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Quick Takes: Berkeley Seeks to Assure Faculty on BP Deal, Death at Rider, Pentagon Clears MIT Researchers, Coach Quits After Religious Signs Removed, Online Offerings, Athlete Charged in Point Shaving, Cheerleading Dangers, Righting a Wrong in Oregon

April 2, 2007
  • The University of California at Berkeley has invited the professors who lead four Academic Senate  committees to  join in the contract negotiations to finalize a $500 million research pact between the energy giant  BP, the university, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The move comes as two petitions circulate at Berkeley. One is being signed by professors who fear the deal gives too much power to BP over faculty slots and resources, and calls for more faculty oversight of the deal. The other seeks to call the deal off, saying that BP is engaged in "greenwashing" -- trying to improve its reputation through the research. The deal was announced with much fanfare in February, and has drawn more questions since.
  • A freshman at Rider University died Friday morning after a night of drinking at the fraternity where he was a pledge, The Newark Star-Ledger reported. Officials are investigating whether hazing played a role in the drinking.
  • A Pentagon panel has cleared two Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers of misconduct charges related to their review of a missile test in 1997, and MIT is now considering the matter closed, The Boston Globe reported. The investigation was prompted by another MIT professor, who has charged previously that both MIT and the Pentagon were not pursuing his charges with enough vigor. The Pentagon found that the researchers who were investigated did leave out some information from their report that should have been included, but found that there were reasonable explanations for their actions.
  • Don Ingram, the baseball coach at Central Alabama Community College, resigned after the college ordered the removal from the outfield fence of two signs with religious messages, the Associated Press reported. One sign quoted a Bible verse and the other said, "True success is finding out what God wants you to do, then doing it." College officials said that the signs weren't appropriate for a public institution. In a letter to his team, Ingram did not criticize the university's decision, but said that "I have resigned because I will not compromise my commitment to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
  • Bachelor's programs top online offerings from colleges and universities, according to a survey released today by Eduventures. Bachelor's programs are followed by associate degree programs. The survey found that a "significant portion" of the bachelor's programs focuses on degree completion, not full degree programs.
  • A University of Toledo football player was arrested Friday and charged with a point-shaving scheme in which a gambler allegedly had him bribe team members to be sure a spread would be covered, The Toledo Blade reported. The player, Harvey "Scooter" McDougle, did not comment Friday, and the university suspended him from the team.
  • More than half of the most serious injuries to female high school and college athletes happen to cheerleaders, The New York Times reported, in an article looking at the increasing risks and dangers faced by squad members.
  • Legislation is moving in Oregon to award honorary degrees to those Japanese Americans who were forced to leave the state's public universities during World War II before they could complete their academic programs, The Oregonian reported.
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