Quick Takes: U.S. Panel Plans Review of Accreditation, Fla. Board Approves 2 Med Schools, Montana Provost Ousted, Bible Debate Prompts Exits at Patrick Henry, Anthropologists Settle, Judge Won't Revive Colorado Suit, Leeds Suspends Prof Over Race Comments

March 24, 2006
  • The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education has released a document that lays out a set of concerns and questions about whether the system of higher education accreditation is functioning well, part of what the report says is the panel's plan for a broad review of "how to change" the accreditation process.
  • Both Florida International University and the University of Central Florida won approval from the Board of Governors of the state's university system Thursday to create medical schools -- likely opening as early as fall 2008. While legislative approval for state funds is still needed, the board sign-off is seen as the key step and the universities have already raised considerable funds from private sources. While some have questioned whether the state can afford two new medical schools, supporters cited the state's growing population and the economic gains of medical research.
  • Lois Muir has been ousted as provost of the University of Montana after saying that she had "fundamental differences" with President George Dennison, the Associated Press reported. Dennison had issued a news release Tuesday announcing that Muir would leave her job in June, but after Muir told The Missoulian newspaper that the president had forced her out because of their differing views, Dennison decided to dump her immediately. While neither official discussed details of those differences, Muir has been controversial in some circles for the way she handled budget cuts.
  • Several faculty members have announced plans to leave Patrick Henry College, a Virginia institution created primarily to educate home-schooled students, following criticism of their views that the Bible is not the only source of truth, Leesburg Today reported. The college's statement of faith stipulates that God is the source of all truth.
  • The American Anthropological Association has agreed to pay the San Francisco Hilton $200,000 to settle a contract dispute that arose after the scholars moved their annual meeting for 2006 out of the hotel -- in solidarity with unions that are pushing for better pay and benefits for employees there. Association leaders had feared that it might cost much more to settle the dispute.
  • A federal judge has refused to revive a suit he earlier dismissed that is central to the recruiting scandal over the football team at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Associated Press reported. While the judge did not dispute the claims of the women bringing the suit that they had been assaulted by athletes, he questioned whether there was evidence for a Title IX claim.
  • The University of Leeds, in Britain, has suspended a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies whose dismissal has been demanded by students angry over his comments about the intelligence levels of black and white people. The university says that at this point, it is only investigating whether the statements violated any university rules and that Frank Ellis is not being punished. The BBC quoted Ellis as saying that his right to free expression was being squelched.
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