Quick Takes: Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling on False Claims, Washington U. Wins Battle Over Tissue, SAT Delay, Board Votes to Fire Texas Southern Chief, California Salary Reforms, Clark Atlanta Settlement, Scholars Win Pulitzers, Nude Art Ban

April 18, 2006
  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made it easier for individuals to sue colleges and other institutions on behalf of the government under the federal False Claims Act. The Seventh Circuit's ruling in a case involving Oakland City University last fall cleared the way for a former admissions director and the federal government to sue the university for allegedly paying recruiters based on enrollment, despite having agreed not to do so under the Higher Education Act. The Supreme Court's decision not to take the case, which was made, as is the court's custom, without comment or explanation, could influence a similar case involving the University of Phoenix that is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 
  • A federal judge has issued a ruling backing Washington University in St. Louis in a dispute with a former researcher over donated tissue samples that could be crucial for some cancer research. The judge backed the university's claims that the donations were to the institution, not to individual researchers. Washington University officials and other medical colleges said that the case was important for preserving collections of tissues that researchers need.
  • The College Board has announced a delay of one week in reporting the latest round of SAT scores. The board -- under fire for several thousand errors in scoring on the October 2005 SAT -- said that the delay will allow for enhanced quality control.
  • The board of Texas Southern University voted Monday to fire Priscilla Slade as the institution's president, The Houston Chronicle reported. Slade has been accused of inappropriately spending university funds on her home -- charges she denies. Slade remains in office, on leave, pending a hearing that she is entitled to demand before losing her job.
  • The University of California announced a series of reforms Monday to deal with criticisms of the salaries and benefits awarded to senior officials. The new rules will deal both with disclosure and ethics. In addition, the system announced that there would be unspecified "consquences" for some fo the problems that have surfaced in recent months.
  • Clark Atlanta University has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a dispute with the Energy Department over the way a grant was managed in 1990. The university blamed problems in managing the grant on its timing, shortly after the university was created through the merger of Clark College and Atlanta University.
  • Several scholars were among the winners of Pulitzer Prizes, announced by Columbia University Monday. David M. Oshinsky, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, won the prize in history for Polio: An American Story (Oxford University Press). The prize in biography went to Kai Bird, contributing editor at The Nation, and Martin J. Sherwin, a professor of English and history at Tufts University, for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Alfred A. Knopf). Claudia Emerson, an associate professor of English at the University of Mary Washington, won the poetry prize for Late Wife (Louisiana State University Press). For general nonfiction, the winner was Caroline Elkins, associate professor of African studies at Harvard University, for Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya (Henry Holt). For music, Yehudi Wyner, a professor emeritus of composition at Brandeis University, won the prize, for "Piano Concerto: 'Chiavi in Mano.'"
  • Nudes have been banned from the annual student art show at the College of Southern Idaho, The News-Times reported. But the college agreed to show student works that involved nudity in a special, off-campus show.
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