Quick Takes: Ohio State Librarian Cleared, Possible Sex Assault at President's Home, Al-Arian to Be Deported, Race and a Math Question, Scholarship for Duke Accuser, Wisconsin Finding Challenged, Impact of Drug Law, Iowa Tornado

April 17, 2006
  • Ohio State University officials on Friday cleared Scott Savage, a librarian at the Mansfield campus, of harassment charges filed against him based on his recommendation of an anti-gay book for a freshman reading assignment. A conservative group had threatened to sue the university if the charges were not dropped. They were dropped the same day that the group went public with its complaints about the way the librarian was being treated.
  • Police are investigating reports of sexual assaults on a 23-year old woman that may have taken place at the home of the president of Maryville University, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The paper also reported that John Neal, the president, announced that he was resigning for personal reasons. Neal, who was unavailable for comment, had been president for less than a year.
  • Sami Al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida, has reached a deal with federal prosecutors under which he will be deported, The Tampa Tribune reported. In December, a federal jury failed to convict Al-Arian on any of a series of charges he faced for alleged ties to terrorist groups -- charges he repeatedly denied. The jury found Al-Arian not guilty on some charges and failed to reach a verdict on others, potentially setting the stage for another trial. Al-Arian's firing by South Florida in 2003 angered many faculty groups, who said that he was denied due process rights by the university.
  • The president of Bellevue Community College, in Washington State, has issued an apology on behalf of the institution for a question on a math test that many students found racially offensive. Jean Floten, the president, said that the question "caused real pain and hurt to the students involved, and injured all of us." The question involved a woman named Condoleezza tossing a watermelon off the roof of a federal building. While no last name was given, students at a forum on the question said that there aren't that many people with that name, and that the reference to Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, was clear.
  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Push Coalition plans to give a college scholarship to the woman who accused Duke University lacrosse players of raping her, the Associated Press reported. Jackson said that the group will pay for the woman's college expenses regardless of the outcome of the investigation in the case. Since DNA evidence has failed to implicate any of the lacrosse players, who have maintained their innocence, criticism of the woman has grown. Many others, however, say that regardless of the legal outcome of the case, the conduct of the lacrosse players has raised troubling questions. The woman, who was hired to perform as an exotic dancer at a party of lacrosse players, was using income from the performance to pay for tuition at North Carolina Central University.
  • An appeals panel at the University of Wisconsin at Madison has rejected a sexual harassment reprimand the university gave to Paul Barrows, a former vice chancellor for student affairs, The Capital Times reported. The university's appeals panel did not release its written explanation of its decision, so the panel's rationale is not clear. The Barrows case has been at the center of a continuing political controversy in Wisconsin, with some legislators charging that the university was not doing enough to punish employees involved in wrongdoing. Barrows has denied wrongdoing, and Madison officials have noted the difficulty of moving quickly enough for politicians while still respecting due process rights. Peter Spear, who was provost at the time of the reprimand, issued a statement defending the university's handling of the case.
  • Students for a Sensible Drug Policy has released a database showing the state-by-state impact of the federal ban on student aid for those with drug convictions.
  • A tornado that struck Iowa City caused relatively little damage and no injuries at the University of Iowa. The Alpha Chi Omega sorority house did suffer extensive damage, displacing 43 students, and some administrative buildings were damaged. Classes were called off Friday, but resumed over the weekend.
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