Quick Takes: Threats Against Boulder Biologists, Edifice Complex at Sonoma State, 6 Year Sentence in Scam, Nursing Program Slammed, Custodians' Jobs Restored, Accountants and Degree Prestige, Europe's Anti-Terror Plans, Tuition Fight in Israel

July 11, 2007
  • The University of Colorado at Boulder is investigating a series of threatening messages sent to evolutionary biologists, The Denver Post reported. University officials told the newspaper that the threats stated that they were from a religiously affiliated group and that they referenced the creationist view of evolution.
  • Faculty members at Sonoma State University are criticizing Ruben Armiñana, the president, over a planned music facility. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the facility has seen its cost estimates increase to $100 million from $22 million -- money professors think can be better spent on core university priorities.
  • A former adjunct at the University of Southern California, Barry Landreth, has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for a real estate scam, the Los Angeles Times reported. Landreth used some of his students -- without their knowledge that anything improper was going on -- to recruit and defraud investors.
  • State nursing regulators have barred Massachusetts Bay Community College from accepting new nursing students. The Boston Globe reported that officials accused the college of leaving key positions unfilled and changing a student's grade to permit advancement through the program. College officials said that they were taking the criticisms seriously, but disputed the allegations about grade changing.
  • An arbitrator has ordered that West Iowa Tech Community College rehire two dozen custodians whose jobs were eliminated last year, KTIV News reported. The custodians will be entitled to back pay, minus any unemployment benefits or income earned during the period since they were laid off. A college spokesman said that the college had acted in good faith.
  • A new survey of corporate chief financial officers found opinion divided on the importance of the prestige of a college of a new accounting graduate. In hiring, 49 percent of CFO's said that the prestige of the institution would not matter at all, while 38 percent said it was somewhat important, and 13 percent said it was very important. The survey was conducted by Accountemps.
  • The European Union is planning a series of new anti-terrorism measures, a number of which could affect universities, The Times of London reported. Among the measures (which have yet to be approved): new security clearances for researchers working on certain topics, new standards for whether research universities can handle sensitive substances, new restrictions on publication of certain research findings and ethics instruction for science undergraduates.
  • A controversial commission studying higher education is Israel is about to recommend that tuition be increased by 70 percent, Haaretz reported. Student groups, who organized a strike that shut down Israeli universities earlier this year, have been warning that the panel would recommend steep tuition increases and warning that major protests would follow.
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