Quick Takes: U.S. Panel to Meet (Behind Closed Doors), Chicago Sells Yerkes, Training Physician-Scientists, DeVry's President Leaves, Oxford's Last Women's College to Admit Men, Williams Bars Sudan Stocks, De Niro Archives, New FAFSA, iPods Over Beer

June 8, 2006

  • The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education will hold its next meeting on June 28 -- but unlike all of its past meetings, this one will not be open to the public, a department spokeswoman said Wednesday. The spokeswoman said that the meeting, in Washington, would lack a quorum, that the panel's members would meet in small groups, and that "no final decisions will be made."
  • After decades of debate, the University of Chicago has sold its Yerkes Observatory in a deal that will preserve the Wisconsin facility as an outreach and education center. Chicago will receive about $8 million to support astronomy research, with the funds coming from a developer buying much of the land near the observatory, which is in Wisconsin. Yerkes was a key site in the history of astronomy, but has long been obsolete.
  • Medical schools and teaching hospitals need to do more to recruit and train physician-scientists, according to a new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Among other things, the report calls for all medical school and residency programs to include some training on the "principles of translational and clinical science."
  • DeVry University announced Wednesday that John Skubiak was stepping down as president, after 31 years in various roles at the national chain of higher-education institutions. He will be succeeded by David Pauldine, currently the executive vice president. Skubiak will work part time for DeVry, focused on business development.
  • St. Hilda's College, the last unit of the University of Oxford that educates only women, on Wednesday announced that it would admit men. A statement from the college said that all of Oxford's other colleges now admit women, reducing the need for a women's institution.
  • Williams College announced that it will bar investments in companies identified as helping the government of Sudan's genocide in Darfur. The college does not have any investments in the companies, and will tell its investment managers to avoid such investments.
  • Robert De Niro has donated his collection of film-related materials -- including scripts, notes, correspondence, and costumes he wore during his many acclaimed parts -- to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • The U.S. Education Department on Wednesday released a draft of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, reflecting changes made in the document by Congress in the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005.
  • College students rank iPods as more "in" than drinking beer, a rare instance in which alcohol-related activities do not come out on top of the rankings in a biannual market research survey by Student Monitor, the Associated Press reported.


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