Quick Takes: Outreach to Latino Students, Myers U. in Financial Danger, Salisbury Drops SAT, Dallas Student Linked to Taliban Supporters, Dalkey's New Home, Berkeley Restricts Study in Israel, Cheating Scandal at Columbia, North Dakota Fires Back

December 4, 2006
  • California needs to consider a range of policies to prepare more Latino students for higher education, according to a report being released today. Among the ideas: financial incentives for students to remain continuously enrolled in higher education until degree completition, new programs to help community college students transfer to four-year institutions, providing new parents -- in maternity wards -- with information about preparing for college, and adding middle school electives on how to prepare for and pay for college. The report is being released by Excelencia in Education, the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute and the California Policy Research Center.
  • Myers University, a business-oriented college in Cleveland, is in danger of folding or being forced to merge because of financial problems, The Plain Dealer  reported. The newspaper reported that the situation became dire when the U.S. Education Department blocked $1.8 million in financial aid for students at the university, citing the money problems. University officials said that they were working hard to get the money they need, and that their expenses are high in part because the institution serves many low-income students.
  • Salisbury University, in Maryland, has started a five-year study in which applicants with above a 3.5 grade-point average in high school will have the option of not submitting SAT or ACT scores. Officials hope to attract a more diverse applicant pool. Many colleges have  been dropping SAT requirements in recent years, and supporters of the test have noted that those institutions generally have been small liberal arts colleges. Salisbury is a public institution with more than 7,000 students.
  • A federal judge on Friday ordered that Syed Maaz Shah, a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, be held in jail based on firearms charge and statements from prosecutors linking him to two men who were seeking to help the Taliban defeat U.S. forces, according to The Dallas Morning News. Shah's lawyer told the newspaper that his client had not been involved in any violent activities, but a federal agent testified that Shah was photographed participaing in guerilla combat training. At the university, Shah is listed as secretary of the Muslim Students Association. The Dallas CBS station quoted Shah as posting comments on various blogs in which he agreed with the view that the United States deserved the 9/11 attacks and expressed admiration for the German military during World War II, writing that it would have been better for Muslims had that war had a different outcome.
  • Dalkey Archive Press, a leading publisher of literary translations, is moving from Normal, Ill. to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The move follows an aborted plan to relocate to the University of Rochester.
  • The University of California at Berkeley is suspending courses offered in countries with U.S. State Department travel warnings. The most significant impact of the policy is expected to be on a dig in Israel where Berkeley has sent students for more than 20 years, The Contra Costa Times reported. On many campuses in the United States, students who want to study in Israel have questioned policies that rely on State Department travel advisories.
  • Columbia University journalism students are being required to write an extra essay on ethics after officials came to believe that some students were cheating on a take-home exam,  The New York Times  reported. The exam was about ethics.
  • The University of North Dakota's president, Charles Kupchella, has written to Dartmouth College's president, James Wright, demanding respect for his university's hockey team when it visits the New Hampshire campus this month. The Associated Press reported that Kupchella had made it clear that he does not appreciate recent comments from Dartmouth officials about North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" team name. Kupchalla told reporters that Dartmouth officials don't "have a clue," and added that his institution enrolls more American Indian students than does Dartmouth. The statements from Dartmouth -- which has been praised by Native American groups for abandoning its "Indian" team name decades ago -- came following a series of anti-Indian incidents.
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