Quick Takes: Md. Court Rejects Out-of-State Tuition Rules, Suspicious Powder in Dorm, Shasta President Quits, Brown Bars Sudan Stocks, Report Examines Basketball Feeder Schools, Princeton Promotes Government Service, Report on Ward Churchill Delayed

February 27, 2006
  • A Maryland appeals court ruled last week that the University of Maryland's rules for determining whether students were entitled to in-state tuition rates were being applied in violation of protections of fairness and ordered changes in those rules. The ruling did not reject the idea of differential tuition rates, just the system for applying them. The suit that led to the ruling was filed by four professional school students at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. The case now returns to a lower court, which will consider, among other things, whether the case should become a class action.
  • The University of Texas at Austin evacuated a dormitory Friday night after a student found a substance that was originally suspected to be ricin, which is highly poisonous. The university announced Saturday that students returned to the dorm, following a clean-up. There were no injuries reported and law enforcement officials are investigating. CNN reported that officials have started to doubt that the substance is in fact ricin.
  • Mary Retterer quit as president of Shasta College last week amid a conflict with the board of the California community college over how to deal with tight budgets and academic priorities, the Associated Press reported. Retterer and the college's board provided few details of their disagreements, but she left suddenly and the announcement of her departure followed reports that her office was empty.
  • Brown University on Saturday became the latest institution to announce that it would no longer invest in companies linked to the genocide taking place in Darfur.
  • An investigation by The New York Times published Saturday reported on more than a dozen special high schools, with questionable academic quality, that act as feeder institutions for students seeking to play big-time college basketball. The Times reported that the schools have sent at least 200 students on to college programs.
  • Princeton University on Friday announced a new scholarship program that will combine undergraduate and graduate study and federal government internships -- all designed to encourage more top students to work for the federal government. The announcement comes as Princeton faces a lawsuit from the children of late major donors to the university's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, charging that the university has not done enough to keep that school's mission focused on encouraging government service. The Trenton Times quoted those suing Princeton as praising the new program, but saying that their suit will go on. Princeton officials said that the new program reflected their continued support for the government and wasn't related to the suit.
  • A faculty panel investigating allegations of research misconduct by Ward Churchill said last week that it needed more time and would try to have a report done by May 9. The University of Colorado at Boulder panel was created following an uproar over statements about 9/11 by Churchill, who teaches ethnic studies. The investigation is not over those statements, but over allegations concerning Churchill's scholarship that surfaced after the controversy broke. Churchill has denied any wrongdoing. The panel said that it needed more time because of the number of allegations and because some committee members quit and needed to be replaced.
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