Quick Takes: Mayor Tries to Save Painting for Philly, BU Republicans Offer White Scholarship, Blow to British Physics, Intellectual Nourishment for Thanksgiving, 2d Place for Spellings, Invite List for U.S. Accreditation Forum

November 22, 2006
  • Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street has designated a Thomas Eakins painting, The Gross Clinic, as a "historic object," which would give a city agency the power to block attempts to move the work, which Thomas Jefferson University is trying to sell for $68 million, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. University officials are protesting the designation. The painting is a much-loved classic, but the university says it needs the funds for programs and facilities.
  • The College Republicans at Boston University are protesting minority scholarships by offering the $250 Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship, CBS4 reported. The scholarship, being criticized by some on campus as insensitive, is restricted to those who are at least one-fourth white and who write two essays -- one on their background and one on "what it means to you to be a Caucasian-American today."
  • The University of Reading, in Britain, announced Monday that it would go ahead with plans to close its physics department, The Guardian reported. The university has cited a lack of fund and declining student interest, but the decision has been widely criticized by scientists throughout Britain, who see it as a sign of potential erosion of the country's science capacity.
  • For those seeking intellectual nourishment for Thanksgiving, we recommend The Turkey: An American Story, just out from the University of Illinois Press. The book -- by the culinary historian Andrew F. Smith -- explores the history of the bird, its cultural symbolism in American life, and the evolution of turkey recipes. Happy Thanksgiving.
  • Answer: The first sitting cabinet secretary ever to appear on "Jeopardy." Question: Who is Margaret Spellings? The U.S. education secretary's long-awaited appearance on the television game show  was broadcast Tuesday night. And tempting as it might be to tease her for finishing second to an actor, the truth is that Michael McKean -- the former "Laverne and Shirley" and "This is Spinal Tap" actor who easily outdistanced Spellings and Hill Harper, one of People magazine's sexiest men alive in 2004 -- is a smart guy and was absolutely at home on the show's set. Spellings, who looked vaguely uncomfortable in the television spotlight, started slow (she had a negative score at the first commercial) but came on strong during the middle segment of the show, identifying Exxon Mobil and Time Warner from their stock symbols and correctly answering questions (or questioning answers, as the case may be on "Jeopardy") about haggis and wind chill. Her second-place finish earned $25,000 for a charity, ProLiteracy Worldwide, which provides educational programs for adults and their families. (In line with federal ethics rules, the show selected her charity.)
  • Back to Spellings' formal duties: The U.S. Education Department released a list Tuesday of those who had agreed to participate in a forum to discuss possible changes in accreditation, stemming from the secretary's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Although college lobbyists had originally complained that most of Washington's higher education groups had been left off the invitation list, after subsequent rounds of invitations, the final list of those attending includes representatives of many if not most of the major college groups. The list follows:

James Applegate
Vice president for academic affairs
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

David Armstrong
Florida Community Colleges and Workforce Education

Robert Atwell
President emeritus
American Council on Education

Trudy Banta
Vice chancellor for academic planning and evaluation
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Roger Benjamin
Council for Aid to Education

Barbara Beno
Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Robert Berdahl
Association of American Universities

Dort Bigg
Executive director
Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Howard Block
Managing director and senior research analyst
Banc of America Securities

George Boggs
President and CEO
American Association of Community Colleges

J. Keith Brown
Associate vice president
North Carolina Community College System

Jonathan Brown
Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities

Patrick Callan
National Center for Public Policy in Higher Education

Kevin Carey
Research and policy manager
Education Sector

Steven Crow
Executive director
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Carol D'Amico
Executive vice president
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

Thomas Dawson
Chief of staff, Office of Postsecondary Education
U.S. Department of Education

Judith Eaton
Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Edward Elmendorf
Senior vice president for government relations
American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Peter Ewell
Vice president
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems

Jackson Grayson
Founder and chairman
American Productivity and Quality Center

Randal Haack
Senior vice president and CFO
University of Northern Colorado

Mary Jane Harris
Director, Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association

Terry Hartle
Senior vice president
American Council on Education

Marshall Hill
Executive director
Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education

Larry Isaak
Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Sally Johnstone
Vice president for academic affairs
Winona State University

C. Todd Jones
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio

Jillian Kinzie
Associate director
National Survey of Student Engagement

Janet Laughlin
Coordinator, Student Success Center
Danville Community College

Anita Levy
Associate secretary
American Association of University Professors

Paul Lingenfelter
State Higher Education Executive Officers

Geri Malandra
Vice chancellor for strategic management
University of Texas System

James Manning
Acting assistant secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education
U.S. Department of Education

Robert Mendenhall
Western Governors University

Charles Miller
The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education

Margaret Miller
National Forum on College-Level Learning

Anne Neal
Executive director
American Council of Trustees and Alumni

Kay Norton
University of Northern Colorado

Cheryl Oldham
Chief of staff, Office of the Under Secretary
U.S. Department of Education

David Payne
Senior executive director
Educational Testing Service

Paula Peinovich
Walden University

Mark Pelesh
Member, Coalition for a Competitive American Workforce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

George Peterson
Executive director
Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology

Arthur Rothkopf
Senior vice president and counselor to the president
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Elise Scanlon
Executive director
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology

Vickie Schray
Senior advisor, Office of the Under Secretary
U.S. Department of Education

Stephen Shank
Chairman and CEO
Capella University

Robert Sheets
Director, research & development
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David Shulenburger
Vice president for academic affairs
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges

Kent Talbert
General counsel
U.S. Department of Education

Jane Wellman
Higher education consultant

John Welty
California State University at Fresno

Belle Wheelan
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Thomas Wickenden
Director of accreditation
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

John Wiley
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Roger Williams
Executive director
Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training

Ralph Wolff
President and executive director
Western Association of Schools and Colleges

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