Quick Takes: Charges Dropped in Duke Lacrosse Incident, Senate Passes Stem Cell Bill, Report on Immigrant Students, University Sells Another Eakins, Honor for CUNY Chancellor, Recording Industry Crackdown Expands, Student Strike in Israel

April 12, 2007
  • As has been expected for weeks, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Wednesday dropped all charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players who were accused of assaulting a woman at a party last year. The attorney general's statement said that there was "a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations" in the case, and that he believed the three students were innocent. Duke's president, Richard H. Brodhead, issued a statement in which he praised the accused students for carrying "themselves with dignity through an ordeal of deep unfairness." Here are links to three of the opinion pieces that have appeared on the case in Inside Higher Ed:  KC Johnson, whose blog has emerged as a key site defending the rights of the accused students, wrote in December about what reactions to the case said about academe, particularly as the allegations became less and less credible; Peggy Reeves Sanday, an expert about gang rape and fraternity culture, wrote in March that the case pointed to important problems -- even if the accused didn't rape anyone; Eric Moyen, a scholar of town-gown relations, wrote last year about the implications of the Duke case.
  • The U.S. Senate passed a bill to ease restrictions on federal support for stem cell research, but failed to reach a veto-proof majority Thursday. Research groups have been hoping to overturn limits imposed by President Bush.
  • Colleges need to look for new ways to help immigrant students obtain a higher education, according to "Opening the Door to the American Dream," a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Higher Education Policy. The report stresses that the issues facing immigrant groups vary widely, and go beyond the question of legal immigration status.
  • Thomas Jefferson University has sold a second painting by Thomas Eakins, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The university declined to name the price, but sources told the Inquirer that a new museum being planned in Arkansas paid around $20 million. A previous sale of an Eakins, and a planned sale of art by Fisk University, have prompted a national debate on whether colleges should sell art in their collections.
  • The Carnegie Corporation of New York has named Matthew Goldstein, chancellor of the City University of New York, as winner of the Academic Leadership Award. Goldstein will receive $500,000 from the foundation for his academic priorities. Goldstein was honored for an emphasis on the liberal arts, academic standards and science.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America said Wednesday that it had sent hundreds more "pre-litigation settlement letters" to students on 22 campuses, the third wave of a recent campaign to crack down further on illegal downloading of music on campuses. The association is asking colleges and universities to send to their students letters from the RIAA urging them to settle before being sued; the institutions singled out in this round, and the number of letters they were asked to forward, are: Bates College (7), Brown University (12), Central Michigan University (24), Colby College (5), College of William & Mary (12), Cornell University (19), Fairfield University (15), Florida International University (16) , Indiana University (28), Keene State University (19), Kent State University (19), Morehead State University (10), Ohio University (50), Oklahoma State University (16), University of Massachusetts at Amherst (32), University of Maryland System (25),University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (23), University of New Hampshire (17), University of New Mexico (16), University of Pennsylvania (17), University of Rochester (22), and Williams College (9).
  • Students at Israeli universities have started a strike, effectively shutting down classes at most institutions, Haaretz reported. Students are demanding a cut in tuition and the replacement of a government panel student leaders believe is pushing the wrong agenda in higher education.
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