Quick Takes: 2 Presidents Ousted in Maricopa, Video Furor at Long Island U., SMU Profs Will Not Vote on Bush Plan, Purdue Clears Scientist, Rebound for Foreign Students, Lost Records at Hopkins, NCAA Plans Scholarly Conference, Football Attendance Up

February 8, 2007
  • Rufus Glasper, chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District, announced Wednesday that two campus presidents would be leaving their posts immediately. They are Larry Christiansen of Mesa Community College and Homero Lopez of Estrella Mountain Community College. "We all must have confidence in every leader in our system," Glasper said in a statement. "Absent that confidence, no leader can be effective." The abrupt resignations follow series of articles in the East Valley Tribuneand The Arizona Republic detailing international travel and other expenses by the two departing presidents, and others.
  • Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus dismissed five resident assistants from their jobs after they posted a video on YouTube, since removed, in which ski-masked people talking in fake Middle Eastern accents pretend to be terrorists who have kidnapped a rubber duck, Newsday reported. The duck is a dormitory mascot. Muslim groups condemned the video and university officials noted that resident assistants are expected to be role models.
  • The Southern Methodist University Faculty Senate has rejected a proposal to organize a full faculty vote on the university's plans to host the Bush presidential library and an affiliated research institute that would not report to the university and that would seek to promote Bush's philosophy, The Dallas Morning News reported. The meeting was closed to the public, but faculty leaders said that they remained concerned about the plans and wanted more information about them. Many faculty members and academics elsewhere are pushing SMU to reject the institute, while university officials say that it will be a valuable research center and that the Bush library will add to the university's prestige.
  • Purdue University has cleared a scientist of misconduct in an inquiry that started after an article in Nature said that his claims on his work on bubble fusion could not be replicated and that he refused to back up his claims, The Journal and Courier reported. A university panel found that there was no evidence to support misconduct charges.
  • First-time graduate enrollments in science and engineering showed a rebound in 2005, following the post-9/11 dips, according to data released by the National Science Foundation. The figures are similar to those reported in August by the Council of Graduate Schools.
  • Johns Hopkins University announced Wednesday that computer tapes with sensitive information about 52,000 university employees, and another tape with less sensitive information about 83,000 patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital were missing. University officials believe that the tapes were in a container mistaken for trash and were incinerated while they should have been en route to a contractor that makes microfiche backups of such data. While the university believes no information has been compromised, it has apologized to the employees and patients for any possible lack of security about their information.
  • Several months after it canceled a planned scholarly conference on college athletics, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced plans for a new colloquium in conjunction with its 2008 annual convention in Nashville next January, to fill what it called a "void in research activity related to sport in the context of higher education." Myles Brand, the NCAA's president, quietly canceled a meeting scheduled for last month, saying that the quality of papers submitted had been inadequate. The action ruffled some feathers among those who had chosen to submit papers, and prompted speculation that association officials hadn't liked the critical nature of some of the submissions. The NCAA's announcement of the new event said its theme would be "College Sports: A Legitimate Focus for Scholarly Inquiry," and noted that it would feature "invited scholars of international repute" -- suggesting that submissions would not be welcomed.
  • More people attended college football games in 2006 than ever before, the National Collegiate Athletic Association reported Wednesday. Attendance was up in every division, and in total, the 615 colleges that played football had 47,909,313 fans stream through their stadium gates, about 1.75 million more than in 2003, when the previous record was set. The increase was at least partially explained by the fact that the association's top division, the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A), added a 12th game in 2006. But per-game attendance also reached a new record.
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