Quick Takes: Truce in Rutgers Union Dispute, Sentencing in Seton Hall Arson, More Charges at Bishop State CC, Grade-Selling Suspected, Duquesne Bars Politicians as Graduation Speakers, Last Holdout Accepts ACT, Butler Eliminates 2 Teams, Moose Head Suit

January 29, 2007
  • Rutgers University and the American Federation of Teachers reached an agreement in a dispute over an AFT campaign to unionize mid-level administrative employees, such as program coordinators, administrative assistants and some library workers, The Star-Ledger reported. Under the agreement, Rutgers will stop sending out e-mail messages to employees criticizing unionization. New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and other politicians have strongly criticized Rutgers for what they termed "anti-union" activities.
  • Two former Seton Hall University students were sentenced to five-year prison terms Friday for their role in setting a fire that killed three students at the university in 2000. The New York Times reported on the emotional sentencing hearing in which relatives of the dead students spoke about the case, which led to a national movement to improve dormitory safety. The students who admitted their guilt said that they were engaged in a prank, but family members of the victims noted the way they had left the scene and tried to cover up their involvement.
  • Alabama authorities on Friday charged seven more people Friday in a growing investigation of possible theft or improper use of federal financial aid funds at Bishop State Community College, The Press-Register reported. The new accusations bring to 13 the total of those facing charges. Those arrested include current and former employees and students, and several of the new charges are against relatives of those previously charged. The Press-Register also reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started its own inquiry into the college. The Bishop State situation is among a series of scandals involving Alabama's community colleges, which led in part to the State Board of Education last week adopting new anti-nepotism rules.
  • Authorities at Diablo Valley College, part of California's Contra Costa Community College District, suspect that some students with access to academic records have been running a grade-selling scheme, where some students have been able to raise their grades, The Contra Costa Times reported. A tip from a student set off the investigation.
  • Duquesne University is facing criticism over a ban on having politicians speak at graduation, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Officials said that the new policy would prevent the use of graduation ceremonies for partisan purposes and would avoid disputes over honoring politicians who do not agree with some Roman Catholic teachings. Some law students, who wanted to invite a politician, are circulating a petition opposing the ban.
  • Harvey Mudd College, believed to be the last four-year college to require standardized tests for admission and not to accept the ACT, has relented and will now accept the ACT. Officials of the California institution said that they hoped to attract more applicants in the Midwest and other parts of the United States where the ACT is more popular than the SAT.
  • Butler University, in Indianapolis, announced Friday that it would eliminate its men's lacrosse and swimming teams. Lacrosse team members will have scholarships honored through their senior years. Swimming is a non-scholarship sport. Money saved from the eliminations will be reallocated to the remaining 19 teams at the university.
  • Pennsylvania State University is being sued by a woman who says that a stuffed moose head fell on her during an exam she took at the university's Fayette County campus in 2005, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. According to the report, the exam required students to analyze specimens under microscopes at various stations in the room and while the woman was using a microscope under the moose head, it fell on her. The woman says she has had chronic headaches since the incident.
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