Quick Takes: Scandal Grows at Oral Roberts, Faust Questions Assessment Focus, Roy Rosenzweig Dies, Texas Southern Mistrial, Fresno State to Pay $3.5M, Nobel in Economics, NYU in Abu Dhabi, Duquesne vs. Planned Parenthood, Ball State Party Beating

  • The lawsuit by three former professors against Oral Roberts University has been expanded -- and new charges may be particularly explosive for the evangelical university.
  • October 15, 2007
  • The lawsuit by three former professors against Oral Roberts University has been expanded -- and new charges may be particularly explosive for the evangelical university. The Tulsa World reported that new allegations designed to demonstrate an alleged lack of board oversight assert that Lindsay Roberts, the wife of President Richard Roberts, spent the night at a university guest house 9 times with an underage male, was photographed in her car 29 times with an underage male after midnight (after the university's curfew for minors), and moved a "male 16-year-old friend" into her family's house. The World reported in a subsequent article that Roberts denied the allegations against her. "I live my life in a morally upright manner and throughout my marriage have never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage as the accusations imply," Roberts said. "Allegations against me in a lawsuit yesterday are not true. They sicken me to my soul."
  • In her inaugural address as president of Harvard University Friday, Drew Faust questioned the emphasis of many in Washington on assessment -- at least as currently being practiced. "We are asked to report graduation rates, graduate school admission statistics, scores on standardized tests intended to assess the 'value added' of years in college, research dollars, numbers of faculty publications. But such measures cannot themselves capture the achievements, let alone the aspirations of universities. Many of these metrics are important to know, and they shed light on particular parts of our undertaking. But our purposes are far more ambitious and our accountability thus far more difficult to explain," Faust said. She added: "A university is not about results in the next quarter; it is not even about who a student has become by graduation. It is about learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage of millennia; learning that shapes the future." Faust also noted the criticism that higher education is slow to change. "In the past half century, American colleges and universities have shared in a revolution, serving as both the emblem and the engine of the expansion of citizenship, equality and opportunity -- to blacks, women, Jews, immigrants, and others who would have been subjected to quotas or excluded altogether in an earlier era. My presence here today -- and indeed that of many others on this platform -- would have been unimaginable even a few short years ago. Those who charge that universities are unable to change should take note of this transformation, of how different we are from universities even of the mid 20th century."
  • Roy Rosenzweig -- a key figure in the development of digital tools for teaching and research in history and other disciplines -- died of cancer on Thursday. Rosenzweig was a historian at George Mason University, where in 1994 he founded the Center for History and New Media, a program widely seen as ahead of the curve in applying technology to the classroom. The blog Edwired features this tribute to Rosenzweig.
  • A state judge on Friday declared a mistrial after jurors said they were deadlocked on charges that Priscilla Slade, former president of Texas Southern University, used more than $200,000 in university funds for personal purchases. The Houston Chronicle reported that jurors -- who cited a 6-6 tie on the charges in the end -- said that the prosecution hadn't demonstrated key parts of the case. Extensive testimony was provided about the purchases, including fine china, silverware and expensive bar tabs. But Slade and her backers said that the spending was designed to promote excellence for the university. Prosecutors vowed to retry the case.
  • California State University at Fresno has agreed to pay $3.5 million to Diane Milutinovich to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit she brought after losing her job as senior athletics official for women's programs, The Fresno Bee reported. The university has maintained that her job was eliminated to save money, and the settlement stipulates that Fresno State is not admitting to any wrongdoing. Milutinovich said she was fired for being an advocate for women's programs. Her lawsuit is one of several accusing the university of discriminating on the basis of gender in its athletics program.
  • Three economists were named this morning as the winners of the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for "having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory." The winners are: Leonid Hurwicz of the University of Minnesota, Eric Maskin of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, N.J., and Roger Myerson of the University of Chicago.
  • New York University on Friday announced that it plans to open a full-fledged liberal arts campus in Abu Dhabi, enrolling students in 2010 and eventually reaching an enrollment of 2,000. NYU's plans have been rumored for several months, but Friday's announcement was the first formal indication of an agreement to go forward. University officials pledged that the Abu Dhabi program would meet NYU's academic standards, have full academic freedom, and operate with anti-bias policies. While Qatar has recruited a number of prominent American universities to open campuses there, those programs are generally in a single program area (medicine from Cornell University, engineering from Texas A&M University, etc.). NYU, which envisions both undergraduate and graduate programs at the campus, is planning a broad array of programs.
  • Duquesne University, which is home to a Pittsburgh National Public Radio station, has barred the station from airing spots crediting Planned Parenthood for underwriting some programs, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The university said that Planned Parenthood's support for abortion rights was inconsistent with the university's Roman Catholic mission.
  • Five women, four of them students at Ball State University, have been arrested for felony battery in an alleged attack on a female student at Ivy Tech Community College, The Muncie Star Press reported. According to authorities, the victim suffered a fractured arm and other injuries after the group of women beat her, grabbed her throat and kicked her. Some of the women who have been charged reportedly boasted about the attack on Facebook.
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