An anonymous student -- identified only as a minority woman -- has admitted to accidentally leaving a noose in a library at the University of California at San Diego last week, an incident that inflamed already tense race relations and set off new protests at the institution, the Los Angeles Times reported. The student said that the noose was "a stupid mistake" and not intended as a racial comment. The student wrote an apology that ran in the campus newspaper, whose editor said that a "reliable" source had confirmed the letter's authenticity. According to the student, she and some friends had been playing with some rope, making a lasso and a noose, and she took the rope to the library, left it above a desk and forgot it was there. "As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain," the student wrote.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Students gathered at the University of Missouri at Columbia Monday night to discuss the ramifications of an incident in which cotton balls were scattered in front of the university's Black Culture Center, The Columbia Missourian reported. The cotton balls were seen by many as a reference to slavery and as "symbolic violence," according to participants at the meeting. Students at the meeting criticized the university for not doing enough to advance diversity. Some suggested that the Black Culture Center should be a stop on campus tours. Others suggested a diversity course requirement. And some criticized the university for not speaking out quickly enough or forcefully enough about last week's incident. A statement from Brady Deaton, the chancellor, called the scattering of cotton balls in front of the center a "disheartening and inexcusable act" and "despicable" and he pledged that university police were working to identify those responsible.
The State University of New York at Binghamton, still dealing with fallout from a basketball scandal, announced Monday night that its team will not participate in the America East tournament this year, The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported. A statement from Lois DeFleur, president, cited "controversy currently surrounding the program" and "possible distractions."
The National Institutes of Health on Monday appointed a senior official at the Association of American Universities to head its legislative affairs office. Pat White, who as vice president for federal relations at the research university group has been a well-respected analyst of biomedical research and science funding, will become the biomedical research agency's associate director for legislative policy and analysis, where he will lead the office that tracks and analyzes legislation related to the agency's work.
Weeks after his unsportsmanlike outburst brought scorn upon his team, Baset Chaudry, the senior captain of Trinity College’s men’s squash team, will not play in this weekend’s national singles championship. Chaudry, who shoved a Yale University freshman following the deciding match in last month’s team championship game, voluntarily withdrew from the upcoming tournament amid immense pressure to do so. He is the defending singles champion. Kenneth Chan, the Yale freshman who egged on Chaudry during their match, also has withdrawn from the tournament. A statement from the College Squash Association, the sport’s governing body, called the move “an appropriate action and an acknowledgment that sportsmanship is at the foundation of the sport of squash.” Acknowledging the barrage of bad press the sport has garnered since video of Chaudry and Chan’s on-court conflict spread on the Internet, the statement added, “one match should not cloud the 2009/10 season.”
Oklahoma State University kicked off a $1 billion fund-raising campaign on Friday with T. Boone Pickens, the business executive and Oklahoma State's most generous alumnus, announcing a $100 million gift for scholarships.
WASHINGTON -- You have to know you're probably in for a rough time in a debate when one of the people arguing for your "side" is known for telling you you're a shell of your former self. That's how it was for higher education Friday night at a debate at the National Press Club here sponsored by the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs, designed to argue the statement: "To remain a world class economic power, the U.S. workforce needs more college graduates." Arguing the negative position were Ohio University's Richard Vedder (a tough critic of colleges' costs and lack of productivity) and George Leef (a libertarian researcher at the John Pope Center for Higher Education Policy), and they discouraged what Leef called a "central planning mindset" that might artificially propel "marginal" students into higher education who might be perfectly well qualified for jobs that don't demand a college degree. Michael Lomax, president of UNCF: the United Negro College Fund, said it would be a mistake for the country to "ration education once again" as it too often did in decades past, letting the growing number of lower-income and minority Americans languish in an undereducated status. Lomax's debating partner agreed that "education is the great equalizer" for those who've too often been shut out of the country's economic upper tier, and said it would be a mistake to "write off" millions of Hispanic and African-American kids as "not having aptitude." But Margaret Spellings, the former U.S. education secretary, made it clear that she didn't just want to pour more Americans into "this broken system" of higher education, language that will resonate with those who followed her administration's policies and rhetoric. "We need a higher education system that's more responsive to the market place.... One of the things we've never asked much of higher education is accountability, and some results orientation." The debate will be broadcast in the coming weeks on PBS stations nationwide.
Early reports are encouraging about the safety of American students in Chile, which suffered a major earthquake Saturday. During the 2007-8 academic year, Chile was the 19th most popular destination for study abroad, attracting 2,739 students from colleges in the United States, according to the Institute of International Education. Among colleges that have verified that all of their students in Chile are safe are: Middlebury College, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Notre Dame and the University of South Carolina. Officials at Harding University, which has a study center in Chile, said that it sustained only minor damage, and that no decision has been made on whether to send a group of students who are scheduled to go there this week. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville said that 67 M.B.A. students were en route to Chile when the earthquake struck, and their flights were diverted. Several faculty members who were already in Chile are safe.
Chile is home to many advanced telescopes used by scientists from around the world. An article in Discovery News discusses the earthquake-safety measures used at some of the facilities.
Some colleges and universities, such as the City University of New York, are expanding ongoing efforts to help those in or from Haiti to include those affected by the earthquake in Chile.
The University of Hawaii closed all of its campuses Saturday as the state operated under a tsunami warning related to the earthquake, but when the warning was lifted, the campuses reopened.
A frustrated lawyer (or someone claiming to be one) is attempting to sell a law degree on Craigslist and eBay. "After several years of practicing law with a bunch of nerds in Silicon Valley I have come to the conclusion that my law degree is useless and I don't want to be a lawyer anymore. Though I spent over $100,000 on it I am willing to sell it for the bargain basement price of $59,250, which is the current value of my remaining student loan balance," the ad states. It adds a disclaimer: "This piece of shit isn't even written in English. It's in Latin or something, but I have the translation. It says 'Haha. We took your tuition money bitch, now suck it. Sincerely, President of the University.' " Via e-mail on Sunday, the anonymous person who posted the ad said that the high bid so far is $200 although the most creative bid is "a $50 offer from a documentary filmmaker to urinate on my diploma and then set it on fire." Beyond the bids, the response has been positive, he said. "It's amazing that out of the around 250 replies I've received probably 98 percent have mentioned how I'm spot on that the legal profession is wacked. Many people have written about their frustrations with large law firms, being unemployed, and/or student loan debt," he said. While the ads did not identify the source of the law degree, several comments on the blog Above the Law identify the diploma as coming from Georgetown University's law school.
East Stroudsburg University has suspended Gloria Gadsden, a sociology professor, for joking comments she posted on her Facebook page that apparently were taken seriously, The Pocono Record reported. One comment was about wanting to hire a hit man. Another said "had a good day today, DIDN'T want to kill even one student :-). Now Friday was a different story." Gadsden said that in the meeting where she was told of the suspension, a dean referenced last month's murders at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Gadsden said that the humor was clear to her Facebook friends and she doesn't know why the university was monitoring her account. University officials said that they did not routinely monitor Facebook accounts and that they couldn't discuss details of Gadsden's case.