Quick Takes: Scrutiny for Grad Rates at Mass. 2-Year Colleges, Davis Chancellor Criticized, NIH Help for Young Scientists, Raises for Lowest Paid at Mary Washington, Canadian Court Backs Ex-Student Falsely Accused, Cleaning House at N.J. Med School

January 30, 2006
  • The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education has created a new panel to study the low graduation rates at community colleges in the state, The Boston Globe reported. Just over 16 percent of students at the colleges earn degrees or certificates within three years. While some of the colleges are concerned about the low rates, others say that the board is ignoring the mission of community colleges, which frequently attract students who are seeking specific training or courses and who never intend to complete a degree.
  • Some professors at the University of California at Davis are organizing a no-confidence vote against Larry Vanderhoef over an agreement he made with a senior administrator he wanted to leave her position, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Celeste Rose, who is black, threatened to sue the university for race and gender bias, but backed down in return for a six-figure settlement, the newspaper reported. Faculty members said that they were upset that the deal was secret and about the possible implication that the university was admitting to bias.
  • The National Institutes of Health on Friday announced a new Pathway to Independence grant program to help young scientists get their careers moving -- and avoid spending too much time as postdocs. The awards will cover research projects for one-to-two years of supervised research and then three years of independent research, as an assistant professor.
  • Following several months of student protests, the University of Mary Washington has agreed to increase the pay for the lowest paid employees at the universities. The Virginia university will increase the hourly rate from $8.72 to $9.18 an hour. The new hourly rate would provide a full-time annual salary of $19,094.
  • Canada's Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Memorial University of Newfoundland must pay a former student $839,400 (U.S. $732,365) because officials incorrectly reported her to authorities as a possible sexual abuser of children, never giving her the chance to defend herself even as she was placed on law enforcement lists that hurt her chances of gaining employment. The student was reported after she included a reference in a class paper to a first-person account of a woman who abused children, but the university did not note that this reference came from an another person's account in a cited source.
  • New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, is pushing for the resignations of as many as 25 top officials of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, The Star-Ledger reported. The university has faced a series of financial scandals and Corzine last week brokered an exit agreement for its president.
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