Quick Takes: Court Backs College's Right to Videotape Offices, Leave for President Accused of Harassment, Hearing on Scholar Excluded From U.S., Bush to Speak at 4 Commencements, Democrats Unveil Loan Legislation, Teams at 7 NCAA Colleges Face Penalties

  • The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled Thursday that Salem State College was within its rights to use secret videotape cameras in offices that were not private.
  • April 14, 2006
  • The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled Thursday that Salem State College was within its rights to use secret videotape cameras in offices that were not private. An employee who changed her clothing in a back corner sued when she found out about the taping, but the court ruled that there was no reasonable expectation of privacy in a non-private office.
  • Charles Carlsen announced Thursday that he would take a voluntary leave of absence as president of Johnson County Community College, in Kansas, so trustees can investigate charges that he sexually harassed a female employee, The Kansas City Star reported. Carlsen denied the charges, which date to 2003 and were reported by the college's student newspaper last week.
  • Government lawyers defended the Bush administration's decision to deny a visa to Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Muslim scholar in Switzerland who has been forced to turn down invitations to teach and speak in the United States, The New York Times reported. Several academic groups have challenged the government's handling of his and other cases.
  • President Bush will give commencement addresses at four institutions this spring, the White House announced Thursday: Oklahoma State University's main campus, on May 6; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, on May 11; and the U.S. Military and Coast Guard Academies, on May 27 and June 17, respectively.
  • Democrats and unions will make students' access to affordable loans and to higher education in general a major issue in this fall's elections, two Democratic members of Congress said Thursday in introducing legislation that would cut the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans to 3.4 percent, from the current 6.8 percent. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) said they believed the legislation would win support from moderate Republicans -- though it is certain to be opposed by GOP leaders, who turned back an effort last month to add a similar provision to a House bill to renew the Higher Education Act, calling it irresponsibly expensive.
  • Seven additional universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I will face scholarship penalties for at least one of their teams because of academic underperformance by their athletes, the association announced Thursday. The institutions -- Arizona State (men's basketball), Northern Arizona (football), San Diego State (baseball and football), San Jose State (men's cross country, baseball, football and men's soccer) and Texas A&M (men's basketball) Universities
    and the Universities of Arizona (baseball and football) and Kansas (baseball) -- were still negotiating with NCAA officials over the Academic Progress Rates of their athletes when the association announced the first round of penalties under its new program for gauging teams' classroom success last month. The eighth university that was still under review at the time of the NCAA's announcement last month, Tulane University, did not face any penalties, the association said Thursday.
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