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Quick Takes: Drug Companies' Influence, Credit Cards, DUI Arrests at Cincinnati, MLA Opposes Boycott, Town-Gown Peace in Berkeley

May 26, 2005
  • Half of all American medical schools would let companies that sponsor clinical drug trials draft journal articles based on the studies and two in five would allow sponsors to prohibit researchers from sharing data with third parties after the studies are completed, according to a survey by researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health. The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, examined the agreements between medical schools and the pharmaceutical companies that sponsor about 70 percent of the clinical drug trials in the United States.
  • Seventy-six percent of undergraduates in 2004 began the academic year holding credit cards, down from 83 percent in 2001, according to a study released Wednesday by Nellie Mae. The study also found a decline in the outstanding balance, which averaged $2,169 in 2004, down from $2,327 in 2001.
  • The athletics department at the University of Cincinnati announced a new "zero tolerance" policy on alcohol abuse last week, after a third official in the department in the last year was charged with driving under the influence, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Under the new policy, any athletics employee whose alcohol-related behavior "brings shame" to the university will be dismissed.
  • The Executive Council of the Modern Language Association on Wednesday sent a letter to the Association of University Teachers, Britain's primary faculty union, calling on it to end its boycott of two Israeli universities. The MLA letter said that the boycott "is damaging to the vital free exchange of ideas," and that the boycott ran counter to the MLA's belief that scholars should be judged not on the basis of their nationality, but on "the character and quality of their work."
  • The University of California at Berkeley and the City of Berkeley have resolved what was becoming a particularly ugly town-gown dispute over money and buildings. An agreement announced Wednesday covered university payments to the city, growth plans, transportation and efforts to promote the city's economy. Under the agreement, the university will pay the city $1.2 million annually, up from the current $500,000.
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