Quick Takes: Phoenix's Flaws, Ouster at Mt. San Jacinto, Video Dispute Grows at C.W. Post, Protests on Rape Article, Macalester Party Angers, Philip Morris and UVa, Excessive Security Alleged, Ethnomusicologists Condemn Torture, Coach's Penalties Upheld

February 12, 2007
  • An article in The New York Times Sunday reviewed many of the recent problems at the University of Phoenix, including low graduation rates, student complaints, and turnover in senior positions. Observers attributed many of the problems to a push from Wall Street for higher profits.
  • The board of Mt. San Jacinto College on Thursday voted to place President Mark J. Zacovic on administrative leave, and suggested that he would soon be dismissed, The Inland News reported. Zacovic has been in office for only 10 months and no reason was given for the move. Faculty members and students, dozens of whom came to the board meeting to back the president, said that he had been doing a great job and that they were outraged by the decision. The newspaper reported that many were tearful after the board vote.
  • A lawyer for the five students at Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus who lost their resident assistant jobs this month because of a video they made announced on Friday that he had obtained an injunction blocking further action against his clients, and that they were suing the university for $2.5 million, Newsday reported. In the video, the students pretended to be Middle Eastern terrorists who had kidnapped a rubber duck. University officials, who acted amid complaints from Muslim groups about the video, originally said that the students lost their jobs for failing to act as role models. Now the university is not talking because of the litigation. The students who lost their jobs, who are male, are claiming wrongful termination and discrimination -- charging that the university did not take away the jobs of female resident assistants who made a video mocking Middle Eastern terrorists.
  • Students at Central Connecticut State University rallied Thursday to protest an article in The Recorder, the student newspaper, called "Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It," The Hartford Courant reported. The article described rape as a "magical experience" and said it was helpful to "ugly women." The Courant quoted the student newspaper's editors as saying that the article was intended as satire.
  • The University of Virginia announced Friday that it had received a $25 million donation from Philip Morris to support "independent" research on preventing teen smoking and reducing the harm caused by smoking and efforts by the university's commerce school to better develop leaders, among other things.
  • Macalester College has become the latest institution this year where a party has raised issues of racial insensitivity. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that a party was organized along the theme of "politically incorrect," and that one student attended dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member and another appeared in blackface, with a noose around the student's neck. Officials are investigating what happened, and a campus discussion on the incident is planned Tuesday.
  • Education researchers are complaining that the Education Department is doing far too much screening of those working as contractors, The New York Times reported. Some researchers report being asked for financial and medical records, even though their work has nothing to do with national security.
  • The Society for Ethnomusicology has issued a statement condemning the use of music as a means to torture or psychologically abuse prisoners. The society "is committed to the ethical uses of music to further human understanding and to uphold the highest standards of human rights," the statement says. The scholarly group decided to announce its views after learning of reports about the use of music as part of efforts to interrogate or humiliate prisoners.
  • The Mississippi University for Women is moving to disaffiliate its alumni association from a formal connection to the institution, The Commercial Dispatch reported. The newspaper said that Claudia Limbert, president of the university, told the Faculty Senate on Friday that she would soon post "conclusive evidence" on the university's Web site that the alumni group was trying to undermine the MUW Foundation, the university's fund-raising arm. Leaders of the alumni group have denied doing anything inappropriate and say that they want to meet with university leaders to resolve their differences.
  • A National Collegiate Athletic Association appeals committee has upheld penalties levied against Ray Lopes, who was found to have committed rules violations at two universities. The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions found last April last that Lopes, the former men's basketball coach at California State University at Fresno, and his assistant coaches there had made hundreds of improper phone calls to recruits from 2002 to 2004, and required Lopes to appear before the panel if he sought to coach at another NCAA member college within three years. The next month, Lopes was implicated again in similar violations that had occurred when he was an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma before going to Fresno. Lopes had asked the NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee to overturn the penalties against him, which he deemed excessive, but the panel upheld them.
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