Quick Takes: Harvard's Shortlist, Anti-Gay Slurs on Dead Pledge, Layoffs at Southern Oregon, Undercover Applicants to Britain, Court Grants Immunity to Miami U. Officers, Jaywalking Arrest Investigated

January 10, 2007
  • A true shortlist has started to emerge for Harvard University's presidency, The Boston Globe reported. Among those under consideration are three Harvard insiders: Steven E. Hyman, the provost; Elena Kagan, dean of the law school; and Drew Gilpin Faust, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Another contender is Thomas R. Cech, president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. While the list could shrink or grow, it appears more real than the list of 30 names that circulated last month and that reportedly included many names of people who were not actually in contention, and some who didn't want the job.
  • A medical examiner's report released Tuesday on the death of a fraternity pledge at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 indicated that while the pledge was dying from alcohol poisoning, fraternity members were scrawling anti-gay comments and other slurs on his body, the Associated Press reported. Fraternity members used markers to write "I'm gay" and "FAG," and also colored the pledge's toenails and drew naked men and women on his body, the AP reported.
  • Southern Oregon University has announced layoffs for 17 non-academic employees, with the expectation that some faculty jobs may also soon be eliminated, The Mail Tribune reported. Declining enrollments and limits on state support were blamed for the layoffs.
  • Some British universities, seeking to test the "customer care" their institutions provide to prospective applicants, are using fake applicants and parents to test how institutions respond to questions and concerns, The Times Higher Education Supplement reported.
  • Miami University and two of its police officers have qualified immunity that shields them from a lawsuit accusing the officers of falsely arresting a building services worker at the university, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Tuesday. The custodial employee, Al Franklin, had filed the lawsuit after the two officers arrested him for criminal menacing after an incident in which he allegedly threatened a co-worker. A lower court said his lawsuit could proceed, but a divided three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit overturned that ruling, saying the officers deserved immunity because they had probable cause to arrest Franklin.
  • Atlanta officials are investigating why a British historian was arrested and briefly jailed for jaywalking while walking between two hotels holding sessions of the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
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