Quick Takes: Judge Rejects Ban on Alcohol Ads, Howard Hughes President to Leave, Monroe CC Search Controversy, Interim President Arrested, Courses vs. Bars
Submitted by Scott Jaschik on April 2, 2008 - 4:00am
A federal judge on Monday ruled that Virginia's alcohol board violated the First Amendment protections of two student newspapers that challenged a ban on alcohol advertising in their publications. Judge M. Hannah Lauck ruled that the state board failed to provide evidence for the compelling need for a regulation that infringes on the First Amendment. The judge noted that there was no evidence that the regulations had curbed alcohol abuse by students, that advertisements were focused on under-age drinkers, or that the regulation had a substantial impact, given the wide exposure of students to alcohol advertising in other media. The ban was challenged by the student papers of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, with backing from the American Civil Liberties Union. In 2004, a federal appeals court rejected a Pennsylvania law banning student newspapers from being paid for alcohol advertising. That decision was written (before his elevation to the Supreme Court) by Judge Samuel Alito.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute announced on Monday that its president since 2000, Thomas R. Cech, would step down in one year to pursue his own chemistry research full time at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Cech's leadership ushered in a period of expansion at the institute, including a standalone research campus and a greater focus on promoting early career scientists. He said that "continuity of leadership" will be necessary, especially for future initiatives: "The ‘next great thing’ needs that same leadership commitment over an extended period of time."
Campus visits for two finalists for the presidency of Monroe Community College, in Rochester, N.Y., have been postponed amid growing criticism of the search process, The Democrat and Chronicle reported. Two search committees recommended two finalists, both presidents of other community colleges. But the college's board added two other candidates as finalists -- even though the search committees had passed them over -- including a former county legislator whose candidacy is being pushed by Republican politicians, but who is viewed by many at the college as lacking appropriate experience.
Robert Sisk, the interim president of Eastern Community and Technical College, in West Virginia, was arrested Monday on misdemeanor charges related to the alteration and deletion of computer data at a state vocational school at which he was formerly director, The Charleston Gazette reported. While Sisk is not commenting on the charges, another article in the Gazette quoted the board chair at Eastern as saying that Sisk would remain in his new job and that the "facts will come out."
The University of Iowa is planning late night recreational courses (starting at 10 p.m. and lasting as late as 2 a.m.) to create alternatives to bars for students, the Associated Press reported.