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Quick Takes: Yale Approves Tenure Reforms, UCLA Admits More Black Applicants, Virginia Intermont Could Close, New Push Against Bush Institute, Fisk Sale of O'Keeffe Painting Blocked, Saint Joseph's Paper Apologizes, Guggenheim Winners Named

April 6, 2007
  • Yale University will move ahead with a tenure reform plan that is designed to create for the first time at the institutions a true tenure track -- with a path for some junior professors to be promoted. Yale has been among a handful of institutions without such a track. The plan also calls for the institution to pay more attention to the professional needs of junior faculty members, and to provide better guidance about expectations for job performance.
  • The University of California at Los Angeles admitted more black applicants this year than last year -- up to 392, from 249 -- following changes in admissions policies, the Los Angeles Times reported. UCLA moved to "holistic" admissions after last fall's entering class included only about 100 black freshmen, or 2 percent of the class.
  • Virginia Intermont College needs about $4 million to stay open, the Associated Press reported. The college does not currently have enough money to sign contracts with professors, the AP said, and officials are exploring merger possibilities with a yet-to-be-revealed private institution in the state.
  • Professors at Southern Methodist University have launched a new petition drive against locating a policy institute -- with an openly partisan agenda and without university control -- on the SMU campus. The petition suggests that the Bush presidential library and museum would be welcome at SMU, but not the institute. For months now, SMU administrators have been trying to finalize a deal to build the Bush library and institute -- and professors have been arguing that the institute especially would degrade academic values.
  • The attorney general of Tennessee on Thursday blocked a planned sale by Fisk University of a much loved Georgia O'Keeffe painting, saying that the price of the proposed sale was too low. The result of the decision could be a windfall for Fisk, which has been trying to sell the painting to raise funds and agreed to sell it to the O'Keeffe Museum in New Mexico for $7 million, if the university couldn't raise money to keep the work. Amid reports that the university was offered up to $25 million for the painting, the ruling said that the deal was not in the public interest. More court hearings are expected. The fate of the painting has spurred a national debate about the appropriate circumstances, if any, for colleges to sell works of art.
  • Editors of The Hawk, the student newspaper of Saint Joseph's University, have apologized for a joke issue last week that called the archbishop of Philadelphia gay, and mocked Jesuits in numerous articles.
  • The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation on Thursday announced that 189 people -- many of them professors -- were winners of the foundation's fellowships.
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