Quick Takes: Texas-Pan Am President Accused of Plagiarism, Rice and Baylor Med May Merge, Montclair Students Protest Cartoon Slur on Obama, Police Chief Says He'll Make Degree Legit, Oregon Wrestlers Lose Suit, Anger Over Web Posting, Flu Shot Record

October 29, 2008
  • University of Texas System officials are investigating allegations that Blandina Cardenas, president of University of Texas-Pan American, plagiarized parts of her dissertation, the Associated Press reported. An packet sent to the university and to the AP claimed to identify 100 examples of plagiarism. The materials were sent by anonymous faculty members. The AP said that the samples it received included some statements that appeared to be historical fact, but also cases of direct language matches without attribution. The Pan American campus referred all questions to the system office, which confirmed that the allegations were under investigation.
  • Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine are in serious merger talks, The Houston Chronicle reported. The merger is seen as a way for Rice to broaden its research base and for the Baylor medical school to have the ties of a major research university. Since 1969, the medical school has been a free-standing institution, independent of Baylor University.
  • The student newspaper at Montclair State University is apologizing for running a syndicated cartoon that used a racial slur to refer to Sen. Barack Obama, The Star-Ledger reported. Editors said that they did not review the cartoon because it was syndicated, but many students say that's not an excuse. The cartoon -- The K Chronicles -- is known for satire on racial issues, and the fictional person who uses the slur -- identified as being in a part of the country where Democrats don't usually hunt for votes -- appears to be the subject of the criticism. The cartoon may be viewed here.
  • Rodney Monroe, the police chief in Charlotte and the former chief in Richmond, has been at the center of a scandal over a degree he received from Virginia Commonwealth University. While authorities say Monroe did nothing wrong, several inquiries have concluded that VCU violated numerous of its rules in awarding the degree to Monroe even though he didn't comply with requirements. Now Monroe says he is willing to either go back to college or give up the degree in order to resolve the issue, The Charlotte Observerreported. VCU officials have said that they don't have the authority to revoke the degree because Monroe didn't encourage the rules violations. At a press briefing where he discussed the controversy, Monroe declined to give a timetable for resolving the matter.
  • A state judge on Tuesday rejected a suit by supporters of the University of Oregon wrestling team to block the university's decision to kill the program, Legal Newsline reported. After the announcement of the plan to kill the team, its fans and alumni rallied to save it, and said that the university failed to follow proper procedures. But a judge found the university within its rights. "The decision to end the wrestling program was based on financial, academic and community interest considerations, and nothing more," the ruling said.
  • Students at Trinity College in Connecticut rallied this week to protest comments on an unofficial discussion board -- since removed -- suggesting that admitting more minority students to the college had led to its drop in the rankings, The Hartford Courant reported. While the Courant article did not directly quote the offensive passage, The Trinity Tripod, the student newspaper, said that the comments referred to minority students as "simian creatures" and said: "Put simply, we let in worse candidates and the outcome is a worse school."
  • The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities believes that it set a new world record Tuesday for the most flu shots given in a single day: 11,538.
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