Quick Takes: Iran's President Will Talk at Columbia, No Extra Time for Lactation, Ebola Study Halted, Producing Business Professors, Anthropology Announces Journal Shift, New Approach to Corporate Donations, Rabies Shots for 11 Students

September 20, 2007
  • A year after an aborted invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, to speak at Columbia University, he has another invitation. Columbia announced that he would speak Monday as part of a series of talks by world leaders that take place during their visits to the United Nations. Lee Bollinger, Columbia's president, issued a statement in which he said that he would introduce the event and would offer "sharp challenges" to the Iranian leader about his statements denying the Holocaust and urging the destruction of Israel, as well as his government's policies denying women's rights and imprisoning scholars and journalists. Bollinger said that to fulfill Columbia's mission in "learning and scholarship," the university must "respect and defend the rights of our schools, our deans and our faculty to create programming for academic purposes." He added: "Necessarily, on occasion this will bring us into contact with beliefs many, most or even all of us will find offensive and even odious. We trust our community, including our students, to be fully capable of dealing with these occasions, through the powers of dialogue and reason." Student leaders from a number of organizations issued a joint statement Wednesday praising the invitation, but saying it should have been announced earlier so students could organize protests or other activities.
  • A Massachusetts judge has rejected a suit by a Harvard University medical student who is a new mother and wanted extra breaks during her medical licensing exam so she could pump milk, The Boston Globe reported.
  • The University of Wisconsin at Madison allowed a researcher to study material that can be used to create the ebola virus in a lab that did not meet federal requirements, the Associated Press reported. The study was halted at the request of the National Institutes of Health and Madison officials said that no danger was posed by the work.
  • With many business schools reporting difficulty attracting Ph.D. faculty members, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has announced the first participating institutions in new "Postdoctoral Bridge to Business" programs -- short-term programs that will train new Ph.D.'s in fields outside business for faculty jobs at business schools. The programs are starting at the Grenoble Ecole de Management, Tulane University, the University of Florida, the University of Toledo and Virginia Tech.
  • The American Anthropological Association on Wednesday officially announced a publishing deal with Wiley-Blackwell for publication of the association's journals, starting next year. The announcement noted that a long review process had been used, and that a profit-sharing arrangement with the publisher would benefit the association. Both the decision to move to Wiley-Blackwell from the University of California Press, and the process, have been controversial.
  • The Iowa Board of Regents plans to consider a new approach to corporate donations, under which there would not be a ban on corporate names for buildings and programs, but there would be a ban on corporate products for the names of buildings and programs, The Des Moines Register reported. The plan under consideration follows a dispute over an abandoned plan to name the University of Iowa College of Public Health for a health insurance company.
  • Eleven students at Texas Southern University will receive rabies vaccinations because they came into contact with bats that infested their dormitory, The Houston Chronicle reported. None of the students are showing symptoms of rabies and the shots are being viewed as a precautionary measure.
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