Quick Takes: Blackboard-WebCT Merger Faces Antitrust Probe, NCAA Will Investigate Correspondence High Schools, Shimer May Move to Chicago, Blackface at Stetson, Blog Gets Miami Student Booted From Dorm, John Silber Looks Back

November 28, 2005
  • Blackboard and WebCT announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Justice Department has requested additional information about their planned merger. The brief statement from the companies said that the request for additional information extends the waiting period prior to a merger to 30 days following the date upon which the companies "substantially" comply with the information request. Given that the two companies together command well more than half of the course-management business in higher education, it is not surprising that the planned merger would be studied for antitrust issues. Blackboard officials have said that they are confident that the merger will go ahead.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association plans to investigate correspondence high schools, The New York Times reported Sunday, in an article examining the way a growing number of college athletes are using those high schools to bring their grades up to meet minimum standards to play intercollegiate athletics.
  • Shimer College, a small liberal arts institution located in Waukegan, Ill., may relocate its programs to the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, in Chicago. Shimer is known for its "great books" curriculum, but has had difficulty attracting enough students, and hopes a Chicago location would boost its efforts.
  • Some Stetson University female basketball players are being criticized for blackface costumes they wore to a Halloween party, photographs of which recently surfaced online, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. The students were dressed as basketball players, and said that they were dressed as specific black players and were not trying to mock black people.
  • A University of Miami student was kicked out of his campus dormitory room after officials objected to postings on his blog, especially those about the football team, The Miami Herald reported. The blog entry that was apparently the final straw was a parody about a suicide threat prompted by criticism of the football team.
  • Boston Magazine has published a transcript of an interview with John Silber, the outspoken former president of Boston University. In the interview, Silber his discusses his tenure at Boston University, the role he played when his successors were in office, his political views, and more. Fans and critics of Silber are unlikely to change their positions as a result of the interview, but it makes for interesting reading for members of either camp.
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