IN THE NEWS: After five years as president of the University of Chicago, Don Randel will leave the top post to become president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Randel is credited with launching a massive fundraising push that has brought $1.3 billion to the U of C. Randel will continue to lead the university through July 2006 while a search committee looks for his replacement... Conrad Harper, the only black member of Harvard University's (Mass.) seven-member governing board, resigned over a 3 percent pay raise granted to President Lawrence Summers. The raise, which brings Summers' salary to $580,000, is too much in light of the controversial comments Summers has made about women's achievements in math and science, Harper says. (Earlier this year, Summers' questioned whether "intrinsic aptitude" might account for the low number of women in the engineering and science fields.) Harper also took issue with Summers over reported past disputes with leaders of the university's black studies department... Jan Vilcek is not only a professor of microbiology at New York University, he also is a multimillionaire, having made a fortune helping develop the drug Remicade. The scientist, whose early years included hiding from the Nazis to avoid persecution, is giving $105 million to NYU's School of Medicine... Robert Blanchette has filed a lawsuit against St. Anselm College (N.H.), saying that he was fired after revealing to administrators that he is a transsexual and would return to work as a woman after a planned vacation. College officials reportedly have denied Blanchette's claims, saying that the former senior computer programmer engaged in workplace misconduct and this was the reason for the dismissal... Michael Gee, a former columnist for the Boston Herald, reportedly was fired from his part-time journalism teaching job at Boston University for posting a note on the internet that described a female student as "incredibly hot." His message on www.sportsjournalists.com noted that because this particular student was so attractive it was going to be hard to even remember the others. The department chair stated that Gee's comment violated the trust essential to the student-teacher relationship.
APPOINTED AND PROMOTED: Leadership at Florida A&M University is doing all it can to shore up the troubled institution. Interim President Castell Bryant has hired Debra Austin, the chancellor of Florida's state university system, as provost and vice president of academic affairs. Bryant, who came on board in July, has been painstakingly overhauling the university, which has been questioned about its financial mismanagement. Not only has Florida A&M volunteered to strip its football program of 28 scholarships over three years to make up for lack of "institutional control," but it has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a federal investigation regarding grant money awarded to train minority students in math, science, technology, and engineering. In addition, a payroll audit found that 41 people were "ghost employees," collecting money for jobs they were not doing. Austin replaces Larry Robinson, who was hired by former President Fred Gainous... Guy Bailey has been named chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He had been the vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio... J. Noah Brown is the new president and CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees (D.C.). He had been vice president of public policy and strategic planning.