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Quick Takes: Would Iowa Sell Its Jackson Pollock?, More Success for Harvard Endowment, Pre-Pre-SAT?, Bishop State Instructor Wins Job Back, Recovering From Research Misconduct, Demand for New Med School

August 8, 2008
  • The Iowa Board of Regents has decided to find out the value of Jackson Pollock's "Mural," a painting that was previously estimated to be worth more than $150 million, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. While university officials insist that the study is not a prelude to a sale, the decision to determine the value has raised eyebrows, given that Iowa is facing huge bills to repair damage it suffered in this summer's floods. While universities do sometimes sell art holdings, curators and art scholars generally discourage the practice as inappropriate -- and moves to sell art have generated considerable controversy.
  • Harvard University's endowment saw gains of 7 to 9 percent in the last fiscal year, even as many other endowments struggled not to lose money in a tough investment year, The Wall Street Journal reported. Official results haven't been released, but the newspaper quoted a source familiar with the returns who said that a larger than typical use of commodity investments helped the endowment.
  • The College Board plans to introduce an eighth-grade assessment exam aimed at letting students know earlier that they need to to start lining up the rigorous courses required by selective colleges, the Los Angeles Times reported. The newspaper quoted comments by Wayne Camara, the board's vice president for research and analysis, made at an admissions conference in Los Angeles this week, and cited criticism from participants and others that the new test would ratchet up the college admissions pressure even earlier for many students who are already college-bound.
  • An arbitrator has ruled that Bishop State Community College, in Alabama, must reinstate a food service instructor who lost his job for enrolling in courses he taught, The Press-Register reported. The arbitrator ruled that because the college had already punished the instructor by placing an official reprimand, an additional punishment for the same infraction was inappropriate.
  • Almost half of scientists who were found to have engaged in research fraud continued to have active research careers, a study in the new issue of Scienceshows. The study, produced by scholars at the University of Pennsylvania and Wayne State University, found that nearly half of the faculty members and research scientists found by the federal Office of Research Integrity to have committed misconduct between 1994 and 2001 published at least a paper a year after they were charged.
  • A year before it opens, Florida International University's new medical school is in demand. More than 1,600 students have applied for the 40 spots in the school's inaugural class, The Miami Herald reported. The University of Central Florida, which is also opening a new med school next year, has had 2,200 applicants so far, according to the Herald -- but it is offering full scholarships for all students in its first class.
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