Quick Takes: Bush Vetoes Spending, Cheating at Dental Schools Probed, Del Mar Delays Vote, No Confidence at Oral Roberts, Anger at Columbia, Baptist Separations, William

November 14, 2007
  • President Bush made good Tuesday on his threat to veto a 2008 spending bill for education, labor and health programs. The president's veto message said he had rejected the bill because it would spend too much money, fund duplicative and ineffective programs, and provide too many earmarks. The legislation, which would increase the maximum Pell Grant to $4,925, provide $30 billion for the National Institutes of Health, and require all research financed by the National Institutes of Health to be published online and made freely available, among other things. Democrats in the House and Senate are considered unlikely to be able to muster enough votes to override the veto.
  • The American Dental Association is investigating allegations of possible cheating by students at four dental schools on an exam that leads to licensure for dentists, the Los Angeles Times reported. The probe involves students at Loma Linda University, New York University, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.
  • The Del Mar College Board of Regents has tabled a motion to decouple tenure from promotion until January, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reported. The board decision came only hours after a district court judge rejected a request for a temporary restraining order to block the change filed by local American Association of University Professors leaders. Faculty members have opposed a series of proposed policy changes put forward by the interim president charging that they would compromise academic freedom and shared governance at the Texas community college, while the president argues he is trying to promote higher and clearer standards.
  • Tenured faculty members at Oral Roberts University have voted no confidence in President Richard Roberts, The Tulsa World reported. Roberts stands accused in lawsuits and in news articles of spending money on his family and of dismissing faculty members who sought to expose those payments -- charges that he denies.
  • Faculty members at Columbia University on Tuesday told President Lee Bollinger of their frustrations on a number of issues, especially the way he handled the visit of Iran's president to the campus, The New York Times reported.
  • North Carolina Baptists and five colleges in the state are getting close to separating themselves legally, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. The move follows similar separations in North Carolina and other states. Meanwhile, Belmont University and the Tennessee Baptist Convention -- which have been fighting in court over the university's desire for independence -- have reached a settlement allowing that to take place, while returning some funds to the convention, The Tennessean reported.
  • In an unusual move, the College of William & Mary has released an e-mail message from its former president to its current president, letting him know that a planned gift by a donor of $12 million was unlikely to happen because of the donor's anger over the college's removal of a cross from a historic chapel, The Daily Press reported. The e-mail was sent in December, and has been cited by critics of Gene Nichol, the current president, who did not indicate for several months after the e-mail that the gift wasn't going to happen. While the cross has been restored to the chapel, debate over the issue has not stopped.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a federal appeals court ruling that college leaders have argued could make private colleges vulnerable to civil rights litigation if government agencies with which they deal commit wrongdoing. The justices declined to hear a case brought by Timothy Cohane, the former men's basketball coach at the State University of New York at Buffalo, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in January that the National Collegiate Athletic Association had to stand trial on charges that it deprived Cohane of due process and the right “to pursue his chosen occupation” when its investigation into alleged rule breaking by Cohane led to his forced resignation from the university in 1999. The court ruled that Cohane had made allegations that, if proved, suggested that the NCAA had engaged in “joint activity” with officials at SUNY-Buffalo to “deprive Cohane of his liberty,” which college associations argued could have significant implications for private and public colleges alike.
  • The University of Houston is planning to move a colony of 100,000 bees that have been living in a classroom building. The Houston Chronicle reported that the university has hired a beekeeper who will relocate the bees to a wooded area on the campus.
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