News Briefs

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UMass Dartmouth Sued Again

UMass Dartmouth is being sued again by a multiple sclerosis-stricken former employee, who charges that her position was eliminated because of a vengeful administration.

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Maeve Hickock, who once was the executive director of news and publications, is accusing UMass Dartmouth administrators, specifically Chancellor Jean McCormack, of getting vengeance for Hickock’s giving of damaging information to Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr and making complaints about office conditions to the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, which had led to a previous lawsuit. The lawsuit was eventually settled.

“[Chancellor McCormack] dressed me down on the phone, and in person and through e-mail” about releasing the information, Hickock told the Journal. “There was nothing I could do to make [Carr] stop, though.”

Chancellor McCormack, who was an administration official at UMass Boston before going on to UMass Dartmouth, denied the charges and offered a different side to the story, citing budget cuts. “We released several employees at that time because of an $11-million budget reduction,” she told the Journal. “Unfortunately, we had to focus our cuts on the administration.”

Interim Deans of Liberal Arts and Grad Studies to Continue

In a memo sent out to the university community, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Paul Fonteyn announced the interim dean of liberal arts and the interim dean of graduate studies will stay on for the 2003-2004 academic year.

Louise Smith, a professor since 1996 and a department chair since 1999, will continue to serve the College of Liberal Arts.

Emily McDermott, who served as assistant chancellor for four years in the mid-80s, will continue as interim dean of graduate studies.

UMass Amherst Student Gov. Offices Stormed

UMass Amherst’s Office of African, Latino/a, Asian, and Native American Affairs (ALANA) stormed the Student Government Association (SGA) offices, a result of the SGA eliminating seats that are normally guaranteed by appointment.

SGA officials cite conflicts between the SGA’s Constitution and Bylaws as the reason for eliminating the eight seats, according to reports in The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, UMass Amherst’s student newspaper.

ALANA members have responded fast and furiously, rallying outside senate offices with calls for diversity and labeling one of the student senators involved a “dictator.”

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UMass Athletic Director Bolts to Baylor

After only a year serving as athletic director of the UMass system, Ian McCaw has left for Baylor University. Baylor was in the throes of controversy following the resignations of a basketball coach and the athletic director, Tom Stanton. Stanton resigned over the controversy surrounding the death of a basketball player. Dave Bliss, the basketball coach, resigned as a result of improperly paid tuition and mishandled drug tests.

“I’ve had an opportunity to meet with head coaches and administrative staff [yesterday] morning, and the issues of the summer have been challenging for everyone,” The Boston Globe quoted McCaw as saying September 9. “[B]ut at the same time, everyone is anxious to move forward, and this is an opportunity for a new start.”