Quick Takes: Protests at William & Mary

February 15, 2008
  • Hundreds of students have held protests and some professors have refused to teach at the College of William & Mary in the wake of the board's decision not to renew the contract of Gene Nichol as president, NBC 12 reported. Nichol quit upon being told that he would not have his contract renewed and his supporters blame the board's decision on conservative alumni and legislators. A series of Facebook groups have formed in response to the resignation and related controversies. Among them are "Get your politics off my campus!" "William & Mary for B.O.V. transparency," and "Pray for the College."
  • Thursday’s House of Representatives hearing on funding the America COMPETES Act’s competitiveness goals in the 2009 fiscal year revealed yet more tensions over priorities among educational and research programs. As the lone witness at the hearing, John Marburger III, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, cited the need to avoid “excessive or duplicative funding” and defended the Bush administration’s 2009 budget request. In some areas, that didn’t satisfy Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology , who said he was "deeply disappointed" to see math and science training programs at the National Science Foundation shortchanged. The 2009 request would provide 10 percent of what the NSF says is necessary for its scholarship and graduate research fellowship programs, although Marburger noted the budget represents a $65 million increase over the 2008 level funded in the December omnibus appropriations bill.
  • The University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Virginia are reporting sharp increases this year in the number of students suffering from the flu, The Washington Post reported. Towson University is also experiencing an outbreak, The Baltimore Sun reported.
  • The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education has released a study on the position (relatively new at many campuses) of sustainability officer, examining when jobs were created, reporting structures, salaries, funding sources and other factors related to the posts.
  • The State University of New York at Brockport is investigating how hundreds of copies of the student newspaper were removed from racks and dumped in trash cans, The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported.


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