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Quick Takes: Why Students Lean Left, Reforms Pledged of Rutgers Athletics, Shooting Death at Northeast Lakeview, NIH Oversight of Emory, Gay Rights Supporters Arrested at Palm Beach Atlantic, SUNY Students Want to Pay More, From Hopkins to Salk Institute

October 14, 2008
  • Students get more liberal while they're in college -- but a new study suggests that their peers, not professors, seem to be the reason why, according to the Associated Press. The study, by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, finds evidence to back up the assertion that many students adopt more liberal positions on many issues from their freshman to their junior year. But the researchers attribute the shifts more to students' exposure to left-leaning peer groups than to the views of their professors, the wire service reports.
  • Rutgers University on Monday announced that it would add oversight to athletics programs and contracts, following growing criticism of spending on sports at a time that the university is facing declines in state support. The Star-Ledger reported that the university will require legal reviews of all future athletic department sponsorship deals, create policies to prevent conflicts of interest, and review all "high level" compensation packages to determine which ones should be approved by the university board. Rutgers officials also said that they were seeking ways to keep a football stadium expansion -- originally projected to cost $102 million and now seen as more expensive -- on track and on budget, despite lags in fund raising for the effort.
  • One employee shot a fellow worker to death at at Northeast Lakeview College Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reported . Neither police officers nor officials at the two-year college in San Antonio had a motive for the shooting of a librarian and instructor by another adjunct librarian.
  • Charles Nemeroff, an Emory University professor, is at the center of a U.S. Senate investigation into conflicts of interest by researchers who are supported by drug companies and federal agencies at the same time. Now the National Institutes of Health is requiring Emory to submit more documentation that its researchers follow reporting and other requirements. Pharmalot, a blog that has been a leader in coverage of the Nemeroff controversy and controversies over the pharmaceutical industry, published a letter from Emory's vice president for research administration to faculty members about the heightened oversight.
  • Six advocates for gay rights were arrested Monday for trying to sit in the chapel at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The Sun-Sentinel reported that college officials had agreed to a private meeting with the group, but rejected their request to appear in a more public way on the campus, and had them arrested for trespassing, resulting in a trip to jail. Those arrested are part of an effort called the Equality Ride, which involves trips to religious colleges that do not support gay rights. Palm Beach Atlantic says that it doesn't bar all gay students, but does bar all "homosexual behavior."
  • Evidence from New York State suggests that students realize how tough a budget year public higher education faces. Leaders of the Student Assembly of the State University of New York have endorsed a proposal -- now slated to go to the full Student Assembly -- that would call for modest annual tuition increases, The Times-Union reported. SUNY student leaders have traditionally opposed tuition increases, and the new policy would represent the first time that the Student Assembly has endorsed the idea of paying more. Students did put an emphasis on modest increases, but also said that they realized that potentially significant drops in state support leave the university system in need of revenue.
  • William R. Brody, the departing president of Johns Hopkins University, has been named to head the Salk Institute, an independent research organization that focuses on the life sciences.
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