Quick Takes: Young Americans and Libraries, Probe of Disputed Degree, Squatter's Rights at Toronto, Concerns About Minority Underrepresentation in Law Schools, Parody of MLA Convention Guide

December 31, 2007
  • Many librarians and others in higher education have worried that undergraduates, having learned to find information (accurate and otherwise) online, would lose interest in libraries. Actually Americans in the so-called Generation Y (ages 18-30) turn out to be more likely to visit libraries than are other adults -- both for problem solving and for general use. That is a key finding of a study released Sunday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • West Virginia University has appointed an outside panel to investigate why and how the university revised its records to show that a politically connected executive earned an M.B.A., when an initial records check indicated that she had left the program without a degree, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The university originally insisted that record-keeping flaws were just corrected and that there was no need for an investigation. But the newspaper reported on students and faculty members who questioned the university's analysis of the situation and some said they believed the executive had left the program without a degree.
  • A lawsuit filed by Adam Rogers against the University of Toronto asserts that when it offered him and his family housing, he assumed that the rejection notice he received on his transfer application must have been a mistake. The university sees the housing offer as the mistake, although Rogers, his pregnant wife, and his three children moved in. Now, Maclean's reported, the university is trying to evict the family (now featuring four children), and Rogers is suing for $5 million. Student groups are backing Rogers, saying that the university is responsible for the situation.
  • African American and Mexican American students have been applying to U.S. law schools in consistent numbers and with increasingly strong credentials over the last 15 years, at a time when the combine capacity of the schools has grown. Yet the number of people from those ethnic groups who are actually enrolled in law schools declined over that period, a situation laid out on a new Web site produced by faculty members and students at Columbia University's Lawyering in the Digital Age clinic.
    • Andy Warren and Aaron Winter, two graduate students at the University of California at Irvine, decided to have a little fun at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, so they prepared a parody of the convention guide and left hundreds of copies at various places around the meeting. They've posted the guide online. Our favorite parts include their replacement of the MLA rules on smoking with rules on smirking, the replacement of the MLA's directory of who is staying where with the far more important "Who's Important" directory, and the substitution for the hotel map with a guide to graduate students' brains.

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