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Quick Takes: Beacon U. to Close, Immigration Furor at Blue Ridge CC, 2 Law Schools Keep Anti-Bias Rules, Think Tank's New Leader, Faculty Quotas Ordered in India, Swindler's Suit, 16th Minute of Fame

June 30, 2008
  • Beacon University, a Christian institution in Columbus, Ga., announced Friday that a "financial crisis" would force the institution to shut down after the coming academic year, The Ledger-Enquirer reported. Details were not available.
  • Anti-immigrant groups are attacking Blue Ridge Community College for agreeing to allow Mexican consular officials to rent space for an event to help immigrants obtain Mexican documents that would enable them to qualify for North Carolina driver's licenses, The Times-News reported. While the distribution of these documents is legal, and something that consular officials do regularly, some politicians and groups are accusing the college of helping undocumented immigrants stay in North Carolina. The controversy follows a move to bar such immigrants from North Carolina's community colleges.
  • Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law barring most federal funds from going to colleges that deny access to military recruiters, two law schools are sticking with anti-bias policies that keep the military (and federal funds) out, The New York Times reported. Law schools unsuccessfully challenged the law, saying that it was forcing them to violate their anti-bias policies, which bar discrimination based on sexual orientation, by allowing the military to recruit. While law schools don't tend to receive major federal research grants, most law schools are attached to universities that rely on such grants, and so nearly every law school, while criticizing the Supreme Court decision, opened recruiting services to the military. But the Vermont Law School and the William Mitchell College of Law, both independent institutions, have kept their policies, and given up the possibility of research grants covered by the law, the Times reported.
  • The next president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy will be Michelle Asha Cooper, who is deputy director of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. The institute produces numerous reports on higher education issues, with a focus on student access issues. The previous president, Jamie Merisotis, left the institute to become president of the Lumina Foundation for Education.
  • India's government has imposed quotas for various disadvantaged castes for faculty positions at the Indian Institutes of Technology, The Times of India reported. Quotas for disadvantaged castes are common in many parts of Indian society, including some student admissions in higher education, but they are new for the institutes, prestigious universities that attract many top students. Institute leaders, who have already been warning that they lack enough money to recruit and retain faculty members, say that the quotas could be disastrous.
  • When authorities arrested Hakan Yalincak on charges of fraud in a hedge fund, they said that one way the then-student at New York University built investor confidence was through a much publicized pledge of $21 million to NYU -- a pledge he never fulfilled. The Hartford Courant reported that when he was arrested, he complainted he was nearly done with his courses and close to graduation. Now in jail, the Courant reported, he's suing NYU for his degree.
  • Let's say you are an art student and you set off an international debate when you claim to be creating art for a senior project based on repeatedly inseminating yourself and inducing abortions -- and you then repeatedly tell university administrators that the story isn't true. After all the inconsistencies come out, would this help you advance in the art world? For Aliza Shvarts, who set off such a controversy at Yale University this spring, the answer is Yes. Saturday night she was scheduled to present new work at London's Tate Modern, one of the top modern art museums in the world. She is included in a program on the ideas of Friedrich Kittler, a professor of aesthetics and history of media at Germany's Humboldt University. Seth Kim-Cohen, who curated the program and is a lecturer in art history at Yale, could not be reached, but told The Yale Daily News that he invited Shvarts because of her experience. "She seemed to be more affected by the media than most of us are in our whole lifetimes," Kim-Cohen told the paper. "I thought she would have some reaction to how the media manipulates stories and truths."
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