Quick Takes: Layoffs at Xavier U. of La., Georgia Press Withdraws Short Story Collection, Seton Hall Demotes Assistant Dean for Criticizing Church's Anti-Gay Stance, Jail Terms in Chico Hazing Death, Anti-Gay Comment Divides Duquesne

October 31, 2005
  • Xavier University of Louisiana announced on its Web site Friday that it would lay off employees, cancel numerous programs, limit graduate study to online offerings, and suspend conference play for its sports teams until fall 2006. The Times-Picayune reported that the historically black, Roman Catholic university in New Orleans would lay off a total of 318 staff members and 89 faculty members, which represents nearly three-fifths of its staff and more than a third of the faculty.
  • The University of Georgia Press has recalled The Bear Bryant Funeral Train, a collection of short stories, amid reports that portions of one of the stories are substantially similar to a story published in a collection by the University of Alabama Press, MediaBistro reported. The Tuscaloosa News (free registration required) reported that a reader's adviser at the local public library first noticed the similarities and informed officials of both presses.
  • Seton Hall University stripped a gay professor of his position as associate dean after a newspaper published his letter criticizing the Roman Catholic Church's anti-gay views, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. Seton Hall officials said that the demotion was appropriate because W. King Mott identified his university position in the letter. Mott told The Star-Ledger that although he retains his tenured job as a professor, he will start looking for another job.
  • Four fraternity brothers at California State University at Chico were jailed Friday after pleading guilty to a range of charges in the hazing death of a freshman pledge who died in February, The Chico Enterprise Record reported. Matthew Carrington died after he collapsed while being forced to drink gallons of water and performing various exercises.
  • A Duquesne University student is refusing to write an essay on homosexuality, as he was ordered by university officials to do after they found a comment on a non-Duquesne Web site in which he called gay people "subhuman," The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. The student says his rights to free speech are being violated.
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