Quick Takes: Shift Copyright Rules on Video in Classes, Hunger Strike at Purdue, Leprechaun Skeptic Expelled, Imitating Princeton's Web Site, Flaws in India's Higher Ed System, Cambridge Turns to Endowment Managers, Grawemeyer for World Order

November 28, 2006
  • The Library of Congress on Monday published new copyright rules that give colleges slightly more leeway on the use of certain video materials in class, but some college librarians fear that the changes do not go far enough. The rules are part of a process in which the Librarian of Congress periodically considers exemptions from the general ban on altering without permission technology designed to block unauthorized use of videos or computer programs. The exemption created Monday applies to portions of videos that are held in college libraries and are used in classes by media studies or film studies professors. The regulations are complicated, and college copyright experts said Monday that they were still reviewing them. Pamela Snelson, college librarian at Franklin & Marshall College and president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, said that based on a first analysis, she was pleased to see the exemption added because "anything that adds to our availability is good." She also said it was important for copyright officials to see that "we need this material to teach." But she worried that the exemption was "too narrow," and asked why professors in disciplines beyond film and media studies shouldn't have the same flexibility for their courses.
  • About a dozen students at Purdue University are on a hunger strike, demanding that the university adopt new guidelines for the production of clothing with its name and logo, The Indianapolis Star reported. University officials say that they share the students' concerns about "sweatshop labor," but are not certain the students' demands would accomplish what they hope.
  • A former student at the Art Institute of Portland, in Oregon, says that he was suspended and then expelled, in a series of events that started when he questioned another student's belief in leprechauns and she complained about his questions, The Portland Mercury reported. Institute officials denied that anyone could be expelled for questioning another's belief in leprechauns and suggested that other issues were involved.
  • The Philosophy School at Renmin University, in China, set up a Web site that was so similar in design to Princeton University's site that student journalists there made inquiries -- and as an apparent result, the Chinese university pulled the Web site. An article in The Daily Princetonian includes a photo of what the Chinese site looked like before it was taken down. Here's Princeton's home page for comparison.
  • While many American policy makers of late have been worrying about increased competition from India's universities, a report in the International Herald Tribune found that outside a small number of elite Indian universities, most of the country's higher education system is in terrible shape. "Most of the 11 million students in the 18,000 Indian colleges and universities receive starkly inferior training, heavy on obeisance and light on marketable skills, students, educators and business leaders say," according to the article.
  • In a first for British higher education, the University of Cambridge is hiring investment professionals to work at the university to manage its endowment, The Financial Times reported. The university has announced a goal of having its financial management and investment success rival those of top American universities.
  • A Canadian professor who has studied problems in Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion this morning won the 2006 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Roland Paris, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, will win $200,000. Paris argues that U.S.-led forces should either do what it really takes to help Afghanistan stay free of the Taliban or get out of the country. He is the author of At War's End: Building Peace After Civil Conflict (Cambridge University Press).
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