Brandeis University on Tuesday agreed not to sell any artwork donated by three individuals suing the university to block a controversial plan -- already on hold -- to sell the noted collection of modern art, The Boston Globe reported. Further, the university agreed to give notice of 30 days to the state's attorney general before selling art donated by others. The pledges came during a court hearing in which a judge rejected the university's bid to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A federal jury has awarded $435,678 to a Massachusetts executive who says he was deceived by the University of Pennsylvania into thinking a master of technology management program he enrolled in and completed was affiliated with the Wharton School, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. University officials declined to comment, but have denied wrongdoing. Court records indicate that while the program had been described as being "co-sponsored" by the Wharton School, the degree awarded came from the engineering school, and the only Wharton recognition students received was a "certificate of completion" signed by deans of Wharton and the engineering school.
While the University of Michigan saw record numbers of applications and enrolled students this year, it also saw an 11 percent drop in the number of black, Latino and Native American freshmen, The Detroit News reported. Michigan has been the center of much public discussion about affirmative action in higher education -- both because the university led a national effort to defend affirmative action before the U.S. Supreme Court and because the state's voters in 2006 barred state entities from considering race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. With this year's decline, under-represented minority students make up 9.1 percent of the freshman class, compared to 10.4 percent last year and 12.6 percent for the last class admitted prior to the 2006 ban.
Bobby Lowder has long been a controversial trustee of Auburn University, seen by many as exercising too much control over the institution and its football program. But now there are questions being raised because Lowder's business reputation -- in theory part of the expertise he brought to Auburn's board -- is being challenged. Lowder recently quit the bank he led for 28 years as federal and state regulators seized it, Fortune reported, leading some to question why he leads the university's Finance Committee.
A California judge has ordered the state to stop considering race and ethnicity in a scholarship program for students entering the health professions. The judge ruled that the program could not, under the state's Proposition 209 ban on consideration of race and ethnicity, consider minority status. The judge did rule that the state could favor applicants who are economically disadvantaged. The Pacific Legal Foundation brought the case on behalf of a woman who was denied a scholarship.
A national study has found that officials at George Washington University tweet more than those of any other campus. The study analyzed Twitter accounts of university administrators acting in official capacities, not those of students. George Washington officials tweet an average of 57.7 times a day. GW was followed by the University of Washington (49.8) and the University of Florida (45.8).
The University of Texas System announced Monday that it would study the possibility of merging its San Antonio campus and its separate Health Science Center, which is in the same city. System officials said they had appointed a panel of national and local experts to decide whether the two institutions would be stronger as one or if they would be better off continuing to collaborate. “The UT System is all about maximizing efficiencies and doing what is in the best interest of our institutions, which makes this explorative process a worthy effort,” said James R. Huffines, chairman of the university system's Board of Regents. The system's new chancellor, Francisco G. Cigarroa, was president of the Health Science Center at San Antonio until February.
Students at the University of California at Berkeley staged a 24-hour sit-in this weekend at the anthropology library to draw attention to the extent of budget cuts in general at the university, and to the cuts being faced by specialized libraries, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Most of Berkeley's small libraries are now closed on Saturdays because of budget cuts.
The 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics will be shared by Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson. Ostrom, professor of political science and professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, both at Indiana University at Bloomington, was honored for "her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons." She is also the founding director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, at Arizona State University. Williamson, professor emeritus of business, economics and law at the University of California at Berkeley, was honored "for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm."
Ostom is the first woman to win the Nobel in economics.
A professor at the University of California at Los Angeles last year reported to university officials that he had concerns about the mental health of the student now accused of slashing a classmate's throat last week, the Los Angeles Times reported. The professor, who provided the Times with e-mail documentation, said that the accused student claimed that other students were distracting him while he was taking tests -- even though no such activity was witnessed by anyone. UCLA has acknowledged that it was aware of concerns about the accused student, but has said that it cannot discuss details because of privacy regulations.