Quick Takes: New Plagiarism Charges Against Wesley President, Universities Win in Patent Dispute, Official Tapped for Temporary Education Dept. Post, Top 10 IT Issues, Authenticity of Northridge Gift Questioned, Hawks Replace Braves at Chowan

May 5, 2006
  • Scott D. Miller, president of Wesley College, is facing new accusations of plagiarism, which he denies and which his board is investigating, The News Journal reported. Professors say that there are too many similarities in a statement of management philosophy by Miller and a similar statement at Samford University. Six years ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed numerous similarities between a speech Miller gave and one previously given by the president of Connecticut College. Miller has received strong backing by his board, but his faculty is split.
  • Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stand to gain millions of dollars from a patent verdict Thursday against Eli Lilly & Company, The New York Times reported. The universities and a pharmaceutical company that licensed their work sued Lilly for alleged patent infringement on certain drugs. Lilly denies wrongdoing, and plans to appeal.
  • President Bush has named James Manning, a veteran Education Department official, as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education. Manning, who has been chief of staff in the department's Federal Student Aid Office, replaces Sally L. Stroup, who left her position last month to become deputy staff director of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.
  • The top IT issue in higher education is security and identity management, according to a survey released Thursday by Educause. Security issues have steadily been rising in the annual survey since 9/11, but this year marks the first time that it led. Educause also noted that disaster recovery issues are more important to its members this year, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  • The authenticity of a collection of ancient Chinese art -- donated to California State University at Northridge -- is being questioned, the Associated Press reported. The collection is supposedly worth $38 million, but questions have been raised after reports in the student newspaper that leading experts are dubious about some of the pieces and have offered to conduct new tests on them. The university has turned down those requests, the AP reported, and has said that it is confident in the art's authenticity.
  • Chowan University announced Thursday that its teams would be called the Hawks, replacing the use of Braves, a team name that ran afoul of a policy of the National Collegiate Athletic Association that restricts participation in NCAA events for colleges with names or icons that are "hostile" or "abusive" to Native Americans. Officials of Chowan, which is named for an Indian tribe and is from a part of North Carolina once populated by a number of tribes, have denied that their old name insulted Native Americans, but they decided to comply the NCAA rule. Chowan's president, M. Christopher White, said that the new name was selected because "it represents a fierce, competitive spirit" and also because it "pays respect to the region's first inhabitants, the Native American tribes who hold the hawk in reverence."
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