Quick Takes: Maryland Urged to Spend More on Black Colleges, Cascade to Close, Berkeley Chancellor Defends Gay Marriage, Alverno Calls Off Election Day Classes, Rejected Student Achieves Much Success, Preventing Dorm Flu

  • Maryland must spend considerably more on facilities and programs at historically black colleges for them to overcome the impact of decades of segregation, a special state panel has found. The Baltimore Sun reported that the panel links this lack of funding to the relatively low retention and graduation rates at the black colleges.
  • October 28, 2008
     
  • Maryland must spend considerably more on facilities and programs at historically black colleges for them to overcome the impact of decades of segregation, a special state panel has found. The Baltimore Sun reported that the panel links this lack of funding to the relatively low retention and graduation rates at the black colleges. At the same time, noting the economic woes facing the state, panel leaders said that the black colleges many need to make some improvements by shifts in spending on funds they already have.
  • Cascade College, an Oregon branch of Oklahoma Christian University, will close at the end of the academic year. The college has 280 students and 45 full-time faculty members and other employees. A statement from the college said that it was "unable to find a viable financial or academic model that would sustain and allow Cascade to flourish for the foreseeable future." Cascade was founded in 1956 and was then known as Columbia Christian College. It briefly closed in the 1990s and reopened in August 1994 as a branch campus of Oklahoma Christian.
  • Robert J. Birgeneau, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, last week issued a statement suggesting that Proposition 8 -- the measure on the state's ballots next week to ban gay marriage -- is inconsistent with university values. While noting that Berkeley students and employees "must exercise their own best judgment" on the measure, Birgeneau said it would have an impact on the university. "Proposition 8 is in conflict with the principles of equity and inclusion to which our campus is committed. Berkeley supports the full inclusion and equal treatment of all members of our community and we have affirmed the position that any treatment of individuals that is not equal and inclusive is discriminatory," he wrote. Birgeneau also noted a competitive advantage held by universities in states with same-sex marriage. "Inclusiveness is a specific strategic advantage that allows us to attract and retain talented people who could easily choose to move to other parts of the country. For example, in Massachusetts, home to Harvard and MIT, who are among our greatest competitors for faculty, same-sex marriage has been legal for some years. It is recognized in states such as New York, home to Columbia and Cornell, who are also major rivals for top faculty. The constitutional right to marry in the State of California enhances UC Berkeley’s ability to attract and retain the very best students, staff and faculty, with the promise of equal treatment under the laws of our state."
  • Students at many campuses are complaining about the difficulties of voting in between class times -- which is the norm, since very few colleges give Election Day off. For the first time, however, Alverno College has declared Election Day a holiday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted Mary Meehan, the president, as noting that the college aspires to train its students to become good citizens. Not only is the college giving students the day off to vote, but it has set up poll-worker training for students who want to volunteer. "It's a learning experience that can't be done through reading about it," Meehan said.
  • Is Laura Spence having the last laugh? Eight years ago, the British student -- a graduate of a state-run high school with top grades and test scores -- was famously rejected by the University of Oxford. Her credentials were so obviously stellar that many critics used her as a prime example of what they view as elitism at Oxford, which they accuse of favoring wealthier applicants from elite private schools. So where is Spence now? As The Guardian reported, she earned undergraduate honors at Harvard University and then returned to Britain to enroll in medical school. She has just graduated ... from the University of Cambridge.
  • University of Michigan researchers studying the spread of the flu virus in college dorms have found that wearing face masks and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers may prevent the spread of symptoms by 10 to 50 percent. The results are from the first year of a two-year study, and scientists stressed that, while encouraging, they should be interpreted with caution given a mild flu season. The study, designed to evaluate the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions in the event of pandemic flu, tracked more than 1,000 Michigan students in seven residence halls.
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