Quick Takes: Clinton's Latest Plans, Progress for Latino Students, Noose on Prof's Door, Nobel in Chemistry, Contract Approved in Pa., Vote of No Confidence at Antioch, Minority Football Hiring, $2B Plan in Mass., $100M for MIT, UK Science Faulted

October 10, 2007
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday proposed new "American Retirement Accounts," for which people would receive a matching refundable tax credit for the first $1,000 in savings for those with incomes up to $60,000. Taxes would be deferred on the funds, like 401(k) funds, and one of the limited penalty-free withdrawal categories would be for higher education expenses. Clinton also announced that she would issue a proposal Thursday to make college more affordable and to provide more support for community colleges.
  • More Latino high school students are taking college preparatory courses and are succeeding at levels that make them ready for college, according to a new report from ACT that reviews the last five years of key data. Also on Tuesday, Excelencia in Education, which promotes the education of Latino students, honored three programs as examples of outstanding programs to help Latino students. The programs are Enlace, at Evergreen Valley College, which combines courses, mentoring, and counseling; Compact for Success, at San Diego State University, which provides a guaranteed spot in college to high school students who complete preparatory programs; and a program at Our Lady of the Lake University that trains psychologists and counselors to work with Spanish-speaking populations.
  • A noose was found on the office door of a black female professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and authorities are investigating how it got there, WNBC reported.
  • Gerhard Ertl of the Max Planck Institute, in Berlin, was this morning named the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Ertl was honored for "his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces."
  • Professors at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned univeristies have voted to accept a four-year contract, their union announced Tuesday night. More than 77 percent of members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculities participated in the contract vote, and of those voting, nearly 70 percent backed the contract. A tentative agreement on the contract came in July, as faculty members prepared to go out on strike.
  • Antioch College's students, faculty and staff passed a joint resolution of no confidence in Toni Murdock, the chancellor of Antioch University. A separate resolution was also passed calling for the college to be governed independently of the university. Many students and professors blame Murdock and the university board for the decision to suspend the college's operations after the current academic year. The outcomes of the votes were announced in the middle of the night and Murdock could not be reached for a response. But she and board members have said that they are facing serious financial problems and are committed to the college. The texts of the two resolutions may be found on the Web site of the campus paper, The Record.
  • Black Coaches and Administrators (formerly the Black Coaches Association) released its annual report card on football hiring Tuesday, awarding 11 A's and 10 F's among the 33 colleges it ranked. The institutions (all of which hired head coaches) were rated on various categories, including their own affirmative action policies, the diversity of their hiring committees, and the number of minority candidates they interviewed.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, has proposed a plan to spend $2 billion to improve facilities at the state's public colleges over the next 10 years, The Boston Globe reported.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Tuesday announced a $100 million gift for a new cancer research center that will bring together researchers in biology and engineering.
  • The Council for Science and Technology, an advisory group to the British government, on Tuesday released a report finding that many young scientists in the country are not satisfied with their careers and warning that if reforms are not adopted, British research universities risk losing the best future talent.
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