Quick Takes: U.S. Archivist Moves to Protect Access to Records, Mich. Court Allows Disk Jockey's Suit, Survey Calculates Colleges' Recruiting Costs, Faculty Unrest at Harvard Design School, False Alarm at Ohio U.

March 3, 2006
  • The archivist of the United States, Allen Weinstein, on Thursday ordered a moratorium on intelligence agencies reclassifying documents that have already been declassified at the National Archives and Records Administration. The practice of reclassifying such documents, revealed last month by The New York Times, infuriated historians and other scholars. Weinstein's actions pleased scholars, but the response by intelligence agencies -- who generally have more clout in the Bush administration than do archivists or historians -- is unclear.
  • The general manager of Eastern Michigan's University's radio station can be sued by a former disk jockey who says he was fired for making comments supportive of the war in the Iraq and for criticizing National Public Radio's coverage of the war, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled. A lower court had thrown out Theron E. Hughes's lawsuit, saying that the general manager, Arthur Timko, was protected by qualified immunity. But the appeals court said immunity did not apply because the general manager "had fair warning that terminating [Hughes] because of his speech would violate plaintiff’s constitutional rights."
  • Four-year private colleges spent four times as much to recruit the typical student in 2005 as did four-year public colleges, and nearly 30 times as much as public community colleges did, according to a survey by Noel-Levitz. The median cost per student declined slightly for four-year public institutions ($455) and rose slightly for four-year private institutions ($2,073), the company found.
  • The dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design is facing pressure from faculty members to quit, but the Harvard Corporation is backing him and trying to avoid another public dispute, The Boston Globe reported. The newspaper said that Alan Altshuler, the dean, is apparently unpopular because he was appointed by Lawrence H. Summers, who is seen  as a critic of modern architecture, and because Altshuler's background is in urban policy, not architecture or design. The dean has also worked to deal with a deficit and to push professors to  spend more time teaching, The Globe said.
  • Authorities at Ohio University evacuated buildings and used a special hose on a bike Thursday after they noticed a sticker on the bike that said "This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb," The Columbus Dispatch reported. The bike was actually just a bike, and the sticker refers to the name of a band. A graduate student who owns the bike now faces criminal charges of inducing panic, according to the newspaper.
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