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Quick Takes: Hiring Dispute at MIT, Cuts in N.J., Credit Card Debt, Wyoming Murders, U.Va. Dean Lied to Feds, Death at Roanoke, GAO Studies File Sharing, Police Chief's Past, Nepotism in Alabama, Probation for Ky. Wesleyan, Research on Prisoners

July 17, 2006
  • Eleven professors have written a letter charging that Susumu Tonegawa, a prominent neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, intimidated a rising star in science -- Alla Karpova -- and dissuaded her from accepting a position at MIT, The Boston Globe reported. Other scientists have written their own letter, the Globe reported, defending Tonegawa and saying that all he had done was state his lack of interest in working with Karpova, who turned down MIT and has accepted a position with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. MIT officials are investigating the situation.
  • The board of Rutgers University on Friday approved $50 million in spending cuts, following adoption by lawmakers of a state budget that contained cuts for higher education and many other state programs. The cuts include the elimination of as many as 750 positions, most of them part-time lecturers who will not be reappointed; the cancellation of 100 faculty searches; and the elimination of an estimated 800 courses and class sections. Rutgers is also eliminating six intercollegiate sports: men's heavyweight crew, men's lightweight crew, men's fencing, women's fencing, men's swimming and diving, and men's tennis. The College of New Jersey on Sunday also announced its plan for dealing with the loss of $8 million in state funds, which will include cutting funds for its men's golf and cheerleading squads, eliminating $1.4 million in unfilled nonfaculty positions, and leaving 13 tenure-track faculty lines open, among many other changes. 
  • More than half of dependent undergraduates own at least one credit card, and almost a quarter of undergraduates carry a balance on their cards from month to month, according to a report released Friday by the American Council on Education. The median debt for those with monthly balances was $1,000.
  • Three University of Wyoming students were found dead Sunday in an off-campus home. The Associated Press reported that police were investigating the deaths, which were violent, as a triple murder or a murder-suicide.
  • The University of Virginia placed M. Rick Turner, its dean of African-American affairs, on leave Friday after he signed an agreement with federal authorities in which he admitted to lying about "the activities of a known drug dealer," The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported.
  • A retired pastor was killed Friday and more than 100 others staying in a Roanoke College dormitory reported signs of carbon monoxide exposure and some of them required hospitalization. They were attending a conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America when the apparent carbon monoxide leak took place in the dorm in which they were staying. Participants were moved to another dormitory for the remainder of the conference while college and local officials tried to determine what caused the tragedy.
  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office is surveying colleges on their policies on illegal file sharing. A detailed questionnaire sent to colleges includes questions on policies, the availability of legal sources of cheap music for students, and punishments taken by colleges against students or employees. The GAO, the research arm of Congress, is preparing a report on these subjects for the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.
  • McDonald Vick, police chief at the University of Kentucky, quit last week after court documents revealed that he had paid $25,000 to a former subordinate -- with whom he had had an affair while she worked for him at North Carolina Central University -- to drop a harassment lawsuit, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
  • At least 14 presidents, deans or other senior administrators of Alabama's community colleges have relatives working in the two-year college system, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association has placed Kentucky Wesleyan College on probation for three years for having 45 athletes play while not eligible. The NCAA also vacated all contests in which the athletes played. Kentucky Wesleyan did not contest the findings.
  • The Institute of Medicine has issued a report calling for an overhaul of the protections appropriate when conducting biomedical and other research on prisoners.
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