Quick Takes: New Bailout Might Help Student Loans, NEH Chair and Sara Tucker Plan Departures, UT Galveston Faces Massive Layoffs, Dispute Over Death of Community College's Paper, Gifts of $260M for NYU Med, News Spoof

November 13, 2008
  • The Treasury Department is revising the bailout plan for financial institutions and the new plan may help with student loans. While no details were released, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said at a news conference Wednesday that he wants to offer aid to ease the availability of loans in many sectors, including those used by students. "Today, the illiquidity in this sector is raising the cost and reducing the availability of car loans, student loans and credit cards," he said. "This is creating a heavy burden on the American people and reducing the number of jobs in our economy."
  • It's getting to be that time. Two Bush administration officials familiar to higher education leaders announced Wednesday that they were leaving in the administration's waning days. Sara Martinez Tucker, U.S. under secretary of education since December 2006, will leave after next week to return to her home in California, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced. Tucker, a longtime executive at AT&T and former head of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, became the department's top higher education official after playing a key role on Spellings's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. In her time at the department, she has focused on efforts to simplify the federal financial aid process, but has also been the point person (and sometimes a lightning rod) for the department's budget plans and proposals on student loan liquidity. Also on Wednesday, Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities for most of the Bush administration and the longest serving chair ever, announced that he plans to become president of the American Revolution Center, a new museum and research center in Valley Forge. Cole placed a major emphasis during his tenure on promoting digital scholarship and international collaboration.
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, which suffered hundreds of million of dollars of damages from Hurricane Ike, is laying off 3,800 of its 12,000 employees, The Houston Chronicle reported. Officials of the University of Texas System, in a statement after a meeting of its regents, said that the teaching hospital is running out of money, leaving no choice but to eliminate the jobs.
  • Student journalists at Seattle Central Community College think their student newspaper isn't publishing this semester because administrators are angry over past coverage, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. College officials deny that, and say they just don't have anyone to advise the students. The dispute follows the decisions of other community colleges to stop publishing student papers.
  • New York University will expand its hospital and medical school with two major gifts: one of $150 million and one of $110 million.
  • Several higher education headlines are part of the spoof of The New York Times that is circulating in New York City and online -- with news full of liberal dreams. Among the headlines: "Harvard Will Shut Business School Doors" and "All Public Universities to Be Free." The Albany TImes Union (in real news) reported on a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who helped create the parody.
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