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Quick Takes: Report Reviews Tech and Higher Ed Issues, Key Senate Aide to Depart, Criticism at Baton Rouge Community College, Auburn Urged to Revamp Board, $100 Million for Baylor Med, Muscatine Drops 'Indians' Name, Punctuation Errors at Stanford

February 1, 2006
  • Social-computing tools and mobile technologies are becoming more important for colleges, according to a report issued Tuesday by the New Media Consortium and Educause. The report -- an annual look at technology and higher education -- also suggests that colleges not assume technological literacy, even by the generation of students arriving on campuses now.
  • Jane Oates, U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's chief higher education aide, is leaving her job after more than eight years to become the point person on higher education issues for New Jersey's new governor, Jon Corzine. Oates, who leaves the Senate at the end of February, is widely viewed as among the most influential higher education policy makers in the country, partly because of her boss's role but largely because of her accumulated knowledge about and passion for higher education. "Jane is a little larger than life, a one-person institution," said David Baime, vice president for government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • Anonymous letters complaining about the leadership of Baton Rouge Community College have been turning up in legislators' mail, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported. The letters charge intimidation of faculty members and excessive spending by administrators. Officials of the state community college system say that there are no changes worth investigating, but some legislators disagree.
  • A consultant's report urges Auburn University to revamp its board structure, which the report says results in a weakened president dealing with powerful trustees. Auburn has faced repeated criticism from faculty members and others over the role trustees play on campus.
  • The Baylor College of Medicine on Tuesday announced a $100 million gift -- from Dan L. Duncan, an executive in the energy industry -- for cancer research, education and treatment.
  • Muscatine Community College, in Iowa, has decided to stop using "Indians" as its team name, the Associated Press reported. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has been pushing colleges to eliminate such names. Muscatine is not part of the NCAA, but officials said they wanted to act before the name became an issue.
  • Punctuation errors on a plaque at Stanford University have upset careful readers in Palo Alto, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The plaque, about a key point in the university's history, currently states that "the Stanford's purchased 'the farm' from the Gordon's in 1876.'' The newspaper reported that Stanford is working on a correction.
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