Quick Takes: Starting From Scratch in Iowa, U. of Georgia Recognizes Christian Fraternity, Gallaudet Accreditation Held Up, Instructor Charged With Selling Grades, Runners' Rash, Unexpected Knowledge on 'The Colbert Report'

December 8, 2006
  • The Iowa Board of Regents announced Thursday that it was re-starting the presidential search for the University of Iowa. When the regents voted to reject the finalists suggested by a search committee last month, faculty and student groups objected -- saying that the regents were changing the search criteria and needlessly delaying the process. Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, asked the board to reconsider the finalists. The board's statement Thursday said that it had done so and had agreed to talk again with one of the finalists, but that that person had "declined further consideration in the process."
  • The University of Georgia on Thursday agreed to recognize a Christian fraternity that sued the institution this week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The university had previously said that the fraternity was violating the university's anti-bias policy, which protects students from discrimination based on religion, by requiring all members to pledge their belief in Jesus. The university is now considering an exemption for that policy.
  • The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has voted to delay the extension of Gallaudet University's accreditation, pending a review of items of "serious concern" expressed to the university, in the wake of recent turmoil of the board's selection and withdrawal of appointment of the university's next president. Gallaudet will retain its past accreditation during the review.
  • Elvin Escano, a computer science instructor at LaGuardia Community College, has been charged with grand larceny, falsifying business records, and forgery in a grades for cash scheme, the Associated Press reported. According to prosecutors, students made payments of $200 to $2,500, as well as providing wine, to get their grades improved. Escano's lawyers denied the charges.
  • The Connecticut Department of Public Health is investigating a rash reported by more than 200 cross-country athletes who participated in an event hosted by Connecticut College in October, The Day reported. Preliminary findings suggest that those who participated in events -- held at a state park -- have an itch caused by water-borne parasites.
  • For a spirited defense of the life of the mind, intellectual rigor, meaningful debate and facial hair, we recommend video of Wednesday night's "Colbert Report," which featured an interview with John Sexton, president of New York University. Video is available in the show's archive of "celebrity interviews."
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