Quick Takes: NIU Killer's Application Essays, Double Dipping Alleged, UC Davis Shift on Outsourcing, Vermont Adds Aid, Protest Over Guns at Calvin, Sale of Rare Collection, What MBA Students Value, Women Who Saw, Drafting Bloomberg for (Hopkins) President

April 21, 2008
  • Steven Kazmierczak, who killed five students at Northern Illinois University in February and then killed himself, wrote frankly of his mental health struggles in his graduate school application essays, which the Chicago Tribune obtained under open records laws. In the essays, Kazmierczak wrote that his own experiences and the pain he had experienced prompted him to want to help others.
  • The University of Minnesota was thrilled last year to announce that it had recruited a husband-and-wife team -- leading experts in health science related engineering -- from the Georgia Institute of Technology. For Georgia Tech, the loss may have been much more than just a disappointing move. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the couple -- François Sainfort and Julie Jacko -- never gave notice and continued to accept paychecks after leaving. Georgia Tech has now started the process of revoking their tenure. The newspaper said that Sainfort and Jacko did not respond to messages left at either their Georgia or Minnesota numbers.
  • The University of California at Davis last week announced a new approach to the outsourcing of its food service operations -- a source of controversy and protests on the campus. Under the new policy, Sodexo will continue manage the food operations. But about 175 to 200 non-managerial employees and several hundred student employees will over time become University of California employees, rather than Sodexo employees. Critics at Davis and elsewhere have said that outsourcing has the impact of denying those who work on campus the benefits and job protections offered to campus employees.
  • The University of Vermont has joined the growing group of flagship universities announcing significant additions to aid packages. The university will offer full-tuition scholarships to all Vermont residents who are eligible for Pell Grants.
  • Students at Calvin College are protesting a plan approved by the Faculty Senate, and awaiting board approval, that would permit campus police officers to carry guns, The Grand Rapids Press reported. One student told the newspaper: "We are a Christian college, and Jesus gave us an example of nonviolence. So did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. So did Gandhi. If we back down, how will the cycle of fear ever be broken?"
  • Some music faculty members at the Claremont Colleges are upset about the sale of 1,200 rare musical instruments that make up an unusual museum run by the consortium of colleges, the Los Angeles Times reported. Those involved with the sale noted that a lack of funds to care for and display the collection has left the museum closed for more than a year -- so the sale to a new music museum being built in Arizona offered a chance to keep the collection together.
  • A survey of M.B.A. students at 15 business schools in the United States, Canada and Britain has found that 83 percent anticipate that their values will sometimes conflict with what they are asked to do in business, and that only 45 percent said that they would be very likely to speak up with their objections. The survey, by the Aspen Institute and being released today, also found that women in M.B.A. programs care more than men about "having a positive impact on society." When women enter business school, 52 percent think that's important, a figure that declines to 50 percent as they approach graduation. For male students, the drop is from 43 to 29 percent.
  • College woodsmen teams -- in which student groups compete in ax throwing, wood splitting, log rolling and other events -- are seeing a growth in participation, in part due to increasing numbers of woodswomen on the squads, The Boston Globe reported.
  • An emeritus professor at Johns Hopkins University, a former fraternity brother of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been gathering faculty signatures on a petition urging the search committee for the next president of Hopkins to consider Bloomberg for the position, The New York Sun reported. Bloomberg is a Hopkins alumnus, a major donor and former board chair -- but he has disavowed any interest in becoming president (of the university). Matthew Crenson, the professor circulating the petition, said that professors wanted the board to know that Bloomberg's lack of a Ph.D. didn't worry them. The Sun reported, however, that after Crenson spoke to the newspaper, he sent an e-mail saying he would stop the petition effort out of concern that -- once public -- it might embarrass the mayor or the university.
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