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Quick Takes: Riot at UMass, Fallout From Iran's Holocaust Gathering, Michigan AG Opposes Universities on Prop 2, Case Western's New Chief, Full Aid for All at Ventura, Racial Tensions at Trinity of Connecticut, Who Gets in to Oxford?

December 18, 2006
  • A riot broke out at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst late Friday when an estimated 1,800 students left their dormitories shortly after the university's football team lost the Division I-AA football championship game to Appalachian State University. A university statement said that 10 students were arrested, two police officers were injured, and property damage was "substantial." More arrests are possible -- as are a range of disciplinary actions -- following review of security tapes. Fires were set, windows were smashed, and students threw bottles, cans, trash cans and bicycles at police officers, according to the university.
  • Thirty-four of the leading public policy institutes around the world issued a statement on Friday cutting off any ties to the Institute for Political and International Studies, an arm of Iran's Foreign Ministry, The New York Times reported. The policy centers acted because that institute helped coordinate last week's gathering of Holocaust deniers and others to discuss the Holocaust under the guise of being an academic conference. The Times reported that François Heisbourg, head of the Foundation for Strategic Research, in Paris, organized the effort, saying “This is about morality and about academic standards.”
  • Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced last week that he would fight a bid by three public universities to be able to complete this year's admissions cycle without following Proposition 2, the measure to ban affirmative action that the state's voters adopted in November and that takes effect at the end of this week. Michigan State University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan have argued that it would be both unfair and needlessly complicated to switch admissions standards in the middle of an admissions cycle, but Cox said that they were trying to undermine Proposition 2.
  • Barbara R. Snyder, provost of Ohio State University, was on Friday named the next president of Case Western Reserve University. Snyder, who started her academic career teaching law at Case Western, pledged to work closely with faculty members, who voted no confidence in Edward M. Hundert, leading him to resign as president in March. Professors complained about poor budget choices and poor communication. In an e-mail interview, Snyder said she was confident she could collaborate with professors. "An effective shared governance process is necessary for the university to achieve its goals," she said, adding that "nothing promotes trust more than being  trustworthy." Of the university's finances, she said that the cuts of the last year appear to be bringing the budget into balance, and that looking ahead, she would seek "a more diversified approach to extramural funding and
    development." Lawrence Krauss, a physics professor who organized the vote of no confidence in the previous president, said he was impressed with Snyder's selection. Krauss said that the search process included significant faculty involvement, and that Snyder is "clearly an intelligent and personable individual with a grasp of the key issues that we face."
  • The Ventura College Foundation, which supports many programs at the California community college, is now paying full tuition costs for all high school graduates in the institution's district, the Los Angeles Times reported.
  • Trinity College in Connecticut has experienced racial tensions throughout the semester, and administrators and students are both talking more than they have in the past about issues of race and community, The New York Times reported.
  • The University of Oxford, in Britain, has been under intense pressure to admit more students who don't come from elite private schools. But The Times of London reported data -- of the sort never before released in Britain -- showing that most schools that educate low-income students are sending very few on to Oxford, and that the university's outreach efforts may be primarily benefiting those from wealthy families who happen to attend public high schools.
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