Quick Takes: Literature Nobel, U. of Washington Scholarships, Another Flap Over 9/11 Skeptic, College Groups Back Diversity, EPA Compliance, Niagara Suspends 6 Athletes, Robin Hood Studies

October 12, 2006
  • Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish writer, this morning was named winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy said that Pamuk, who was born and lives in Istanbul, was honored for his "quest for the melancholic soul of his native city" and work in which he has "discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures." Pamuk is known for his novels and also for his stands on human rights -- with comments he made about the Armenian genocide leading to his prosecution by Turkish authorities, although the charges were dropped. Pamuk spent several years in the United States, as a researcher at Columbia University and as a writer in residence at the University of Iowa, through its International Writing Program.
  • The University of Washington announced Wednesday that it would start to provide scholarships to cover all tuition and fees for state residents from low-income families. Students will be eligible if their family incomes are at or below 65 percent of the state median income, which is currently 235 percent of the state poverty level. For a family of four, that would reach $46,500. The university expects to support about 5,000 students a year in the program -- of 20 percent of undergraduates
  • Kevin Barrett, a controversial adjunct at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who believes the U.S. government was responsible for 9/11, is in hot water again. This time he is being criticized for an essay in which he wrote "like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument and blaming its destruction on their designated enemies." Politicians in Wisconsin are outraged by the comparison between President Bush and Hitler. The Associated Press quoted Barrett as saying Tuesday that he didn't mean to compare Bush and Hitler personally, but was comparing events. He added that "Hitler has a good 20 to 30 IQ points on Bush." The university issued a statement from Provost Patrick Farrell saying that it did not endorse Barrett's views.
  • The American Council on Education and 20 other higher education groups have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court backing the right of public school districts to consider race and ethnicity when establishing school enrollment patterns. Schools and colleges use very different methods to achieve diversity in their student bodies, and courts have generally applied different standards to determining the constitutionality of those standards, so the Supreme Court cases in which the college groups filed the brief may end up having no immediate impact on colleges. But the college groups argued that many of the principles for supporting diversity in educational settings are similar.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to create a center aimed at helping colleges and universities to comply with federal environmental laws and regulations, the agency announced Wednesday. In a speech at Washington University in St. Louis, the EPA's administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, said the agency would provide up to $350,000 over five years in a collaboration with the National Association of College and University Business Officers and three other groups: the Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence; the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association; and the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers.
  • Niagara University has suspended six basketball players -- from one to eight games -- who are facing charges that they assaulted one of the university's baseball players in August.
  • In what may be a first, a master's program has been created in Robin Hood studies. The one-year program will be offered, naturally, by Britain's University of Nottingham.
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