Quick Takes: Taser Incident at UCLA, Professors of the Year, Guilt Admitted in Deadly Fire, Protest Over Cal State Perk, Recruiting Minority Med Students, Earmark Oversight

November 16, 2006
  • Many at the University of California at Los Angeles are questioning why a campus police officer used a Taser multiple times on a student who refused to leave a library, The Los Angeles Times reported. Cell phone video captured the incident and was played on local television stations.
  • The 2006 Professors of the Year are being announced today. The winners, who are selected from different institutional sectors, are: Kenneth Brashier, professor of religion and humanities at Reed College; Mark Lewine, professor of anthropology at Cuyahoga Community College; Alex Filippenko, professor of astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley; and Donna Boyd, professor of anthropology at Radford University. The awards are sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Two former Seton Hall University students on Wednesday reached a plea agreement with prosecutors for their role in the 2000 dormitory fire that killed three students and injured dozens, The New York Times reported. The former students admitted to setting the fire as a prank. Murder charges were dropped. The first brought national attention to the need for sprinkler systems in dormitories, prompting legislation in New Jersey and elsewhere.
  • More than 1,000 students and faculty members rallied outside a meeting of the California State University board Wednesday, demanding the elimination of controversial benefits packages for top administrators, The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported. The board was at the same time voting to place limits on the "executive transition" program, which has paid executives after they have moved to other jobs.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges is starting a new campaign to encourage more black, Latino and Native American students to enroll in medical school. An analysis by the association found that the last decade saw substantial increases in the numbers of minority biology majors, but not a corresponding increase in medical school applications, even though biology is the most popular major for medical school applicants. Among the new recruiting tools is a Web site called AspiringDocs.
  • State auditors in Montana are calling for more oversight of earmarked grants -- those that bypass peer review -- to the state's colleges and universities, The Billings Gazette reported. Because these grants tend to be created by Congress without normal checks and balances, the auditors said, the chance for problems is greater -- even if many of the earmarks support valuable projects.
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