Quick Takes: Ousted President's Call for Compassion, Biden Takes on Bryn Mawr, Jane Fernandes Gets New Job, Intelligent Design in Tenure Case, A Year in the Trees, Paying for Wills, Basic Education Worldwide

December 3, 2007
  • William Frawley, who was fired as president of the University of Mary Washington in April, shortly after twice being charged with driving under the influence, offered his perspective on what happened -- and criticized the Virginia university's board -- in an article Sunday in The Washington Post. In "I Needed Help, Not Ostracism," Frawley wrote that he had for years tried to self-treat an undiagnosed case of depression with "compulsive work" and, just prior to his downfall, with alcohol. He described in the article an unwillingness by trustees to let him get help, and a quick push to get rid of him. A spokeswoman for the university said that the institution had no response to the article.
  • Sen. Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat whose presidential campaign isn't taking off, appeared to insult Bryn Mawr College last week, but it's unclear what he was trying to say. In explaining why he wears an American flag pin, Biden said that he was recently challenged about the pin after a speech in Boulder, Colo. According to an account in The Washington Post, Biden said that the critique of his pin came from a "very attractive woman who looked like she just finished a sociology course at Bryn Mawr College, if you know what I mean." The Post reported that "judging from the blank reaction, most in his audience appeared not to." Inside Higher Ed asked David Karen, sociology chair at Bryn Mawr, if he knew what the senator was talking about. Karen's e-mail reply: "I don't know what the senator means. But if Senator Biden is implying that sociology students at Bryn Mawr College are 'very attractive' and more liberal than he is, I wouldn't spend any time trying to disabuse him of that notion." Biden's comment is also being analyzed at Scatterplot, a sociology blog.
  • Jane K. Fernandes, who last year was named as the next president of Gallaudet University but was then denied the position after students protested her appointment, has a new job. The University of North Carolina at Asheville announced Friday that she will be its next provost. Fernandes served as provost at Gallaudet for six years. While she is deaf, many students questioned her commitment to the deaf rights movement and to their ideas. Since she lost the Gallaudet presidency, Fernandes has been circumspect about what happened, but in an interview with The Asheville Citizen-Times, Fernandes said that she had been a victim of deaf politics. She noted that an increasing number of deaf children these days grow up with hearing implants that lead their parents and medical professionals to see no need for them to learn sign language. Fernandes said she wanted to make Gallaudet more "inclusive" to the "diversity" of deaf people, but that protesters wanted a focus on deaf, sign-language oriented culture. Today, Fernandes said she wishes Gallaudet well, and believes that "everything works out for the best" and that she now has a "dream job." (Most of the comments by Fernandes on Gallaudet are not in the article, but are about midway though the audio of the interview that accompanies it.)
  • E-mail exchanges among faculty members in physics and astronomy at Iowa State University indicate that they did discuss -- critically -- Guillermo Gonzalez's support for intelligent design before rejecting him for tenure, The Des Moines Register reported. While intelligent design has been widely discredited in the scientific world, Iowa State has said that Gonzalez's views on the topic were not the reason he was denied tenure -- a position the university reiterated after the release of the e-mail.
  • "People's Perch" -- the nickname of protesters sitting in trees they want to protect from a planned sports facility at the University of California at Berkeley -- is celebrating its first anniversary. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the protest may be the "longest running urban tree-sit." The university isn't celebrating. They say that Berkeley's security and related costs for the protest are $367,000.
  • Lindenwood University, in Missouri, has a new approach to fund raising: It will pay for alumni to have their wills written, provided the institution receives a bequest of at least $1,000, The St. Charles Journal reported.
  • The University of Louisville on Sunday night announced that the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition would go to Peter Lieberson, for "Neruda Songs."
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is reporting mixed success in the middle of a 15-year campaign to help developing nations offer basic education to all. On the positive side, a report on the campaign noted increases in primary school enrollments of 36 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and 22 percent in south and west Asia. But the report found primary school tuition continues to be a major obstacle for students, and relatively minimal progress in countries reaching gender parity for basic education -- which lags significantly for girls in many nations.
  • Search for Jobs


    • Viewed
    • Commented
    • Past:
    • Day
    • Week
    • Month
    • Year
    Back to Top