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Quick Takes: Rolla Cancels Classes Amid Threat, House Passes Repeal of Pell Restriction, Punishment Lifted Over Watermelon Question, Enrollments Up in India

February 28, 2007
  • The University of Missouri at Rolla on Tuesday called off all classes after receiving a threat of a "terrorist type action" against one of the buildings on campus. The Kansas City Star reported that authorities believe that the threat was made by a distraught international student with a vendetta, and not by a terrorist group. A male student was arrested with substances that could have been used for a bomb.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Tuesday that would end a federal rule that limits that size of Pell Grant awards for students at low-cost colleges. The practice, known as tuition sensitivity, has particularly affected students at community colleges, especially those, like in California, that charge very low tuitions. The House legislation, which was co-sponsored by Rep. George Miller and Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon, the chairman and senior Republican, respectively, on the House Education and Labor Committee, would repeal the rule for the 2007-8 fiscal year, increasing Pell awards by an average of $108 for the 96,000 students affected by the current restriction.
  • The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education on Tuesday announced that Bellevue Community College had agreed not to suspend a professor for a week without pay because of a question on a math test featuring a woman named Condoleezza dropping a watermelon off the roof of a federal building. The question was viewed by many as a racist reference to the secretary of state. The professor apologized, but said that no offense was intended and that no suspension was appropriate.
  • Enrollments are surging in India, according to data released in the government's annual economic survey. Total enrollment hit 10.48 million in 2004-5, up 44 percent from 1997-8. The enrollment increases were most notable for women, who in 2004-5 represent 40 percent of students, up from 34 percent in 1997-8.
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