Quick Takes: Win for British Adjuncts, Spellings Commission Lives, Low-Key Accreditation Meeting, Appeals Court Rejects Antitrust Suit Against NCAA Rules, Students Who Drive While Sleepy, Justices and the Law Schools

June 10, 2008
  • Adjuncts in the U.S. and Britain are hailing a decision by a labor board in the United Kingdom to grant a permanent contract to a University of Aberdeen researcher who had worked on a series of short-term contracts. The labor board found that the university had done so for long enough that the researcher was entitled to a full-time position.
  • The Spellings Commission lives, in a way: The U.S. Education Department is planning a summit in Chicago on July 17-18 to which it has invited many members of the secretary of education's panel on higher education and other college leaders. Details about the meeting are few at this time. Some people familiar with early planning for the meeting have described it as an effort to assess how the panel's recommendations have been implemented so far, but others who have spoken to department officials said they have been contemplating one last bold effort to prod change in higher education. More as details become available.
  • Recent meetings of the Education Department's National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity have been filled with drama and contention, but Monday's gathering was a low-key affair, even with the panel's fate hanging in the balance. That's mostly because the accreditation panel's planned review of the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar was postponed last month after department officials said they had not had a chance to review the mountains of documents that Education Secretary Margaret Spellings requested when she criticized the legal accreditor's diversity standard last year. Department officials also told the ABA that they were postponing the review (until December) because they were investigating complaints against the accrediting group filed by one law school and one student. The accrediting groups that were reviewed by the NACIQI panel on Monday were generally non-controversial. The December meeting of the accrediting advisory committee could be its last, at least as currently constituted; legislation to renew the Higher Education Act now being considered in Congress seems likely to reconstitute the panel to give the education secretary less control over the appointment of its members.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Monday upheld a lower court's dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The suit was brought by a former assistant football coach at the University of Kentucky who lost his job amid an investigation of alleged rules violations. He argued that the NCAA's rules and punishments violated antitrust laws, but the appeals court found that the procedures and claims in the case were "not commercial in nature and failed to allege an antitrust injury."
  • Many students drive while sleepy, exposing themselves and others to dangers of accidents, according to research presented Monday at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
  • TaxProf Blog analyzed the financial disclosure reports released by the Supreme Court on Friday to note the connections between the court's justices and law schools. During 2007, Justice Antonin Scalia visited more law schools (12) than anyone else. Runner-up was the chief justice, John Roberts, was second, with eight. Two justices -- John Paul Stevens and David Souter -- didn't visit any. Yale University's law school had the most visits from justices in the year -- three. The top payment from a law school for a visit was the $25,000 from the McGeorge School of Law, of the University of the Pacific, to Justice Anthony Kennedy.
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