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Quick Takes: House Reiterates Solomon Amendment, Diversity Ideas at Michigan, Merger of High-Speed Networks On Again, Purdue Makes Deal Others Rejected, Nothing Unsafe Found at Susquehanna, Orange Coast Will Sell Island, Ph.D. in Happiness

Quick Takes: House Reiterates Solomon Amendment, Diversity Ideas at Michigan, Merger of High-Speed Networks On Again, Purdue Makes Deal Others Rejected, Nothing Unsafe Found at Susquehanna, Orange Coast Will Sell Island, Ph.D. in Happiness
March 16, 2007
  • The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill barring no-bid contracts after attaching an amendment that would block federal funds from going to colleges that bar military recruiters. Following a series of court rulings, almost all colleges already allow military recruiters, so the move is almost entirely symbolic. Some colleges barred the recruiters because of the military's discrimination against gay employees, but with the Solomon Amendment -- which bars such bans at institutions receiving federal funds -- having been upheld by the courts and tacked on to many pieces of legislation, the issue is largely moot.
  • Leaders of Internet2 and National LambdaRail have announced that their planned merger -- which was called off last year amid perceived turf battles between the two organizations -- is back on again. The two consortiums, both of which operate high-speed computing networks for scholars, had announced in 2005 that they would merge, but negotiations broke off last summer, to the dismay of campus technology officials who have complained that there is no reason for academe to support two overlapping networks. In their announcement Saturday, the chairmen of the boards of the two organizations said that they would form one corporation with a new CEO.
  • A special panel at the University of Michigan on Thursday released a report on ways to promote diversity in the wake of the state's ban on affirmative action at public colleges. Among the recommendations: increased outreach efforts and more ambitious use of financial aid.
  • Purdue University is announcing a $100 million biomedical engineering research deal today with the Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering, which was rejected by several other universities that found it wanted too much control over how the funds would be spent, The Indianapolis Star reported.
  • Preliminary air, soil and water testing of a site some believe to be the source of a possible cancer cluster among young Susquehanna University alumni did not detect any unsafe levels of contaminants in the offending area, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday. Both the state health department and the environmental department had determined that the area in question did not pose a danger prior to the publication of a newspaper investigation indicating a possible cluster earlier this month. The health department is currently completing a cancer data analysis of previously enrolled Susquehanna students and alumni, and environmental testing will continue.
  • The Orange Coast College Foundation on Thursday voted to sell Rabbit Island, a small island off the coast of Vancouver that may be worth up to $1 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some students object to the sale, but college officials said that they have found it difficult to set up programs there.
  • Claremont Graduate University is starting a new Ph.D. program in positive psychology -- believed to be the first doctoral program that will focus on how people get happy.
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