Quick Takes: Geographical Ignorance, Another Audit Criticizes U. of California, Does Rice Deserve Honorary Degree?

May 3, 2006
  • Americans aged 18-24, those of traditional college age, are ignorant of geography, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Geographic Society. The study found that 63 percent could not locate Iraq, despite the prominence of news coverage of the war there. Things aren't much better on the home front: Half of those surveyed couldn't find New York State on a U.S. map.
  • The California state auditor on Tuesday released a report ( the latest of several ) criticizing the way executive compensation has been handled in the University of California system. The report found problems with policies, procedures, reporting, enforcement of policies and many other issues. The report also found that the university was granting too many exemptions to its policies. University officials have vowed to improve their performance in this area, which has been widely attacked by legislators and others.
  • Two theologians at Boston College have organized nearly 100 faculty colleagues to call on the institution to abandon plans to award an honorary degree to Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, at graduation this month, The Boston Globe reported. A petition from the professors said that Rice's policies, especially in favor of war in Iraq, are in "fundamental conflict" with the college's Roman Catholic values. Organizers said that their support of free speech meant that they did not object to Rice speaking on campus, only to honoring her. Other faculty members told The Globe that they backed the degree -- and that liberal scholars were being unfair in that they worry on church techings aside from those about the war in Iraq.
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