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Quick Takes: U. of Chicago's Darfur Investments Criticized, 'Donations' for Fla. Chancellor Questioned, Nudity Cover-Up at Malone, Donor's Name Will Disappear, Aid Officers' Group Urges Help for Lenders, Study Finds Gender Bias in UK

Quick Takes: U. of Chicago's Darfur Investments Criticized, 'Donations' for Fla. Chancellor Questioned, Nudity Cover-Up at Malone, Donor's Name Will Disappear, Aid Officers' Group Urges Help for Lenders, Study Finds Gender Bias in UK
March 21, 2008
  • A panel of the City Council of Chicago voted Thursday to denounce the University of Chicago for refusing to bar investments in companies that do business in Sudan, the Chicago Tribune reported. The university's inaction, council members said, fails to recognize the evil of the genocide taking place in Darfur. Chicago officials cited traditions of academic freedom and noted that the university did not divest South Africa-related holdings during the divestment movement of the 1980s.
  • Legislators in Florida are questioning the practice of having public university foundations contribute funds to increase the salary and benefits of Mark Rosenberg, the university system's chancellor, The Palm Beach Post reported. System officials have said that the donations are voluntary and reflect a commitment to the system, but some legislators say universities feel pressure to contribute. One lawmaker described the situation to the newspaper as "soft extortion."
  • Malone College, in Ohio, wants its students clothed -- in the student newspaper and in dormitory hallways (among other places). The Canton Repository reported that the college removed hundreds of copies of The Aviso, the student newspaper, from campus because of a photograph of a group of naked male students in a dorm hallway. The photo -- apparently staged and with faces and certain other areas digitally blurred -- illustrated an article about a dorm director telling students it was inappropriate to go from one room to another in the dorm while naked, as some students had done. Malone this week made that an official policy, saying that students in dorm hallways must wear at least shorts, even while walking to the shower in a single-sex dormitory.
  • Dickie and Diane Scruggs, who have donated $25 million to the University of Mississippi, have asked that their names be removed from the music building, following his pleading guilty to charges of trying to bribe a judge, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. The couple did not ask for the donations to be returned.
  • The new head of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators urged Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in a letter Wednesday to consider using federal funds to ensure that lenders continue to have enough money to make student loans and provide benefits to borrowers this fall. In the letter, Philip R. Day Jr., who became NASFAA's president and CEO this winter, endorses calls by lawmakers and others for the department to push to ensure the viability of alternatives to the guaranteed loan program, including expanding access to the competing direct loan program and the government's "lender of last resort" initiative involving guarantee agencies. But because "these options are largely untested," Day also asked Spellings to consider bolstering the lender-based guaranteed loan program by "allowing non-bank student loan providers to use the loans that they have been unable to sell as collateral to borrow funds from the federal government so they can make loans this fall and to pursue other financial strategies in order to provide a backstop for this element of the marketplace." Some lenders and federal lawmakers have urged such actions as well, as a growing number of loan providers announce plans to stop originating student loans.
  • A new study finds that continued bias contributes to a gender gap in British science, The Guardian reported. In universities, the study found, women represent 54 percent of postdocs, 41 percent of lecturers, 31 percent of senior lecturers and 16 percent of professors.
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