Quick Takes: Senate Spending Bill Moves, Quick Departure for Presque Isle Chief, $240M in Abuses at Med School, More Oversight of California Compensation, Temple Policies on Academic Freedom, Guide on Suicide Prevention

July 21, 2006
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill Thursday that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said "constitutes a disintegration in the appropriate federal role in education, health and worker safety." The $148.2 billion spending bill is virtually identical to the one passed Tuesday by the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee, which Specter leads. The measure would provide $28.55 billion for the National Institutes of Health, slightly more than last year, and keep the maximum Pell Grant award flat at $4,050 for the fifth consecutive year. TRIO ($828 million), Gear Up ($303 million) and Tech-Prep ($105 million) all would receive level funding from a year ago, and vocational and adult education would receive roughly $1.9 billion in the plan -- the same as in the House's budget request. Work study would receive $980 million; Perkins loans and the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership program would receive about $65 million each.
  • The president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle said Thursday that he would resign, three months after the faculty voted no confidence in him and less than a year after he took the job, the Associated Press reported. Professors and students had criticized Karl E. Burgher's lack of communication with them, among other things.
  • Investigators have found more than $240 million in abuses at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, The Star-Ledger reported. The figure marks the first attempt to quantify a series of financial scandals at the university.
  • The University of California Board of Regents on Thursday approved the creation of three positions to provide more oversight of compensation and financial management at the university system, the Los Angeles Times reported. The jobs will be executive vice president for business operations, chief financial officer, and chief compliance and audit officer.
  • Temple University's Board of Trustees has approved a single university policy for student grievances -- to replace individual policies by Temple's colleges and divisions. Students for Academic Freedom, David Horowitz's group that pushes for state legislation on student grievances over alleged political discrimination, is claiming victory and praising Temple for adopting the policy. But a Temple spokesman said Thursday that the university made no changes of substance and found no problems, and just acted to simplify its system.
  • The Jed Foundation, which promotes efforts to prevent suicide by college students, has released a "framework for developing institutional protocols" to help colleges with their programs.
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