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Quick Takes: Tragedy on Inauguration Day, Hoax Paper on Global Warming, Online Strategy Survey, Court Won't Reconsider Colorado Ruling, Tree-Sitting Spreads in California, Israeli Brain Drain

November 12, 2007
  • Two students at the Rochester Institute of Technology were killed in a fire in an off-campus house early Friday, and a third student was injured, on the day of the inauguration of William Destler as president of the university, the Democrat & Chronicle reported. Destler's inauguration went on as scheduled but with a moment of silence for the dead students. The deaths of RIT students follow the trend in recent years in which most students killed by fires live off campus. A student at East Stroudsburg University, in Pennsylvania, was also killed this month in a fire in an off-campus house.
  • A hoax scientific paper claimed to offer conclusive evidence to debunk the science of global warming, and the parody apparently fooled some bloggers and others who dislike global warming science and its proponents, Nature reported.
  • Nearly 67 percent of presidents and chancellors of state universities and state university systems believe that online education is "critical" to the long-term strategies of their institutions, but only 40 percent reported having online education represented in their institutional strategic plans, according to a new survey by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The survey also asked what barriers exist to the growth of online learning. The top answers: the expense of developing online courses and "greater faculty time and effort" required.
  • A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider its ruling reviving a lawsuit by two women against the University of Colorado at Boulder over their allegations that they were raped by football players and recruits, the Associated Press reported. The case has been closely watched nationally by many experts who believe that it could define some of the parameters of colleges' responsibilities to monitor student conduct and the culture of athletics programs.
  • The University of California at Berkeley appears close to being able to legally evict tree-sitting protesters trying to block a construction project there, but a new protest has erupted at another UC campus. Around five people have been tree-sitting at the Santa Cruz campus, and students are setting up below in a "liberated zone" to protest construction of a planned biomedical center, The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. The university says that the center is legal and the protest is not.
  • Israel is losing more academics to the United States, Haaretz reported. Among the reasons: significantly higher salaries, the chance to be closer to a large academic community, and better research infrastructure.
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