Quick Takes: Decline in Minority Applicants at Michigan, Middle Tenn. Repays Estate of Swindler, UMass Rescinds Mugabe's Degree, Conviction in Alabama, Gehry Building Plan Questioned, Lost Graduation Speakers, Calling All Latin Experts

June 13, 2008
  • The University of Michigan saw a decline in applications this past year -- the first full admissions cycle under the state's new ban on affirmative action -- from members of underrepresented minority groups. Total applications were up 8.5 percent, but applications from black, Latino and Native American students fell by 2 percent. Officials predicted that the decline would be temporary.
  • Middle Tennessee State University has agreed to repay the estate of a swindler (who donated the university money he was supposed to be investing for clients) $570,000, The Tennessean reported. Bob McLean, the swindler, killed himself last year prior to a court hearing on bankruptcy claims. Since then, a trustee has been negotiating with Middle Tennessee State and other nonprofit groups that McLean supported for return of some of the funds. Middle Tennessee State received nearly $1 million from McLean.
  • The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to rescind an honorary degree awarded in 1986 to Robert Mugabe, who was then seen as a key figure promoting the development of the country he leads, Zimbabwe, but who is today viewed as a tyrant. Some students and professors have been pushing for years for the degree to be withdrawn, but the board has resisted the move until now. A key state legislator recently called for the degree to be withdrawn. Robert J. Manning, chair of the board, issued a statement in which he said: “Rescinding an honorary degree is a step to be taken in only the rarest and most grievous of circumstances. After studying this issue for more than a year, the University of Massachusetts Trustees have decided that Robert Mugabe’s performance and policies in Zimbabwe are so egregious as to warrant this ultimate expression of disapproval.”
  • W.L. Langston, the former head of the Alabama Fire College, was convicted Thursday of 36 counts of theft and fraud related to accusations that he took funds from the college and its foundation for his personal gain, the Associated Press reported. Testimony at his trial covered charges of $1.5 million, which he was accused of using to build a home, to buy appliances, and to pay tuition for his children and grandchildren.
  • Hundreds of students and alumni are protesting a plan by the Art Center College of Design, in California, to spend $50 million on a new Frank Gehry building, rather than spending the funds on scholarships and instruction, the Los Angeles Times reported. Defenders of the planned building say it will give the college visibility, but critics say that the college needs to focus on more important priorities.
  • First Bill Clinton called off a graduation talk at the University of California at Los Angeles. Now a total of six prominent speakers are calling off such appearances at several University of California campuses at the request of a union that represents thousands of service and health-care workers who have been on the job for months without a contract, the Los Angeles Times reported.
  • What would prompt the gossip staff of The New York Daily News to call Latin scholars nationwide? A disputed Virgil translation? Uncertainty over one of Ovid's couplets? Sadly, no. It turns out that Ashley Dupre (for whom Eliot Spitzer was Client #9) was recently photographed in a bikini, leaving exposed a tattoo in Latin: tutela valui. Classics departments were called coast to coast in an effort to find a definitive translation. An anonymous professor from California makes the case for a translation that would link the words to Dupre's one-time profession, but other interpretations were also offered.
  • Search for Jobs


    • Viewed
    • Commented
    • Past:
    • Day
    • Week
    • Month
    • Year
    Back to Top