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Quick Takes: Welfare Rules Could Limit Higher Ed Access, Jail Time for Scientific Fraud, Senate Democrats Decry Loan Debt, Research on Student Mental Health, Questions on Carnegie Mellon Ties, Raises in Ontario

June 29, 2006
  • The Bush administration today published interim rules in the Federal Register that are expected to encourage states to limit the number of welfare recipients in college programs, in some cases below current levels. Administration officials said Wednesday that the new rules would get more low-income Americans working, but college officials -- especially at two-year institutions -- have repeatedly argued against such changes.
  • In a punishment that legal officials said sets a new precedent, a federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former professor at the University of Vermont to one year and a day in prison for fabricating data, The Burlington Free Press reported. While Eric Poehlman admitted to falsifying a number of studies, the crime came when he used false data in 1999 to apply for a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday released a state-by-state look at how rising tuitions and mounting loan debt are affecting students, a report intended to bolster legislation party leaders have put forward to halve loan interest rates and sharply increase the size of the maximum Pell Grant. "The federal government needs to do more to help families," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said in a news release. "The American Dream is at risk if we fail to make college more affordable. Graduates should not have to choose between paying off their college loans and buying a home or having a family."
  • The Center for the Study of College Student Mental Health is being created at Pennsylvania State University. The center will seek to collect and publicize current information about the mental health of students so that campus counseling centers have the most up-to-date data.
  • Some members of Congress are questioning an arrangement under which a key cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security is a contract employee with Carnegie Mellon University, an institution that (in addition to its expertise in cybersecurity) does extensive business with the department he manages, the Associated Press reported.
  • Faculty members at community colleges in Ontario will receive a 15.3 percent raise over four years, 2.7 percentage points more than a previous offer from the province's colleges, under an arbitrator's ruling, The Toronto Star reported. The arbitrator also ordered further study of workload and class size issues. In March, the faculty union and the colleges agreed to abide by an arbitrator's ruling to end a strike by most professors.
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