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Quick Takes: Court Rejects Warrantless Dorm Search, Gettysburg Drops SAT, Officials Said to Have Bought Degrees, Floundering Plan for European Version of MIT, Economist Wins Peace Prize, Madison Joins Google Project, Margaret Spellings and Carson Kressley

October 13, 2006
  • A California appeals court ruled Wednesday that police could not enter the dormitory room of a student without a warrant, even if invited to do so by campus security officers. The court found that because the risks associated with the search were faced by the student who lived there, not his institution (in this case Santa Clara University), only the student could consent to the search. At the same time, however, the court ruled that the marijuana and money found in the dorm room could be used in legal proceedings against the student because, in this case, the police would have inevitably obtained the evidence legally.
  • Gettysburg College announced Thursday that, following a faculty vote, the SAT would no longer be required for undergraduate admissions. College officials said that they believed high school grades did a better job of predicting college success. The Gettysburg vote comes amid reports that many liberal arts colleges are considering similar moves.
  • Lawyers defending those accused in a federal court of running a diploma mill revealed Wednesday that 135 federal employees, including a White House official, purchased degrees from the operation, the Associated Press reported. The names of the federal officials were not revealed.
  • A plan by the European Commission to create the European Institute of Technology -- in part to compete with American institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- is floundering, reported The Times of London. According to the newspaper, businesses are not lining up to support the project and many European academics fear that it would take money from their own institutions. The real MIT, meanwhile, is expanding its role in Europe with a new agreement to collaborate with universities in Portugal.
  • Muhammad Yunus, an economist in Bangladesh, and the Grameen Bank won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize this morning for their work promoting "micro credit," in which small loans are provided to extremely poor people who do not have the resources to qualify for traditional loans. Yunus, founder of the movement, is a professor at Chittagong University. Through the Fulbright Program, Yunus studied at Vanderbilt University, earning his Ph.D. there, and teaching at Middle Tennessee State University before returning to Bangladesh.
  • The University of Wisconsin at Madison said Thursday that it had reached an agreement to become the latest institution to join Google's Book Search project. The agreement will add the more than 7.2 million holdings in the university's libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society's library.
  • What does Margaret Spellings, the secretary of education, have in common with Carson Kressley of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," Sam Waterston of "Law & Order," Susan Lucci of "All My Children" and Isaac Mizrahi, the designer? All will be guests on this fall's "Celebrity Jeopardy" shows. If Spellings gets to say, "I'll take unit records for $400," our money is on the secretary.
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