Quick Takes: Black Colleges Questioned in Georgia, Pope Warns Students on Technology's Dangers, Community College Waives Tuition for Unemployed, Thai Protests Delay Student Group, Grawemeyer for World Order, Lincoln Buys For-Profit College

December 2, 2008
  • A key lawmaker in Georgia is suggesting that the state merge two of its three public historically black colleges with nearby predominantly white institutions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Seth Harp, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, used a budget hearing Monday to push the idea. "The white schools were begun as segregation schools. It’s time Georgia closed that ugly chapter,” Harp said. His plan would combine historically black Savannah State University with Armstrong Atlantic University, and historically black Albany State University with Darton College. Georgia has a third historically black college -- Fort Valley State University -- that is not near other institutions. While higher education officials noted the role played by historically black colleges and said that they would need to see support for the idea, Hart shot back by noting the projected budget outlook. “A 10 percent cut may be an incentive," he said.
  • Pope Benedict XVI used a speech at the University of Parma Monday to warn students about the dangers of technology. According to Vatican Radio, "Pope Benedict said today’s younger generations are exposed to a double risk, largely due to the widespread use of new technologies: On one hand, noted Pope Benedict there is a danger that the students' capacity for concentration and mental application on a personal level are reduced; on the other hand there is a danger that the students isolate themselves in an increasingly virtual reality." The comments came in a speech on the reform of universities in Italy. The pope said that those efforts would succeed only if individuals involved first focus on "reforming ourselves, correcting that which could damage or obstruct the common good."
  • Northampton Community College, in Pennsylvania, announced Monday that it would revive a program offered in past recessions and start tuition waivers for the unemployed. Those who have lost their jobs in the local area will be able to take up to 12 credits of career-related courses tuition-free.
  • Eighteen students from Northwestern College, in Minnesota, have been among those stranded in Bangkok, where protests shut down the airport. But the Associated Press reported that half have now managed to leave the country, and the rest are safe and should be out shortly.
  • The University of Louisville is today announcing that Michael Johnston, a political science professor at Colgate University, is the winner of the 2009 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, worth $200,000. Johnston is being honored for his 2005 book, Syndromes of Corruption: Wealth, Power and Democracy (Cambridge University Press).
  • Lincoln Educational Services Corp. said Monday that it had completed its $11.4 million purchase of Briarwood College, a two-year for-profit college that offers bachelor's and associate degrees on its residential campus in Connecticut. Lincoln operates 34 campuses in 17 states, most of which are nationally accredited. Briarwood is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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