Quick Takes: Conflicts of IRB Members, Unwanted Neighbors for Madison Lab, Investigation of Southern U. Board Leader, Deadly Fire at Missouri-St. Louis Frat, Wage Debate at Vanderbilt, NCAA Rejects Idea on Black Coaches, Grawemeyer in Education

November 30, 2006
  • In a new study of Institutional Review Boards, which are supposed to protect the interests of human subjects in research, 36 percent of board members had financial ties to industry, and 86 percent said that they thought the relationship of another member with industry had affected that member's decision in an "inappropriate way." The findings were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.
  • A state judge has ruled that an animal rights group has a valid contract to purchase a building between two primate research laboratories of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, The Capital Times reported. The group wants to create an "animal cruelty museum" in the space.
  • Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has hired a lawyer to investigate sexual harassment allegations involving one of her top aides, Johnny Anderson, in his capacity as head of Southern University's board, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported. Few details were available about the nature of the allegations, which Anderson has denied.
  • A fire early Wednesday at a University of Missouri at St. Louis fraternity house killed one student, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Earlier this month, a student at Nebraska Wesleyan University died in a fraternity fire.
  • Vanderbilt University is the latest university to face a "living wage" campaign on behalf of employees on the low end of the salary scale, The New York Times reported. The campaign is making much of recent reports on the high salary and generous benefits provided to E. Gordon Gee, the chancellor.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association has rejected an idea being pushed by civil rights groups that searches for head football coaches include at least one black candidate, USA Today reported. Black players are common in college football, but head coaches are a rarity. In a letter rejecting the idea, Myles Brand, the NCAA's president, said that while he wants to see more minority coaches hired, colleges have the right to make their own decisions on personnel choices.
  • James Comer, the Yale University child psychiatry expert, will today be named winner of the 2007 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Education. Comer was honored for his book Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today's Youth for Tomorrow's World (Yale University Press), which argues that federal mandates of the sort associated with the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" law are poorly designed and in fact leave many behind.
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