Quick Takes: Study Warns of Student Narcissism, Court Upholds California Stem Cell Program, Unions Seek UN Help for Grad Students, MIT in Abu Dhabi, Image Overhaul for Case Western, Bombs Found at Oxford, Students and Their Cells

  • A group of researchers will release a report today suggesting that today's college students are much more narcissistic than previous cohorts, The Los Angeles Times reported.
  • February 27, 2007
  • A group of researchers will release a report today suggesting that today's college students are much more narcissistic than previous cohorts, The Los Angeles Times reported. Researchers reviewed psychological surveys taken by thousands of students over a 25-year period and found that almost two-thirds of recent students have narcissism scores above the 1982 average.
  • A California appeals court on Monday upheld the legality of the state's new agency to support stem cell research. Anti-tax and anti-abortion groups challenged the process used in the referendum to create the agency and the role of university officials in overseeing the new body, but the appeals court rejected those arguments and said that there were no problems with the measure or the new agency. The referendum authorized $3 billion in bonds to support research with stem cells.
  • The AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers on Monday filed a complaint against the U.S. government with the International Labor Organization, a United Nations unit, over the National Labor Relations Board ruling that gave private universities the right to deny collective bargaining rights to graduate students who work as teaching assistants. The complaint argues that the NLRB ruling, which found that graduate students are primarily students and not employees, violates internationally recognized labor standards. While the International Labor Board does periodically issue condemnations of labor practices in various countries, it does not have legal power over the NLRB. Private universities have generally praised the NLRB ruling on the issue, and said that unions do not help graduate students or graduate education. The NLRB did not respond to a request for comment on the complaint. In a statement, ALF-CIO President John Sweeney said "it's shameful that the Bush labor board chose to deny the fundamental freedom to join a union and bargain collectively to those tasked with performing critical research and teaching duties at our nation's finest universities."
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday announced a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company to create the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which will offer research-driven graduate programs in Abu Dhabi. MIT faculty members will help set up the new institution, which plans to admit students for the first time in 2009.
  • Case Western Reserve University is going back to being called .... Case Western Reserve University. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the university's board has abandoned the institution's campaign to be known as just "Case," a campaign that was unpopular on campus. In addition, the board agreed to abandon an unpopular blue logo, which many at the university believe looks like a fat man holding a surfboard, and to come up with something better. The image-related campaigns -- amid mounting deficits -- were among the reasons many on the campus pushed to oust the previous president.
  • British authorities are investigating how two bombs were placed at Templeton College of the University of Oxford. The BBC reported Monday that the bombs had been discovered without injury. Oxford has been in a series of bitter disputes with animal rights groups, and police said that they were looking into a possible link.
  • A study at Virginia Tech has found that students make an average of 11 cell phone calls a day, split roughly evenly among immediate family members, boyfriends or girlfriends, and friends and relatives. Female students were more likely than their male counterparts to use their phones to talk to parents and other immediate family members, and to talk longer.
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