Quick Takes: Davenport Closes Campuses, 5 Professors Win Pulitzers, Bankruptcy for Private Loan Guarantor, Tenure News on YouTube, Champions in Chess and Mock Trial

April 8, 2008
  • Davenport University, a private institution based in Grand Rapids, has announced that it will close several Michigan and Indiana campuses, the Associated Press reported. Employees at the campuses that are closing are being encouraged to apply for openings at the main campus, so it is unclear if jobs will be lost.
  • Five professors were awarded Pulitzer Prizes Monday. Junot Diaz, an associate professor of writing and humanistic studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won the fiction prize for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books). Daniel Walker Howe, a professor emeritus of history at both the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Oxford, won the history prize for What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford University Press). John Matteson, a professor of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York, won the biography prize for Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (W.W. Norton). Robert Haas, a professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley, won the prize for poetry for Time and Materials (HarperCollins). Saul Friedlander, a professor of history at UCLA, won the general nonfiction category for The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 (HarperCollins).
  • The Education Resources Institute, a leading nonprofit guarantor of private student loans, announced Monday that it was filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, citing its "[m]ounting difficulties in financing the securitization of private education loans, along with a rise in borrower defaults and delinquencies brought on by a slow economy." TERI, as it is commonly known, said the bankruptcy would not affect those parts of its operations -- focused on college access and research -- that are funded by grants and foundations.
  • Sure, colleges may issue press releases to announce those who have recently been awarded tenure. But is that really individual or special enough to share the news of such a key moment? You can read the news about Brian Donovan winning tenure in sociology at the University of Kansas in the official announcement here. But he also took to YouTube with a video to mark the moment. Congratulations, Brian.
  • Reportedly a significant basketball game was played last night, but some college competitors were celebrating big wins without quite as much attention. The University of Texas at Dallas defeated the University of Maryland-Baltimore County to hold onto the title as Intercollegiate Chess Champion. This is the second consecutive year that UT-Dallas has won the top competitions in both the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere. The University of Maryland at College Park defeated George Washington University to win the American Mock Trial Association national title for a record fifth time.
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