Quick Takes: Race Classification Plan Questioned, Online Video of Berkeley Courses, Ignorance of History, U. of Phoenix Buys Stadium Naming Rights, $280M for Medical Research at Duke, Challenge of Title IX Lives (Faintly)

September 27, 2006
  • The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University has issued a report strongly criticizing the Education Department's proposed new way for having colleges collect and report information about their students racial and ethnic backgrounds. The report said that the new system -- which gives more options for students from mixed backgrounds -- would seriously hinder the ability of researchers to compare the performance of schools and colleges on educating students of different races. The Education Department proposal has been praised by many experts for recognizing that their are many students whose identities don't fit neatly in a single racial category.
  • The University of California at Berkeley announced Tuesday that it would put video of selected courses online -- free to all -- through a collaboration with Google Video. The move follows a similar move announced a week ago by Yale University.
  • The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative research organization, on Tuesday released a survey noting that many college seniors are ignorant of key aspects of American history (the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers, etc.) and that at many colleges, seniors appear to have less knowledge than freshmen. The report also found that some of the most prestigious colleges in the United State had lower rankings on the survey questions than did less prestigious institutions.
  • The University of Phoenix may not be a power in college athletics, but it now has a stadium. On Tuesday, the Arizona Cardinals announced a deal in which the football team's stadium will be known as the University of Phoenix Stadium. University of Phoenix officials said that they saw the deal as a way to attract more attention and students to the for-profit university's offerings. Phoenix will be paying an average of $7.7 million annually for the 20 years covered by the deal.
  • The Duke University Health System has transferred $280 million from its reserves to create a fund to support research and education programs at Duke's medical and nursing colleges. The transfer is believed by Duke officials to be the largest such transfer by an academic medical system.
  • A federal appeals court has breathed a tiny bit of life into a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Education Department's interpretation and application of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the College Sports Council had legal standing to challenge the department's 2003 refusal to begin a negotiated rule making process to examine its interpretation of the federal law barring sex discrimination. The appeals court ordered a federal court in Washington to consider the council's request to review the department's decision not to enter into rule making.
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