Quick Takes: Kalamazoo Scholarships, Illinois Mascot, Intellectual Property in Kansas, Minority Fellowships Challenged, Fraternities and Race, Panel Members Quit Churchill Probe, Williams Students Criticize Painting, Does Princeton Have Stolen Art?

November 14, 2005
  • Anonymous donors trying to boost the city of Kalamazoo, Mich., have pledged to start paying for four years of tuition and fees for graduates of the city school district who enroll at public colleges in Michigan. Under the "Kalamazoo Promise," students must have been enrolled from kindergarten to receive the full scholarship, but those enrolled as late as ninth grade can receive 65 percent of the scholarship. School officials told The Kalamazoo Gazette that they currently graduate around 500 students a year, most of whom go on to college. Based on current trends, the program would cost about $12 million a year when four years of graduates are enrolled, but the donors' goal was to encourage more students to go to school in the district and on to college.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association ruled Friday that the University of Illinois's "Fighting Illini" and "Illini" nicknames are not hostile and abusive to Native Americans, but that the university's continued use of the "Chief Illiniwek" mascot and logos of head-dress wearing Native Americans warrant keeping the university on the NCAA's list of colleges with offensive imagery. In a news release Friday, university officials thanked the NCAA for accepting the argument made in their appeal that the nicknames referred to the state's name and did not have Native American ties. But they expressed disappointment that the association had rejected their argument that the university's Board of Trustees had the right to determine for itself whether to stop using the Chief Illiniwek mascot, which has been a source of increasing contention in recent years.
  • The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a dispute over intellectual property rights for faculty members at state universities should return to the state's Public Employee Relations Board for a determination. The ruling failed to resolve broad claims made by the state university system -- and opposed by faculty groups -- on intellectual property created by professors. Additional litigation is likely.
  • Southern Illinois University is facing the threat of a U.S. Justice Department suit over graduate fellowships for minority or female students, The Chicago Sun-Times reported. University officials have defended the programs as an appropriate way to promote diversity, but critics of affirmative action have made the fellowships a target, as they have with scholarships at other institutions that are restricted to members of particular racial or ethnic groups.
  • The author of a series of racist statements on a fraternity Web site has been kicked out of Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of South Carolina, the Associated Press reported. The comments -- which have prompted widespread campus discussion -- were about a black fraternity deciding to build a house in the area where previously only predominantly white fraternities have been located.
  • Two of the five members of a committee investigating research misconduct allegations against Ward Churchill have quit the panel, the University of Colorado at Boulder has announced. The university did not indicate why they quit, but both professors were recently criticized on an anti-Churchill Web site for comments they had made defending the controversial professor. The university did not announce whether or how the two professors would be replaced.
  • Williams College students are urging the college to remove a large painting from the theater and dance center because, they say, the artwork is sexist and racist, The North Adams Transcript reported. The painting, "The Carnival of Life," features many image of people, but many of the women are nude, and the only minority image appears to be servile, the newspaper reported.
  • Italian authorities believe that two ancient Greek vases at the Princeton University Art Museum may have been stolen before they became part of the university's collection, The Trenton Times reported. University officials told the newspaper that they do not believe that the vases are stolen, but that they would return them if presented with conclusive evidence.
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