Quick Takes: Nobel Laureate for Energy, No Confidence at New School, Exhibit With Gay Theme Removed and Reinstated, Rutgers Ousts AD, Delaware Shifts Teams, NCAA Penalties for Ala. State, Georgetown's Largest Gift, Who Needs Ethics Training in Illinois?

December 11, 2008
  • Steve Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics, is reportedly President-elect Barack Obama's pick for energy secretary. Background about his career may be found here.
  • Faculty members at the New School have voted no confidence in Bob Kerrey, the former U.S. senator who is the institution's president, The New York Times reported. Faculty members are angry over frequent turnover among provosts and a sense that Kerrey does not involve them in decisions or tolerate their criticism. The New School board is backing Kerrey and he is not backing down, telling the Times that "the problem at the New School is not necessarily me.”
  • Brigham Young University is blaming misunderstandings for the temporary removal of a student's exhibit of photographs of gay students and the friends or relatives who support them, The Deseret News reported. University officials told the newspaper that being gay does not violate the university's rules, although any gay sex would. Examples of the photos in the exhibit -- which is now back up -- may be found on the artist's blog.
  • Rutgers University on Wednesday fired its athletics director, Robert E. Mulcahy, following considerable success on the field -- and a series of controversies over spending and lack of oversight (although much of the latter criticism has focused on President Richard L. McCormick, who fired Mulcahy, and the university's board), The Star-Ledger reported.
  • Citing the need to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the University of Delaware has announced plans to add a women's golf team, and to convert men's indoor track and field from a varsity sport to a club team, The News Journal reported.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Wednesday slammed Alabama State University for a broad array of rules violations committed over several years. The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions blamed a "revolving door of administrators" at the university for the institution's failure to control its football program, resulting in academic fraud (fake academic credits arranged by university staff members to keep football players eligible) and athletes in several sports allowed to compete despite being academically ineligible, among other broken rules. The infractions panel imposed a set of severe penalties on Alabama State, adding a ban on postseason play after this football season and a vacation of team records to recruiting and scholarship reductions self-imposed by the university.
  • Georgetown University on Wednesday announced its largest gift ever -- $75 million from the estate of Robert L. McDevitt, an alumnus who asked that the funds be used for endowed professorships. McDevitt and his wife, Catherine, both strong supporters of Roman Catholic education, also left $50 million to Le Moyne College -- doubling its endowment.
  • While Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wasn't caught selling tenured faculty jobs, his downfall has attracted attention from some of the many professors who were a little annoyed that they had to undergo mandatory ethics training ordered by his administration (which was scandal-plagued even before this week). Courtesy of Dennis Baron, a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, here's a recap of actions on ethics by the Blagojevich administration that affected professors -- and how all that ethics instruction might have been more useful for the governor.
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