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Quick Takes: Longer Waiting Lists, Juicy Answers Back, Texas Southern Ex-President Settles, Partial Vindication for Prof Fired Over E-Mail to Foreign Student, U.S. Guidance for Guarantors, Davidson's Student Fans Win Big

March 27, 2008
  • Colleges are upping the number of applicants they place on waiting lists this year, given that major changes in the economy and institutional aid policies have more admissions officials feeling uncertain about what their yields -- the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll -- will be, The Boston Globe reported. Waiting list totals are up 50 percent at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 22 percent at the University of Vermont, 17 percent at Northeastern University, and 15 percent at Dartmouth College, the Globe reported.
  • As its notoriety has grown, JuicyCampus.com has largely refused to respond to the controversy over its Web site, which allows college students to anonymously post comments that -- without any verification -- frequently make rude or lewd remarks about fellow students. But with the New Jersey and Connecticut attorneys general now investigating, the Web site's founders have posted a response online. In their reply, the founders note that they have been open from their launch that they are gossip site and don't try to verify the accuracy of postings. They go on to say that federal court rulings have declined to hold similar Web sites responsible for such statements. The investigations are "heavy-handed" and a "waste of government resources," the statement says.
  • The former president of Texas Southern University has agreed to repay $127,672 to the institution to avoid jail time, part of an agreement in which Priscilla Slade pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges that she misspent funds, The Houston Chronicle reported. The agreement with local authorities will avoid a second trial for Slade -- the first ended in a mistrial -- and require her to perform 400 hours of community service.
  • New Zealand's Employment Relations Authority has ruled that Paul Buchanan, who lost his position teaching political science at Auckland University last year, was entitled to a cash payment, but not his job back, The New Zealand Herald reported. Buchanan set off an international debate when an e-mail he sent to a student from the United Arab Emirates was leaked. In the e-mail, Buchanan rejected the student's request for an extension and questioned whether the student was prepared for the university. Critics said Buchanan was rude and offensive, but his many defenders said that he was raising legitimate questions about whether universities in New Zealand were being too quick to recruit students from other countries.
  • The U.S. Education Department sent updated guidance to student loan guarantee agencies Wednesday about their obligations to serve as "lenders of last resort" in case the instability in the credit markets makes it difficult for borrowers to gain access to federal student loans. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has been under increased pressure from lenders, some lawmakers and now a few college officials to ensure that the government has plans in place to ensure access to loan capital if more lenders flee the student loan business.
  • Davidson College's trustees announced Wednesday that they would pay for students to travel (by bus) to Detroit for this weekend's Sweet 16, as well as providing funds for lodging and game tickets. Many didn't expect Davidson, a liberal arts college known for its academic programs, to make it this far in the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament. But any who took guidance from Inside Higher Ed's bracket (based on athletes' academic performance) won't be surprised at all.
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