Quick Takes: Next Step on Anthropology Ethics, More Fallout in Iowa, Alabama Bars Undocumented Students, No Date Yet on NRC Grad Rankings, Help for Iraqi National Library, College Apologizes for Typo, Graduation Surprise

September 26, 2008
  • The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association has taken the next step -- but by no means the last -- in the process changing the group's ethics code to restrict secret research. Many anthropologists want a total ban and members voted for one at last year's annual meeting. But that vote went to the board, and it has proposed some changes in the ethics code, but quite likely not enough for many who have wanted a ban. The issue will be debated at this year's annual meeting, and another vote will follow.
  • The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday expressed strong support for Sally Mason as president of the University of Iowa, but gave her no raise in base pay, due to the university's mishandling of a sexual assault allegation involving athletics, The Iowa City Press Citizen reported. In the case, a female student said that after she was assaulted by male athletes, the university discouraged her from pressing charges and did nothing to prevent retaliatory harassment. Earlier this week, Mason fired two top officials for their roles in the response to the incident. Mason also sent an apology the campus, noting that the scandal has been difficult, and pledging to follow up with reforms to be certain that future complaints are handled in a better way.
  • The Alabama Board of Education voted Thursday to bar from community colleges any student who cannot prove his or her legal right to be in the United States, the Associated Press reported.
  • Universities with graduate programs have been awaiting release of the much-debated National Research Council Assessment of Research Doctoral Programs. The wait will go on a bit longer. The council announced this week that the release of the methodology guide will be either late October or early November, and that officials are not yet ready to set a date on release of the actual report and database.
  • Harvard University Press, MIT Press and Yale University Press are collectively sending 5,700 books to help replenish the Iraqi National Library. Shipping costs and transportation are being arranged by the Sabre Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
  • Officials at Des Moines Area Community College are apologizing for a handbook with an extremely unfortunate typo. The Des Moines Register reported that thousands of students received the handbook before anyone noticed that a calendar date for Feb. 16, 2009 -- which was supposed to read "Black History Lunch and Learn" -- instead said "Black History Linch and Learn." College officials believed that the error was simply a mistake and not intentional.
  • Bucks New University, in Britain, sometimes uses an unusual approach to collecting fines on overdue library books. The Times reported that a recent graduate was surprised after collecting the envelope she thought would contain her diploma. It contained only her bill for library books.
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