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Quick Takes: Win for Evolution, Ex-President of Tex. Southern Indicted, Cal State Must Pay for Expansion Impact, AAU Weighs In on Commission, $105M for Stanford, Shifts in CUNY Funding, Nelnet-Peterson's, Cal. May Join Google Project, 'Miss Tuskegee'

August 2, 2006
  • Victories by moderates in the Kansas Republican primaries Tuesday suggest that a majority on the State Board of Education will soon oppose efforts to teach intelligent design as a theory deserving equal consideration with evolution, Reuters reported. The Kansas board has pushed intelligent design, a theory viewed by a wide consensus of scientists as non-scientific, as an alternative to evolution.
  • Priscilla Slade, the former president of Texas Southern University, was indicted Tuesday on charges of using university money for her own benefit, and three other former Texas Southern employees were indicted as well in the case, The Houston Chronicle reported. A grand jury has been reviewing allegations that Slade used university money on her private home and for her own benefit. Those charges led Texas Southern to force Slade out of her job. Slade has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. Prior to the financial scandal, she had a generally positive reputation at Texas Southern, and was credited for helping the historically black institution attract more students and support.
  • The California Supreme Court has ruled that the California State University System is responsible for paying to mininize the environmental impact of the expansion of its Monterey Bay campus.
  • The Association of American Universities has issued a thorough critique of the second draft report by the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Robert M. Berdahl, president of the association of 60 of the country's leading public and private research institutions, says that the group's members agree with much of the draft report's overall points, but bemoan its lack of attention to higher education's research and graduate education missions and its emphasis on preparing students for the work force. "America values higher education not only because it qualifies students for jobs but because it enriches their intellects and makes them better citizens," the AAU document says.
  • The founder of Nike has pledged $105 million to Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, school officials announced Tuesday. All but $5 million of the money from Philip H. Knight, who received his M.B.A. from Stanford in 1962, will be used to build a new campus for the business school; the rest will provide matching funds to be used for faculty hiring, to help the school carry out a curricular reform that it announced in June.
  • The proportion of the City University of New York's budget provided through direct state aid has fallen to 48 percent from 68 percent since 1989, while the proportion made up through tuition has risen to 42 percent from 20 percent in that time, a study by New York City's Independent Budget Office has found. Overall funding for the system's senior and junior colleges increased during that period, but support for both sets of institutions failed to keep pace with inflation, the city agency found.
  • Nelnet, a student loan company based in Nebraska, has purchased Peterson's, the higher education¬†information provider, from the Thomson Corporation, Nelnet announced last week. Peterson's produces college guides, financial aid information, and other services for students, parents and colleges.
  • The University of California is in negotiations with Google to add the system's extensive libraries to the company's book digitization program, the Los Angeles Times reported. Several other major universities are already working with Google. While some scholars and university officials see the project as a major advance in making knowledge available, others fear the impact on copyright.
  • A federal court has ruled that Tuskegee University is within its rights to take its Miss Tuskegee University award away from one student and give it to another who was erroneously denied the award, the university announced Tuesday. Tuskegee had given the award and the accompanying scholarship to Emilia Sykes in April, but university officials subsequently learned that a timer's error had improperly penalized the runner-up, Calinda Joy Caldwell, who was then given the award. Sykes sued, but a judge tossed out most of the lawsuit.
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