Quick Takes: Faculty Diversity at U. of California, New Co-Chairs for Knight Commission, College Reconsiders Corporate Honor for BP, Michigan State Returns Papers to Russia, Northeastern State Drops 'Redmen' Name

May 24, 2006
  • While the national pool of minority faculty members and the diversity of University of California students are both increasing, faculty diversity levels are relatively flat and need to grow, according to a report presented Tuesday, based on a study of the university system. The low numbers present particular problems in math and science fields, where there are relatively few black and Latino faculty members. The report recommended a variety of steps, including increased leadership by senior officials, better tracking of progress, and including diversity in planning for faculty growth.
  • The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has named R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, and Clifton R. Wharton Jr., former chancellor of the State University of New York and former chairman of TIAA-CREF, as its new co-chairmen. They replace Thomas K. Hearn, president emeritus of Wake Forest University, who had been chairman for little more than a year but has faced health problems. The commission also introduced the chancellor of the University System of Maryland, William E. (Brit) Kirwan, as a new member of the panel.
  • The College of the Mainland, a two-year institution in Texas, has decided not to name BP a "corporate hero," as originally planned, with the college's board bowing to employee complaints that such an honor would be inappropriate for the operator of a refinery where 15 people were killed last year, The Houston Chronicle reported.
  • Michigan State University this week is formally agreeing this week to send the archives of the late Russian philosopher Ivan Il'in to Moscow State University. Il'in was a staunch anti-Communist died in exile in Switzerland in 1954. His papers were shipped to Michigan State for safe storage as long as the Communist Party remained in control of the Soviet Union. Last year the Russian Ministry of Culture requested that the documents be returned and Michigan State has agreed.
  • Northeastern State University, in Oklahoma, announced that it would drop "Redmen" as its team name, based on consultation with American Indian leaders and other groups. A statement from the university said that it believed the name had been used in respectful ways -- unlike other institutions with Native American inspired names, Northeastern State does not have a mascot -- but that it was time to avoid future controversies. A new name will be selected by a panel and officials hope to have the switch completed in a year.
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