Quick Takes: U. of Mich. Jet Crashes, Utah State Settles With Deaf Students, UMass Vote of No Confidence, Cost of Firing Dean, Education Dept. Urged to Improve Aid to Minority Colleges, Gates Grant of $105M to U. of Wash., UK to Focus on Islamic Studies

June 5, 2007
  • A jet carrying a University of Michigan organ donor team, and an organ planned for transplant into a patient at the university's hospital, crashed into Lake Michigan Monday. The plane had just taken off from Milwaukee, where it had obtained the organ. The university issued a statement Monday night identifying four university employees on the jet, as well as two employees of the airline company used by the university. On Tuesday morning, the university announced that it had been informed that there were no survivors.
  • Utah State University has settled a lawsuit brought by deaf students who said that the institution was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by not providing them with required services, the Associated Press reported. Under the agreement, Utah State agreed to employ three full-time sign language interpreters. The students had complained that in the past, they sometimes requested interpreters and received only note-takers.
  • Faculty leaders at the University of Massachusetts at Boston voted no confidence Monday in the system's president, Jack Wilson, over his plan for changing governance and key personnel for the five-campus system, The Boston Globe reported. Faculty members at the flagship campus at Amherst -- who would see their popular chancellor, John Lombardi, replaced by Wilson under the plan -- have been particularly outraged. But Boston professors indicated that they too were bothered by major changes being planned without their input.
  • The scandal-plagued University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey spent $450,000 on legal fees associated with firing R. Michael Gallagher as dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Associated Press reported. Gallagher was indicted on charges of bribery and fraud, amid reports that he had created a no-show job for a state senator, but Gallagher has denied wrongdoing. University officials told the AP that they needed to spend that much money to protect the institution because it had never previously fired a senior official who had tenure.
  • The U.S. Education Department has made progress in supervising federal programs that help "minority serving" colleges, such as historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges, but the department needs to do more, according to a report issued Monday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Specifically, the GAO urged the department to focus on aligning its management of the programs with evidence of "student outcomes," such as graduation rates, at the institutions.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday announced a grant of $105 million to the University of Washington, to create the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which will conduct independent evaluations of health programs worldwide.
  • The British government announced Monday that it would designate Islamic studies as a "strategic" subject and increase support for university degree programs in the field.
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