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Quick Takes: Duke Lifts Lacrosse Players Suspensions, Michigan Delays Admissions Decisions, No Jail Time in Morris Brown Case, 'Quality Counts' 2007 Released, Patent Suit Over Cell Phone Technology, Israeli Students Strike

January 4, 2007
  • Duke University announced Wednesday that two of its students who were indicted on charges last year arising out of a party by lacrosse players were no longer blocked from enrolling at the university. (The third indicted player already has graduated.) A statement from the university noted that the university's policies with regard to those accused of violent acts attempt to balance the need for safety and security with the presumption of innocence. The statement noted that many circumstances about the case have changed, most notably the dropping of rape charges. Said Richard H. Brodhead, Duke's president: “We have decided that the right and fair thing to do is to welcome back Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty to resume their studies at Duke for the spring semester. Although the students still face serious charges and larger issues require Duke’s collective attention, the circumstances in this case have changed substantially, and it is appropriate that the students have an opportunity to continue their education.”   
  • The University of Michigan is delaying any new admissions decisions until January 10 as the institution tries to figure out how to comply with a federal court's order to immediately comply with a new state law barring the use of affirmative action in admissions. The university asked for a delay in the law, which took effect last month, arguing that it would be unfair and inconsistent to change admissions policies in the middle of the annual cycle. But a federal appeals court last week rejected that argument.
  • The former president and former financial aid director of Morris Brown College received sentences of home confinement and probation for embezzling federal financial aid funds, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors told the AP that the lack of jail time reflected, among other things, that the funds were not used for personal gain, but for the college. The embezzlement took place as the historically black college in Atlanta, which lost its accreditation, was facing serious financial shortfalls.
  • Education Week has released its annual "Quality Counts" look at education nationally and in the states. While the articles and data focus on elementary and secondary education, additional information this year examines state policies and performance in higher education.
  • A research foundation that represents the University of Washington is suing Matsushita, Samsung and Nokia, charging that the companies' use of cell phone technology infringes on patents held by the university, The Seattle Times reported. Company officials did not respond to the newspaper's request for comment.
  • Students at Israeli universities started a strike Wednesday, protesting the creation of a government committee that is expected to call for significant tuition hikes, Haaretz reported.
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