Quick Takes: Mo. Won't Vote on Affirmative Action, Crash Kills President of Christian Brothers U., Retention Strategies, Causes of Campus Incidents, Shift on Copyright by Rockefeller U. Press, Student Pessimism, Withholding Rule Opposed, Assault Described

  • Sunday was the deadline for opponents of affirmative action in Missouri to submit petitions to qualify for a state referendum this fall to vote to ban affirmative action at public colleges and other state agencies -- and the deadline passed without petitions being submitted. The Associated Press reported that organizers said that they had obtained the minimum number of required signatures, but that they lacked the extra signatures typically needed when many submitted signatures are found invalid.
  • May 5, 2008
     
  • Sunday was the deadline for opponents of affirmative action in Missouri to submit petitions to qualify for a state referendum this fall to vote to ban affirmative action at public colleges and other state agencies -- and the deadline passed without petitions being submitted. The Associated Press reported that organizers said that they had obtained the minimum number of required signatures, but that they lacked the extra signatures typically needed when many submitted signatures are found invalid. The critics of affirmative action vowed to continue their efforts in a future election, but the news was a major win for affirmative action. When proposed bans have reached ballots elsewhere, the have passed. This was to have been the year in which anti-affirmative action leaders pledged to win votes in five or six states. But Missouri is the second state -- after Oklahoma -- where plans to place bans on ballots have collapsed.
  • Brother Vincent Malham, the president of Christian Brothers University, was killed in a car accident Friday night. Brother Malham was named president of the Memphis institution in 2005, after serving for nearly a decade in the Middle East, where he taught and was eventually president of Bethlehem University.
  • Seventy-seven percent of those responding to a national survey of higher education officials said that retention was a major challenge for their institutions, and 70 percent said that the challenge was greatest in the first year of academic programs. The top issues to overcome to encourage retention, survey respondents said, were college costs and a lack of student preparedness. Key factors in keeping students enrolled, survey participants said, were family support, one-on-one counseling, and personal attention. The survey was conducted for EducationDynamics, a company that advises colleges on enrollment and retention strategies, but the survey was of a national sample, not the company's clients.
  • A freshman at Saint Xavier University, in Chicago, has been charged with writing the threatening graffiti that led the institution to close for several days last month, and led some nearby schools to do the same, The Chicago Tribune reported. Authorities investigating a dormitory fire at Central State University, in Ohio, meanwhile, said that arson was the blame for the blaze that injured five students, the Associated Press reported.
  • Rockefeller University Press on Friday announced a shift in copyright policy for the three journals it publishes. The new policy allows authors to re-use their work in any way under a Creative Commons license, so that authors who wish to effectively make their work open and free may do so. The press publishes The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine and The Journal of General Physiology.
  • Students at four-year colleges aren't optimistic about the direction of the United States. A national survey found that two-thirds of students are worried about being able to find a good job, 85 percent view the state of the economy as not so good or poor, and 53 percent think the country is generally headed in the wrong direction. Three of four students said that the United States should set a timeline for bringing troops out of Iraq. The survey was conducted by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University at Monterey bay.
  • The National Association of College and University Business Officers, writing on behalf of itself and several organizations of colleges, has asked the Internal Revenue Service to reconsider new Congressionally mandated requirements that public colleges and other units of government withhold 3 percent on payments for goods and services, beginning in 2011. A letter from NACUBO notes that this requirement was a last-minute addition to legislation and was never subject to hearings. Should the IRS proceed with the measure, which NACUBO said would be costly and time consuming for many colleges, the association suggested it be applied only to purchases in excess of $10,000.
  • Melissa Bruen, the top editor at The Daily Campus, the student newspaper at the University of Connecticut, wrote a front-page article Friday about her experience being assaulted during UConn's Spring Weekend on a part of campus that has been the site of so many assaults that it is called "The Rape Trail." Comments on the article and a piece in The Hartford Courant suggest that Bruen's frankness has prompted considerable campus discussion.
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