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Quick Takes: Kansas Professor Apologizes, Relief for Foreign Students Hurt by Hurricanes, New Chief for Medical College Group, Court Sides With eCollege in Patent Dispute, Muslim Sorority, Kaplan Buys British College, FIRE Takes on Phi Beta Kappa

Quick Takes: Kansas Professor Apologizes, Relief for Foreign Students Hurt by Hurricanes, New Chief for Medical College Group, Court Sides With eCollege in Patent Dispute, Muslim Sorority, Kaplan Buys British College, FIRE Takes on Phi Beta Kappa
November 30, 2005
  • A professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas has apologized for online comments he made about religious fundamentalists. Paul Mirecki, the chair of religious studies, made the comments to a listserv about a new course he has created about intelligent design.“The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category ‘mythology,'" he wrote in the message, which created a political stir in Kansas after it became public. In his apology, Mirecki called his message "ill-advised." He added: "There is no place for impertinence and name calling in a serious academic class. My words in the e-mail do not represent my teaching philosophy or the style I use in class."
  • The Department of Homeland Security has published guidelines temporarily suspending certain federal rules governing students from outside the United States who were studying at institutions affected by Hurricane Katrina. Under the guidelines, students on F-1 visas who are experiencing economic hardship because of the hurricane's effects can until February work more hours and take a lighter courseload than would normally be permitted.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges on Tuesday named Darrell G. Kirch as its next president, replacing Jordan J. Cohen in June. Kirch is senior vice president for health affairs at Pennsylvania State University, dean of the Penn State College of Medicine,and CEO of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He was previously dean of the school of medicine at the Medical College of Georgia.
  • eCollege and two other e-learning companies did not infringe the patent of a software company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Tuesday. The appeals panel upheld a lower court's ruling in a lawsuit brought by IP Innovation against eCollege.com, DigitalThink, and Docent.
  • Students at Guilford College have founded what is believed to be the first Muslim sorority in the United States, the Associated Press reported. In accordance with Muslim practice, the sorority's parties will not have either men or alcohol.
  • Kaplan announced Tuesday the purchase of Holborn College, a school of business and law based in London.
  • The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is calling on Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society, to start demanding that its member colleges drop speech codes that limit what students and faculty members can say. While Phi Beta Kappa has spoken out about academic freedom, it has not gotten involved in debates over speech codes.
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