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Quick Takes: U. of Washington Beats Stanford for Fraga, Guilty Pleas in Cuba Case, Bias Claim Against Slippery Rock, Israeli Court Rules on Rights of Palestinian Students, Oxford Faculty Rejects Governance Shift

December 20, 2006
  • Luis Fraga, a prominent ethnic studies scholar at Stanford University, is leaving for the University of Washington, The San Jose Mercury-News reported. Fraga is the third political scientist with a focus on issues involving race and ethnicity to leave Stanford recently, prompting some students and alumni to question the department's commitment to such study.
  • A Florida International University professor and his wife, a counselor at the university, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to reduced charges related to providing assistant to Cuba -- after they were initially charged with being Cuban agents, the Associated Press reported. Lawyers for Elsa and Carlos Alvarez said, however, that they were not trying to be spies or to hurt anyone in the United States.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Tuesday that Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania couldn't defend itself from bias charges brought a woman turned down for a locksmith's position by citing her lack of some published criteria for the job, because the university ended up hiring a man who also lacked some of the criteria. As a result, the appeals court revived the gender discrimination claim and ordered a lower court to consider the facts in the case.
  • Israel's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the country's government to provide specific criteria that it would use to determine whether Palestinian students may travel to Israel to enroll at universities there, Haaretz reported. The ruling challenges broad bans that have been used to prevent Palestinian students from traveling to and from Israeli universities. The ruling was prompted by the case of a Palestinian student who lives on the West Bank and who was admitted to a doctoral program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  • The faculty of the University of Oxford has given a final rejection to a plan to overhaul the university's governance and give more control to outsiders similar to boards of trustees in the United States. Oxford administrators have been pushing for such a change, saying that it is needed to provide the university with sound management. But dons have protested that their role would be diminished and academic values would be compromised. At a November faculty meeting, 62 percent voted down the plan, but Oxford administrators exercised their right to have a mail ballot of all professors. In that vote, 61 percent of professors opposed the plan. Oxford announced the results Tuesday. John Hood, the vice chancellor (the top position) at the university and a leading proponent of the rejected reform plan, issued a statement saying that "the priority now is for the university to come together in order to advance Oxford’s standing as a pre-eminent democratic and scholarly community."
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