Quick Takes: Tuition Fight in Florida, History Arrives at Nixon Library, Antioch U. Rebuffs Petition, No More Lottery Ads, The Price of 2 Presidents, Credit Card Abuse, Court Rejects Discrimination Case

July 9, 2007
  • Bob Graham, a former governor of Florida, and a group of professors have filed a suit in state court, challenging the right of the Legislature to set tuition rates, The Miami Herald reported. Graham argues that the state's Board of Governors has that right and that legislative directives on tuition -- generally limiting increases -- are holding back the universities. Ken Pruitt, president of the State Senate, told the Herald that the suit was an attempt to get "unbridled tuition increases."
  • The Richard Nixon Library, long derided by historians for whitewashing Watergate with an exhibit that reflected the views of Nixon but that was inconsistent with scholarship, has destroyed the exhibit and plans to replace it with one portraying the full history, the Los Angeles Times reported. The library was created outside the system of presidential libraries managed by the National Archives and Records Administration, but under a 2004 law, the Nixon facility joined the system. The article describes how Timothy Naftali, a former University of Virginia professor who is the first federally appointed director of the Nixon Library, is pushing for changes, starting with Watergate.
  • Hundreds of alumni of Antioch College are signing a petition calling for an autonomous board to govern the college, which Antioch University's board has decided to shut down until 2012 because of financial problems and falling enrollment. The alumni of the college are critical of the university board, arguing that it has ignored and betrayed the college in favor the institution's campuses for non-residential students. A spokeswoman for Antioch University said Friday that the university and its board had "no intention at all" of agreeing to place the college under a separate entity. "The university owns all of the assets and the university does not want to do that," she said.
  • Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina system, has asked system campuses to stop accepting state lottery advertising for athletic events, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. During the last nine months, the lottery spent $385,000 at seven of the system's universities, the newspaper reported.
  • The University of New Hampshire boasted this year of having two former presidents -- George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton -- as joint commencement speakers. The Union Leader reported that such fame comes with a price. Graduation expenses were $440,427 this year, more than three times last year's cost, with most of the additional expenses related to having the ex-presidents appear. University officials said that private funds were used, not state or tuition dollars.
  • Since Arizona's three public universities expanded their use of credit cards to pay for various products and services, the institutions say they have saved million of dollars in processing costs. But the universities have also faced numerous incidents of employees using the cards for inappropriate purchases for personal use, The Arizona Republic reported. Among the purchases: an espresso machine, gun holsters, video games and airfare.
  • A former research associate professor at the University of Utah cannot sue the institution for employment discrimination because, in the position she held, she did not meet the legal definition of an employee, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit sided with Utah in a lawsuit filed by Diane Xie, after concluding that Xie could not challenge the university's decision not to renew her contract because the university had little control over her daily activities, did not pay her a salary, and did not require her to teach, among other factors.
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