Quick Takes: WVU Professors Want President Out, Wash U. Sticks With Schlafly, A Hindu First, Sallie Mae Snafu, California Students Will Pay More, Full Scholarships for Cleveland Clinic Med Students, Largest Environmental College

May 15, 2008
  • Mike Garrison has repeatedly said he has no plans to quit as president of West Virginia University, even after the Faculty Senate asked him to do so. On Wednesday, a mass meeting of the full faculty was held, and professors voted 565-39 to seek Garrison's ouster, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Professors are angry over a scandal involving the awarding of a degree she did not earn to the governor's daughter. No word on any change of heart by Garrison.
  • Washington University on Wednesday issued its third statement this month on the decision to award an honorary degree to Phyllis Schlafly -- an honor that has led to an uproar on the campus, where many students and faculty members believe it makes no sense for a university committed to nondiscrimination and intensely involved in science to praise someone who has opposed equal protection laws for women and who has argued against the teaching of evolution. Wednesday's statement came from Mark Wrighton, chancellor of the university, who said that Washington was not backing away from plans for the honorary degree. But he also said that the university would review its procedures for selecting candidates for the honor. Wrighton said that he did not agree with many of Schlafly's views and he added: "I apologize for the anguish this decision has caused to many members of our community."
  • The University of Southern California announced Wednesday that it is appointing Varun Soni, a Hindu religious scholar and leader, as dean of religious life -- and university officials said that they believed this was the first such appointment with university-wide religious responsibilities for a Hindu at an American university.
  • Thousands of borrowers have had their credit scores severely damaged because Sallie Mae erroneously reported that they were delinquent on their student loans, the Associated Press reported. Sallie Mae has fixed the error, but in the meantime some people have seen their FICO scores tumble by as much as 150 points.
  • Over student objections, the boards of the University of California and the California State University systems on Wednesday approved increases in tuition for next year, 10 percent at Cal State and 7.4 percent at UC, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Because California officially doesn't have tuition, these charges are called fees in the state, but they represent what other colleges call tuition.) Sixteen students were arrested in a protest over the increases. University officials said that they had no choice, in light of limited state support.
  • The Cleveland Clinic is announcing today that full tuition scholarships will be awarded to all students, starting with this fall's incoming class, at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.
  • The University of Washington is planning to combine several programs and departments -- including forestry, fisheries, atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, marine affairs and oceanography -- into a new college that officials believe would be the largest environmental college, The Seattle Times reported.
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