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Quick Takes: Arizona Debates Partner Benefits, Harassment Suit Settled, West Virginia Sues Over Coach's Departure, Impact of Immigration Law, Suit Over Terms of 1853 Gift, Banned Words for the Year

January 2, 2008
  • Arizona is the latest state where extending health benefits to the partners of gay employees in public higher education has become controversial. Capital Media Services reported that the administration of Gov. Janet Napolitano has moved through the state regulatory process to add the benefits, arguing that offering them will make the state's colleges more competitive in recruiting employees. But the Center for Arizona Policy, a group that describes itself as supporting "traditional moral principles," has filed objections to the plan.
  • A doctoral student and Indiana University of Pennsylvania have reached a settlement of his suit charging that Jennifer Gossett, a criminology professor who has written about faculty-student relationships, sabotaged his dissertation after he rejected her advances, the Associated Press reported. Details of the settlement were not released, but the lawyer for Shane Sandrige, the student, said he could remain in the doctoral program. State officials have denied the allegations.
  • West Virginia University has sued its recently departed football coach, Rich Rodriguez, in an effort to recoup $4 million that the university asserts Rodriguez owes for violating a buyout clause. Rodriguez agreed last month to take over as head coach at the University of Michigan, and West Virginia's lawsuit, filed in state court, asks a judge to rule that the university did not breach its employment contract with Rodriguez, as some supporters of the coach have suggested. The contract states that Rodriguez owes the university $4 million within two years if he leaves the university during the term of the deal.
  • As a result of a new state measure barring students without documentation to legally stay in the United States from receiving in-state tuition rates, the University of Arizona has reclassified 119 students as out-of-state students, The Tucson Citizen reported. University officials expect that many of those students do have legal status, but haven't provided documentation. For those that don't have legal status -- at least six so far -- private donors plan to pay the extra tuition now required.
  • In 1853, Erskine College, in South Carolina, gave John N. Davis certificates good for 25 scholarships in return for a gift of $100. While the college believes those certificates were good for only 25 years, two of the heirs to Davis believe that they are still good, and they are going to court to try to enforce them, The Greenville News reported.
  • Lake Superior State University has released its annual list of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. Among this year's newly banned words and phrases: Webinar, organic, post-9/11, and random. In what the university called "a gesture of humanitarian relief," the ban was lifted on one of last year's words (truthiness) since it is a favorite of a television humorist who is among those suffering from the writers' strike.
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