Quick Takes: Boehner Wins House Leadership Post, New Details on Bush Science Plan, Amherst Bars Sudan Investments, Texas Southern President Repays Landscaping Costs

February 3, 2006
  • Rep. John Boehner of Ohio was elected Thursday as majority leader of the House of Representatives, which means he will leave the chairmanship of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. In that role, he has played a key role in drafting a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act -- and Boehner's surprise election Thursday may increase the chances that the reauthorization dies. Boehner has been a strong supporter of the lending industry on student loan matters and of for-profit institutions (and has received significant contributions from both sectors), and has pushed colleges hard on accountability and on their rules about transfer of credit. Boehner's likely successor on the committee is Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon, a California Republican, who heads the higher education subcommittee and has been critical of colleges for their tuition increases.
  • The White House released significantly more detailed information Thursday about President Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative, which he announced in Tuesday's State of the Union address, including specific budget recommendations. The administration said it would request a 7.8 percent increase in funds for the National Science Foundation in the 2007 fiscal year, and a 14 percent increase for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.
  • Amherst College announced Wednesday that it will not invest in companies whose operations in Sudan have been identified as helping the government in the genocide in Darfur. While the college does not have any direct investments, it will also ask its outside fund managers -- some of whose funds do have small investments in affected companies -- to invest the college's funds in ways that do not involve these companies. Dartmouth College, Harvard University and Stanford University have made similar announcements in the last year, urged on by student groups. The University of California is considering such a move. The Houston Chronicle
  • The president of Texas Southern University, Prisicilla Slade, has repaid the institution $138,000 that was charged in landscaping expenses at her home, The Houston Chronicle  reported. The university's Board of Regents has been investigating the charges, as well as additional funds spent on furnishing. While the home is Slade's, it is used for many university functions.
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