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Quick Takes: Southern Illinois Ends Minority-Only Fellowships, New GRE Is Delayed, SMART Grant Becomes Law, House Leaders Back McKeon as Education Chair, Canadian and Welsh Student Papers Publish Cartoon of Muhammad

February 9, 2006
  • Southern Illinois University announced on Wednesday that it would end rules that limit participation in three graduate fellowship programs on the Carbondale campus to either minority or female students. The announcement was part of an agreement -- to be filed in federal court today -- with the U.S. Justice Department, which has questioned the constitutionality of the programs. The three programs have between them only 28 of the 4,071 graduate students at the university. Hundreds of minority students and female students receive fellowship assistance as graduate students at Southern Illinois and officials stressed that such aid would continue. Many universities -- under pressure from the Justice Department or groups opposed to affirmative action -- have made changes similar to those announced at Southern Illinois.
  • The Educational Testing Service announced Wednesday that it is pushing back the debut of the new, all-online Graduate Record Examinations by a year, to the fall of 2007. Officials said that they needed more time for the transition from a test that mixes paper and computers to the version that will be entirely electronic.
  • President Bush on Wednesday signed into law a budget reconciliation measure that will create a new two-pronged grant program aimed at drawing more students from low- and middle-income families into scientific disciplines and make a slew of other changes in federal loan programs.
  • Republican leaders in the House of Representatives endorsed the candidacy of Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-Calif.) to become the new chairman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. The House Republican Steering Committee backed McKeon's bid to replace Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who was chosen last week to become House Majority Leader. McKeon has been chairman of the panel's Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, which deals most directly with higher education issues.
  • The Cadre, the student newspaper at the University of Prince Edward Island, has published the controversial cartoon of Muhammad that has set off prostests in Islamic countries worldwide, The Globe and Mail reported. University administrators threatened to remove copies of the paper from campus buildings, the newspaper said. Across the Atlantic, the student paper at Cardiff University, in Wales, suspended its editor and recalled the latest edition of the weekly after it published the controversial Danish cartoon, The Daily Telegraph reported. The British newspaper said that Gair Rhydd, the newspaper of the student union at Cardiff, had become the first paper in the United Kingdom to publish the cartoon.
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