Quick Takes: Remark Costs Instructor a Job, Gender Gap in Salaries, Suit Against Western Ky. Blocked, Hunger Strike Ends at Stanford, Tensions at Miss. Valley, End of Career Education Probe, Prof Accused of Hoax, Clark and Bancroft Awards

April 23, 2007
  • Ozarks Technical Community College, in Missouri, fired a part-time instructor of a geography course last week after several students said that he started class on Wednesday by banging a briefcase on a desk and saying "I am a suicide bomber." The college said that the instructor never had weapons or bombs and no students were in danger. The name of the instructor cannot be released, according to college officials, because of the incident is a personnel matter. A spokesman for the college said that the dismissal would have taken place even without last week's shootings at Virginia Tech.
  • A gender gap starts to appear in the salaries of college graduates within a year of graduation, even controlling for factors such as occupation and parenthood, according to new research from the American Association of University Women. Among the findings: Women who attended highly selective colleges earn less than men from either highly or moderately selective colleges and about the same as men from minimally selective colleges.
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court has blocked the family of a student who was raped and killed from suing the university and the foundation that manages its dormitories, the Associated Press reported. Family members said that officials were negligent in assuring security, but the Supreme Court ruled that state agencies, as well as entities created to carry out some of their functions, were entitled to immunity.
  • Students at Stanford University ended a hunger strike -- which some of them had been on for more than a week -- after the institution agreed to improvements in its treatment of some employees. The Stanford Labor Action Coalition is hailing the agreement as a major advance. The university pledged to apply its "living wage" policy to employees who had previously been excluded and to try whenever possible to work with contracting agencies that meet high labor standards.
  • When the Faculty Senate at Mississippi Valley State University voted no confidence in President Lester Newman, he appointed a faculty committee of 10 to study the situation. The committee has finished its study, and it wants Newman to quit, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. Based on interviews with many professors, the panel concluded that "it is clear that the current president is seen as unprofessional, poorly organized administratively, inefficient, and, in general, unfit for the job." The newspaper reported that Newman is on the road and a spokeswoman said that he would address its issue when he returns.
  • The Career Education Corporation announced Friday that the Justice Department has ended an investigation of the education company without seeking prosecution. Another investigation continues.
  • A professor at Calhoun Community College has been arrested on charges that she made threats to herself on her voicemail at the college, The Huntsville Times reported.
  • The American Economic Association has announced that Susan Athey has won the John Bates Clark Medal, which is given every two years to a leading economist under the age of 40. The prize is among the most prestigious in economics and has never previously gone to a woman. Athey is a professor of economics at Harvard University.
  • Columbia University has announced the 2007 winners of the Bancroft Awards, one of the most prestigious prizes for history book. This year's winners are Robert D. Richardson won for William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (Houghton Mifflin) and Jack Temple Kirby, professor emeritus of history at Miami University of Ohio won for Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South (University of North Carolina Press).
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