Quick Takes: Texas Chief Eyed for U. of Cal., Texas-Brownsville Wins Fence Fight, TCU Moves Event With Rev. Wright, Changes in Common Application, District Bans Blood Drives, Antioch Protest at 1 Dupont, Strike at Wilfred Laurier, Furor Over Ottawa Paper

March 20, 2008
  • Mark G. Yudof, chancellor of the University of Texas System, has emerged as the leading candidate for the presidency of the University of California, and could be named to the post as early as today, the Los Angeles Times reported. Yudof, previously president of the University of Minnesota, would be taking a job that is among the most prominent in American higher education, given the stature of the California system. But he would also be taking on what is widely considered a messy governance situation, with regents playing an unusually active role and lawmakers demanding more accountability.
  • The University of Texas at Brownsville won a federal court agreement Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that will, for now, end a suit in which the government was trying to build a security fence that would have cut through part of the campus, which is located near the border with Mexico. Under the agreement, the government must work with the university, and must recognize the unique qualities of a higher education institution that might make a fence through campus problematic. At the same time, the university agreed to provide access to the campus to federal officials studying security issues and alternatives to the fence.
  • Texas Christian University's board has asked the Brite Divinity School to move an event honoring Rev. Jeremiah Wright away from the TCU campus, citing security concerns, The Dallas Morning News reported. Wright's controversial views on race and American society have been much in the news lately because he is the former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama. Brite issued a statement defending its plans to honor Wright. "Brite does not endorse all of the statements or views of any of the church leaders recognized by the Divinity School. Brite is recognizing Dr. Wright for his 40-year ministry linking divine justice and social justice," the statement said.
  • The Common Application has announced a series of changes that allow applicants to give not entirely common answers to different colleges. In the past, applicants seeking the convenience of the application but wanting to customize a few answers had to fill out the form multiple times with their various answers. This year, on selected questions, applicants will be able to on a single form designate some answers for some colleges and other answers for others. In addition, because students are applying to colleges that do and do not require SAT or ACT scores, a new service will allow colleges to block the information if they want. So an applicant could fill out the application knowing that his or her scores would not reach such a college, while they would reach colleges that require the scores.
  • The San Jose/Evergreen Community College District has decided to ban blood drives because of the automatic rejection by the American Red Cross of gay men seeking to donate. The community college district's action follows that of its neighbor, San Jose State University, believed to be the first college to take such a stance.
  • Some Antioch College alumni, among those pushing for independence for the college from Antioch University, turned up Wednesday at One Dupont Circle -- the Washington home of many higher education associations -- to seek more support. They passed out leaflets urging people to write to Antioch's board, which was meeting Wednesday but came to no conclusions about the fate of the college. Larry Rubin, one of those passing out information, said "the issue facing Antioch College is the same as what faces higher education across the country. Should the goal be education or simply to maximize funding for an institution? We're saying higher education can weigh in and support the transfer to a corporation of alumni who will make sure the right kind of education will continue."
  • More than 350 part-time professors went on strike Wednesday at Wilfred Laurier University, in Ontario, the Canadian Press reported. Wages and job security are the top issues.
  • Oral Otis, the student newspaper of the engineering program at the University of Ottawa may lose financial support because of a series of incidents with offensive material, The Ottawa Citizen reported. The latest offensive column is described and critiqued in an open letter in The Fulcrum, the main student paper at the campus.
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