Quick Takes: Husband-and-Wife Presidents, Bishop vs. Holy Cross, Changing a Name Back, Part-Timers Unionize at Rhode Island, Ex-President Sues E. Mich., Access for Latinos, Facebook Fracas at Regent, Oxford Invite for Holocaust Denier, Nude on Rug Stolen

October 12, 2007
  • Pamela T. Reid, provost of Roosevelt University, was named on Thursday as the next president of Saint Joseph College, in Connecticut -- placing Reid in a very small group of college presidents married to other presidents. Reid will take office early in 2008, the same year her husband, Irvin D. Reid, plans to finish a decade-long tenure as president of Wayne State University. Irvin Reid, in a statement, said "welcome to the club" to his wife and said that he believed they were the first African-American couple to have such joint appointments. For a period in the 1990s, Alice Ilchman led Sarah Lawrence College while Warren Ilchman led the Pratt Institute. In an article in The New York Times, they compared presidential homes. In 1994, when she was president of the University of Pennsylvania, Judith Rodin married Paul Verkuil, a former president of the College of William and Mary. In 2005 in Australia, Margaret Gardner was named as vice chancellor (the equivalent title to president) of RMIT University, shortly after her husband, Glyn Davis, assumed the post at Melbourne University.
  • The College of the Holy Cross is facing criticism from Roman Catholic leaders and some alumni for renting space on campus for a conference on teen pregnancy that will include some groups that favor abortion rights and help women obtain abortions. "The College of the Holy Cross should recognize that any association with these groups can create the situation of offering scandal understood in its proper theological sense, i.e., an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. Certainly it is understandable how people of good will could interpret the college’s allowing presentations to be made by such groups as truly scandalous," said a statement from the Rev. Robert J. McManus, the bishop of Worcester. Holy Cross officials told The Boston Globe that they did not view renting space for a conference to be attended by a wide variety of groups to be a violation of Catholic teaching.
  • Albertson College, an Idaho liberal arts institution, announced its largest gift ever Wednesday: $50 million from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, the foundation whose name the college took 16 years ago. But in an unusual move, the announcement was accompanied by word that the college would drop the Albertson name -- with the foundation's blessing. The College of Idaho, the original name, is back. Officials said that alumni from the era of that name never liked the change, and many donors assumed incorrectly that the foundation was covering all of the college's costs.
  • Part-time faculty members at the University of Rhode Island voted this week to be represented for collective bargaining by the American Association of University Professors, which is already the union at the university for full-time professors and teaching assistants. Union leaders have said that their major goals for contracts will be higher pay, benefits and job security.
  • The former president of Eastern Michigan University sued the institution Thursday, charging that its officials violated the state's whistleblower protection law when it fired him in July, The Ann Arbor News reported. John Fallon's lawsuit asserts that Eastern Michigan's Board of Regents fired him before a board meeting in the wake of the university's disastrous handling of a campus murder because they feared he would criticize the institution at the meeting. "That's exactly what the Whistleblower Act was designed to prevent," Marian Faupel, Fallon's lawyer, told the newspaper.
  • Researchers at a summit on Latino students' educational opportunities explored barriers to achieving a bachelor's degree and discussed possible solutions. In two panels on Thursday afternoon, scholars outlined some familiar statistics about America's fastest-growing minority group. One study followed a group of eighth-graders beginning in 1988 and found that over the next 12 years, 66 percent of the Latino students had gone on to some postsecondary education. But among those students, only 24 percent earned a bachelor's degree or higher, illustrating the difficulties faced by Hispanic Americans as a group in completing postsecondary training. Against typical factors that hold back many Latino students, one professor suggested the conditions that would improve students' odds in succeeding: increased family support; planning for college, such as mapping out by middle school which high school courses to take; taking at least three years of math in high school; and enrolling at the outset in a four-year institution, where completion rates are much higher but which are not the initial destination of most Latino students. The conference was sponsored by the Educational Policy Institute and the University of Maryland at College Park.
  • A Regent University law student is facing disciplinary hearings because he posted a mocking photograph of Pat Robertson, the university's founder, on his Facebook page, The Virginian-Pilot reported. University officials declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality rules. The student, Adam Kay, argues that he is within his First Amendment rights to put unflattering photos of Robertson on a Web site.
  • The president of the Oxford Union, the student debating society at the University of Oxford, has approached David Irving, a prominent Holocaust denier, to speak at the university, angering some at Oxford and elsewhere, The Guardian reported. Luke Tryl, the union president, defended the idea of bringing Irving as consistent with the group's commitment to free speech.
  • An art theft from the art gallery at Linfield College is particularly personal and painful for the artist. The Oregonian reported that the work, "The Sexy Sex: All Nude Revue Rug One," was a lifesize nude self-portrait by Tamera Bremer, a Portland artist who is an adjunct at the college. She told the paper that she feld "violated" by the theft. As to how she got the idea to produce a nude of herself in the form of a rug, she said that she got the idea that "a bearskin rug could really be a bare-skin rug."
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