Quick Takes: Patriot Act Fallout, N. Dakota Wins Round and Newberry Gives Up on Team Names, Sorority Arrests, Donor Withdraws $20M, Capella IPO, Georgetown Students' Religion, Ala. Sues Artist, Lafayette Bars Sudan Stocks, Sale of Painting Stuns Philly

November 13, 2006
  • Some Canadian universities are restructuring their relationships with research databases in the United States out of fear that participation could make professors vulnerable to monitoring by U.S. authorities through the Patriot Act, The Globe and Mail reported. The Canadian institutions are trying to make sure that their professors' records appear only on Canadian servers, such as one being used for this purpose at the University of Toronto.
  • A state judge has granted the University of North Dakota an injunction barring the National Collegiate Athletic Association from taking action against against the university over its Fighting Sioux team name and logo, the Associated Press reported. The ruling has yet to be released formally, and the NCAA told the AP that it would continue to push for the end of such names. The NCAA's campaign has been praised by many civil rights and Indian groups, but has been opposed by most colleges with Indian names. North Dakota has been particularly outspoken in defending its team name and symbol (visible in upper left of this Web page). Newberry College, in South Carolina, on Friday announced an agreement with the NCAA under which the college will examine its Indian nickname and have a new one in place by the fall of 2008.
  • Four current students and one former student at Plymouth State University were arrested last week on charges related to the alleged hazing of sorority members, the university announced. Few details about the arrests and the underlying incidents have been revealed, so as not to compromise the police investigation. But Plymouth State officials said they began cooperating with law enforcement authorities after several students came forward with allegations about possible hazing. University officials reacted aggressively, in part, because of a 2003 hazing incident in which a student was killed.
  • A donor has withdrawn his $20 million gift to Florida International University -- the largest donation in the institution's history -- because he felt insulted in a telephone conversation with President Modesto A. Maidique, The Miami Herald  reported. Herbert Wertheim's gift had earned him naming rights to Florida International's new medical school, but in negotiations last week over a payment schedule for the gift, Maidique reportedly told Wertheim that he was getting the naming rights "on the cheap" and that the university could now get $100 million for that honor, according to the Herald.
  • Capella Education's initial public offering on Friday sent its stock up by about 25 percent, The Pioneer Press reported.
  • Nine Georgetown University students who live in a $2.4 million house owned by one of their parents have gotten around local zoning limits on the number of unrelated residents who can live in a house by registering as a religious organization, according to The Washington Post. The neighbors are furious, alleging that the "Apostles of O'Neill," as their nonprofit group is called, merely want to throw parties.
  • The University of Alabama has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a sports artist whose paintings have immortalized many of the most famous moments in the university's storied football history, The New York Times reported. Daniel A. Moore appears to have prodded Alabama officials into their aggressive defense of intellectual property by affixing his paintings, some of which appear in university's Paul W. Bryant Museum, to coffee mugs and calendars. Many observers think the lawsuit is a bad idea, the Times reported. “This lawsuit is the equivalent of the Catholic Church suing Michelangelo for painting the Sistine Chapel,” said Keith Dunnavant, an Alabama alumnus and the author of Coach: The Life of Paul "Bear" Bryant.
  • Lafayette College has become the latest institution to protest the genocide in Darfur by ordering its investment managers to avoid holdings in companies with ties to the government in Sudan.
  • Thomas Jefferson University has stunned the Philadelphia art world by agreeing to sell the classic Thomas Eakins painting " The Gross Clinic" to the National Gallery of Art and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for $68 million. The university said that the sale would allow for improvements of its facilities and educational programs. Philadelphia arts institutions are being given 45 days to match the offer, in which case the painting would remain in Philadelphia.
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