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Quick Takes: George Washington Accepts Adjunct Ruling, Law School's Diversity Policy, Study Blasts Speech Codes, Cal State's Cyprus Policy, Conservative Jewish Seminaries Can Admit Gay Students, Abortion Wars at Canadian University

December 7, 2006
  • George Washington University announced Wednesday that it would not appeal a federal appeals court ruling upholding the vote by its part-time professors to unionize. The university had questioned the fairness of the vote, but said that it had determined that the interests of all involved would not be served by additional appeals.
  • Wayne State University's law faculty approved a new admissions policy Wednesday, in response to Michigan's ban on affirmative action. The policy will focus admissions decisions on grades and test scores, but will also allow consideration of other factors, including having overcome prejudice and discrimination. An earlier version of the policy would have granted a preference to students who are Native Americans, but that was amended by the faculty to favor people who have lived abroad or have experience living on a reservation.
  • The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education on Wednesday released a study finding that speech codes are "commonplace" in American higher education, despite court rulings against them at public institutions and policies at many private colleges that would preclude them. Speech codes are "more pervasive and restrictive than ever," according to Greg Lukianoff, the president of FIRE.
  • A trustee committee of the California State Universty System rebuffed a request from Cyprus to shut down San Diego State University's study abroad program on the Turkish-run part of the island, The Los Angeles Times  reported. Cyprus said it was "illegal" to operate the program there, but students and faculty members involved in the program appealed to keep it and said academic freedom would be hurt if the university gave in to pressure from Cyprus.
  • A series of votes Wednesday by a key committee of the Conservative branch of Judaism gave permission to the University of Judaism and the Jewish Theological Seminary to admit gay students to rabbinic programs, The Los Angeles Times reported. The seminary at the University of Judaism is expected to soon start enrolling gay students, and the Jewish Theological Seminary announced a process under which it would consider the issue.
  • In a dispute that has drawn nationwide attention in Canada, the student government of Carleton University, in Ottawa, voted Tuesday to ban giving any of its money or recognition to student groups that oppose abortion rights, CBC News reported. Proponents of the ban said that any groups that are against abortion are against women's rights and don't deserve support. The university, however, is taking steps to distance itself from the student government's position. A university statement released immediately after the vote said that Carleton was committed to respecting "a diversity of opinion" and that the university would continue to provide support and space for a range of groups, including those that the student government declined to fund.
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