Quick Takes: Pact Gives Big Boost for Veterans' Benefits, Fresno State to Pay $9M, Some Chicago Profs Worry About Friedman Tilt, Grand Jury Blasts San Joaquin Delta, Phoenix Spends Big Online, Concerns on Med Student Debt, Mixed Verdict for Tree-Sitters

June 19, 2008
  • The White House and Congressional negotiators reached a deal Wednesday night on war spending, including a plan to dramatically expand college assistance for veterans, effectively providing the cost of education at any public institution in veterans' states, the Associated Press reported. Details will be released today and apparently include some provisions backed by Republicans who feared that a package that was too attractive might discourage re-enlistments.
  • California State University at Fresno has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a sex-discrimination suit won by Stacy Johnson-Klein, a former women's basketball coach at the university, The Fresno Bee reported. Johnson-Klein won $19.1 million in a jury verdict last year, but a judge reduced that sum subsequently -- to around what she will now receive. Fresno State settled another sex discrimination suit, by the associate athletic director, for $3.5 million and is currently appealing a $4.52 million award to a former volleyball coach who also charged sex discrimination.
  • The University of Chicago, long known for its association with the late Milton Friedman and his "Chicago school" of economics, is planning a $200 million institute to honor him. While professors are leading planning efforts for the institute, 101 others have signed a letter expressing concern that the institute will too closely associate the university with particular points of view. The Chicago Tribune reported that the letter suggests a fear that the institution could "reinforce among the public a perception that the university's faculty lacks intellectual and ideological diversity." Organizers of the center say that while it will honor Friedman, it will include scholars with a range of views.
  • A civil grand jury blasted the governing board of San Joaquin Delta College in a report released Wednesday, accusing trustees of misspending millions of dollars in public funds and of repeatedly violating the state's open records laws by discussing the contents of closed session outside its meetings. "The Grand Jury has no confidence in the Delta College Board of Trustees as they are currently constituted," its members wrote in the report of their investigation, which was prompted by citizen complaints. "The District needs capable trustees who are able to meet the task of bringing Delta College into the 21st century."
  • The top spender on online advertising in the United States is the University of Phoenix, which with its parent company spent $278 million on advertising last year, most of it online, The Washington Post reported.
  • The American Medical Association is calling on medical schools to do more to help medical students understand and manage debt. The association adopted new policies requiring medical schools to inform students of government loans along with private loans, and to disclose why any "preferred lenders" were selected. In addition, the AMA is calling on medical schools to be more transparent about their costs and cost-control efforts.
  • A state judge's ruling Wednesday left both tree-sitting activists and the University of California at Berkeley claiming victory in the never-ending fight over a planned sports center, the Los Angeles Times reported. The ruling upholds the basic legality of plans to build the center (the win for the university) while requiring some additional reporting first, which at least temporarily blocks construction (the win for the tree-sitters). The ruling arrived during a week that the university has stepped up efforts to remove the tree-sitters.
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