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Quick Takes: CUNY Raising Admissions Standards, SAT's Unlikely Critic, Noel-Levitz Sold, Arrest for Koran Incidents, Fulbright Success, Animal Rights Win in UK, Logo Woes at Middlebury, Suit Over Referendum Language, U. of Toronto to Shut Shooting Range

July 30, 2007
  • The City University of New York is preparing to raise admissions standards for its senior colleges, starting with SAT mathematics minimums but later extending to other requirements as well, The New York Times reported. Community colleges in the CUNY system will not be affected.
  • An article by Christopher Shea in The Boston Globe's Ideas section Sunday explored the significance of Charles Murray, who cited IQ tests in his controversial work The Bell Curve and who is known for believing that intelligence can be measured, turning against the SAT. The Globe quotes one promnent SAT critic as calling Murray's conversion a "Nixon going to China" moment. Murray outlined his new position this month in an article in The American in which he said that the SAT provided little real information and that the test has become a "corrosive symbol of privilege."
  • Private investors have purchased Noel-Levitz, a major enrollment management and admissions consulting company, from Sallie Mae. Management of Noel-Levitz will remain the same. Kevin Crockett, president and CEO of Noel-Levitz, said in a statement that "while Sallie Mae has been very supportive of our mission, we both felt the time was right to separate our companies. Being an independent entity will better position Noel-Levitz to expand its business and serve its client base." Sallie Mae bought the company in 2000. The sale comes as Sallie Mae itself is poised to be sold to private investors.
  • A former student at Pace University was arrested last week and charged in incidents in which Korans were placed in toilets on the campus, The New York Daily News reported. The incidents distressed Muslim students and others at Pace.
  • Thirteen German studies seniors at Boston College this year -- almost half the graduating class -- won Fulbright scholarships for study in Germany. An article in The Boston Globe explored the college's unusual success -- which comes both from dynamic teaching and smart strategy. For example, students are encouraged to make proposals for study outside Berlin, especially in smaller cities, giving the Boston College students an edge over the many vying for slots in Berlin.
  • A British court, in a victory for animal rights groups, has ruled that the government must review its system for classifying the pain animals receive in certain experiments, The Times of London reported. The court questioned the procedures under which experiments on marmosets' brains approved for the University of Cambridge classified the pain caused as moderate, and not substantial. At the same time, the court rejected charges that the university did not adequately monitor the experiments.
  • After spending big bucks to design a new logo, Middlebury College is sticking with its traditional seal and saving the new "double leaf" logo for use in a forthcoming fund raising campaign. (Both the seal and the leaf logo are visible in this announcement from the college.) Many students were horrified by the leaf logo, and they took to Facebook to compare it to the Canadian flag and the children's book character Mr. Sneeze. Others saw marijuana imagery or the Star of David or both. One student said he was concerned that the new logo was so bad that Middlebury students would no longer be able to mock Williams College students for having a purple cow as a mascot. With that much at stake, it's no wonder that Middlebury administrators backed down.
  • The Missouri Civil Rights Initiative, which is organizing a referendum to ban affirmative action in public college admissions and other state activities, is suing state officials over changes in ballot language. Defenders of affirmative action have said that the language used in several successful campaigns against affirmative action isn't clear on what is being banned, but initiative officials say that state leaders are trying to use the language to make affirmative action look good.
  • The University of Toronto has decided to close a shooting range, and is being accused of unfair bias against people who use guns for legal sport.
    Catherine Riggall, the university's vice president of business affairs, told The Globe and Mail: "In today's world, even the perception of tolerance of guns and gun violence is seen as a negative. This is the last university in the country to have a gun range on campus.... it's just not seen as a priority activity." Kristofer Coward, a graduate student in mathematics who is among the 400 members of the rifle and revolver clubs at the university, told the paper that "the big distinction is that shooting is a politically incorrect sport."
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