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Quick Takes: CDC Reprimand for Texas A

September 5, 2007
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told Texas A&M University that it must substantially improve the safety of biodefense research laboratories or it will not be allowed to resume such research, The Dallas Morning News reported. The report is based on a week-long visit to the university, following reports that it had not reported on lab workers who were exposed to dangerous biological agents.
  • Negotiations between the University of Minnesota and the union that represents clerical, technical and health care workers ended without a contract Tuesday night at 11 p.m. -- and the union vowed to go on strike today, the second day of classes, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Salary increases are the primary area of disagreement. University officials have said that classes will take place as scheduled, on campus, although the Star Tribune reported that some professors plan to move classes to off-campus locations. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents the workers and its Minnesota chapter has strike and contract information, and links to the three local chapters on its Web site. The university has its strike and contract information here.
  • Limits of $3,500 on contributions to campaigns for the board of the San Diego Community College District will be lifted, following a unanimous board vote, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Supporters of lifting the limits said that the idea was to make it easier for challengers, who may not have the name identification of incumbents. Critics said the move would favor those with ties to the wealthy.
  • Studies being published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association find minimal impact on patient mortality rates from laws limiting the number of hours medical residents can work, the Associated Press reported. The laws -- the subject of much debate in medical education circles -- were enacted following highly publicized patient deaths that were blamed by many on residents' work hours.
  • The European University Association on Tuesday released an analysis of doctoral education, noting key trends in the region. One area of focus in the report is the growth of "professional doctorates" preparing students for careers outside of academe. The report said it was important to keep the quality of such programs as high as that of traditional doctorates, while also considering changes to reflect the differing goals. Given the debate over the legal status of graduate students in the United States, one item of interest in the report examined whether different countries classify them as students, employees or both. Ten countries consider them students only, 3 countries consider them employees only, and 22 consider that they have mixed status.
  • Ontario's Conservative Party leader, John Tory, is under fire for making a joke about the University of Ottawa on the campaign trail. In a video clip currently on YouTube, Tory refers to the institution jokingly as "the University of Zero." Tory has since issued an apology of sorts ("I apologize if my remarks offended anyone"), in which he said he first heard to joke from an alumnus and considered it part of the way people tease one another about their alma maters.
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