new big thing online, but a recent incident at the University of New Hampshire shows a down side. Ken Gagnon, a junior, was banned from his English class after posting violent and sexual comments about his instructor and other students in a blog. One entry provided graphic descriptions about killing students in the dining hall. In his defense, Gagnon made a statement that the content was not meant to be taken seriously. Administrators met privately with Gagnon after a female student alerted them to his blog entries.
APPOINTED AND PROMOTED: Drew University (N.J.) has selected Robert Weisbuch to replace outgoing president Thomas Kean, former New Jersey governor and a member of the 9-11 Commission. Weisbuch, who has been president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, becomes Drew's president in July... The University of Colorado has also picked a new president to replace a high-profile incumbent. In September, U.S. Sen.
Hank Brown will step into the job being vacated by outgoing president Betsy Hoffman... Richard Herman has been named chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been serving as interim chancellor since last summer, when Nancy Cantor left the post to become president of Syracuse University (N.Y.)... Frank Bonner will be the next president of Gardner-Webb University (N.C.) He has been provost and senior vice president at the Baptist IHE... Johnnetta Cole ended the suspense about her position at Bennett College (N.C.) when she agreed to stay as president. One day this spring Cole had announced her resignation, noting that a small group of faculty members had expressed dissatisfaction with her leadership. An outpouring of support from other students, faculty and staff convinced her that her work at Bennett wasn't over, she says... Mary Hines will be the first non-clergy person to be president of the Catholic Carlow University (Pa.)... The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education has announced that Rena Moyers will be vice president for research and information services. She currently is vice president for market research and web and campus relations at the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.