Quick Takes: Michigan Suspends Private Loan Program, Ex-Coach Accepts $6.6M, President's Leave Followed Second DUI, Clemens Accuser's Dubious Doctorate, Study Abroad Program, Alma Mater for Eternity

  • Michigan's Higher Education Student Loan Authority announced Tuesday that it would suspend its alternative loan program, citing the agency's expected difficulties in borrowing the money needed to finance future private loans because of the "credit crunch" affecting the U.S. capital markets.
  • February 14, 2008
     
  • Michigan's Higher Education Student Loan Authority announced Tuesday that it would suspend its alternative loan program, citing the agency's expected difficulties in borrowing the money needed to finance future private loans because of the "credit crunch" affecting the U.S. capital markets. Officials of the Michigan agency said that the Michigan Alternative Student Loan Program, known as MI-Loan, provided about $68 million in private loans to 8,500 students at Michigan public, private and for-profit colleges in 2007. Agency officials said they had not seen any impact thus far of the credit crunch on the Michigan authority's federal guaranteed loan program.
  • Stacy Johnson-Klein, the ex-coach at California State University at Fresno whom a jury awarded $19.1 million last year, said Wednesday she would accept the $6.6 million that a judge said was all that was justified, The Fresno Bee reported. Johnson-Klein sued the university, saying she lost her job because of her support for women's athletics. The judge upheld the verdict, but not the award, and gave her the choice of accepting the lower award or a new trial. The university, which has denied wrongdoing, has not announced whether it will now appeal.
  • When A.T. Still University announced this week that James McGovern was taking a health-related leave of absence, it did not announce that he was recently arrested for driving under the influence, his second such arrest in three years, The Business Journal of Phoenix reported. University officials would not confirm or deny a link. A.T. Still focuses on health care education, with campuses in Missouri and Arizona.
  • By most accounts, Wednesday's Congressional hearing about steroids in baseball was a rough outing for Roger Clemens, whose image continued to take a pounding under aggressive questioning by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. But even though most lawmakers seemed inclined to put more stock in the account of the star pitcher's chief accuser, Brian McNamee, the day wasn't perfect for him, either -- not least because his educational credentials came in for some ridicule. According to The New York Times's live blog from the hearing, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) questioned McNamee, a former policeman, about his tendency to refer to himself as a doctor. McNamee acknowledged that he had gained his Ph.D., in behavioral sciences, from Columbus University, an online institution that shuttered by Louisiana officials several years ago, then operated for a while out of Mississippi, and now lists Alabama as its home base. Isn't Columbus University a “diploma mill?” Davis asked McNamee. “As I found out later on,” Mr. McNamee said, “it appears it is.”
  • A U.S. Senate committee has approved the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act, clearing the way for a full floor vote. The bill -- which would authorize $80 million annually for a new foundation that would award grants to promote access to study abroad -- was approved by the House of Representatives last year.
  • The Georgia Board of Regents voted Wednesday to lift a ban on placing college logos on coffins, clearing the way for fans of the state's universities to hold on to a little bit of alma mater for eternity, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A 1982 policy barred logos on coffins, alcohol containers, sex toys and other places deemed inappropriate, and the board only made a partial change. "You still can't put a logo on a toilet seat, but you can now put one on a casket," said John Millsaps, a board spokesman.
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