Quick Takes: 34 Charged in Grade-Buying at Diablo Valley, Daniel Koshland Dies at 87, Changes at Princeton Review, Merrimack Goes SAT-Optional, Interventions for Alcohol Abuse, Reward Offered in Bombing Probe, UK Research Office Looks Abroad

July 25, 2007
  • California prosecutors have charged 34 current and former Diablo Valley College students with fraud and other felonies for paying to change grades, The Contra Costa Times reported. Court documents indicated that unauthorized grade changes started in 2000, with hundreds of dollars paid for each change.
  • Daniel E. Koshland Jr., who as editor of the journal Science from 1985 to 1995 was one of the most prominent voices on science and research, died Monday at the age of 87, following a massive stroke. The University of California at Berkeley, where Koshland taught, announced his death.
  • The Princeton Review, a major force in the test-prep and college guide business, has been going through some managerial difficulties in the last year. On Wednesday, the company announced $60 million in new investor funds and a new CEO, Michael J. Perik, the former CEO of the Learning Company. John Katzman, the outgoing CEO and the company's founder, will become executive chairman. In an interview, Perik identified several goals for the company's test-prep division. He said that Princeton Review is a "category leader" in the SAT, but not necessarily for other tests such as the MCAT and the LSAT. He also said that the company would like to move into test-prep for medical education beyond the MCAT. Geographically, he said that while Princeton Review is a national company, there are many cities without Princeton Review operations where he'd like to see them set up. Perik said that the additional funds would enable the Princeton Review -- which competes nationally with Kaplan and in many areas with niche test-prep operations -- to expand in a significant way.
  • Merrimack College, in Massachusetts, has become the latest institution to stop requiring the SAT for undergraduate admissions.
  • Brief "motivational interviews" appear to have a long-term impact on college students found in violation of campus alcohol rules, and perhaps more of an impact than other punishments, according to new research published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
  • Federal and local authorities are offering a $110,000 reward for information in the attempted firebombing in June of the car of Arthur Rosenbaum, chief of pediatric ophthalmology at the University of California at Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. A group called the Animal Liberation Brigade has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Research Councils UK, which reviews grant applications for research grants from the British government, is starting a campaign to encourage more applications that involve researchers not only from Britain but from other countries, The Guardian reported. As part of the effort, Research Councils UK will open offices in Beijing and Washington in the fall, and in Delhi next year.
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