Quick Takes: Outrage Grows Over Brandeis Decision, Professor Jill Biden, 42% Raise to Stay Put, Probation for Albany, God and Man at Alberta
Submitted by Scott Jaschik on January 28, 2009 - 4:00am
Outrage is growing over Monday's announcement by Brandeis University that it plans to bolster its finances by selling all 6,000 pieces of art in its museum -- in violation of museum ethics codes that permit the sale of art only to purchase more art. Some donors are urging the Massachusetts attorney general to block the sale on the grounds that they never would have donated art to the museum had they known of the possibility of the university selling the gifts, The Boston Globe reported. The attorney general's office confirmed that it is reviewing the plan. A Globe art critic meanwhile published an essay calling the planned sale "a scandal" and "unconscionable." An online petition gathered more than 1,200 signatures in a day. And Innermost Parts, a student blog that tracks Brandeis matters, writes: "It’s now fairly clear that if we go through with this, we will destroy our reputation in the art world forever. Nobody who seriously cares about art will have anything but sheer contempt for our university."
Jill Biden is back in the classroom. Biden is now an adjunct at Northern Virginia Community College, teaching one course in developmental English and one in English as a second language, The Washington Post reported. Until her husband's election as vice president, Biden taught at Delaware Technical & Community College.
Daniel Phelan, president of Jackson Community College, in Michigan, has announced that he's staying put. The Jackson Citizen reported that a 42 percent raise -- bringing his salary to $236,000 -- led him to give up a shot at becoming president of Grand Rapids Community College. While board members say that the funds are well spent, some members of the faculty union have noted that they don't have a contract, and have been in disputes over wages, without anyone offering them 42 percent raises.
The State University of New York at Albany has been placed on a two-year probation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for improper recruiting by its football and baseball programs. In the fall of 2007, a number of assistant football coaches illegally contacted 220 prospective recruits via text messages -- a technique the NCAA banned earlier that year. Jon Mueller, head baseball coach, also sent 56 prohibited text messages to five prospective recruits last summer. The assistant football coaches in question will be temporarily suspended from recruiting, and Mueller will be kept from all off-campus baseball recruiting for a year. Additionally, the number of paid visits offered to recruits by the football team and the number of baseball scholarships will be reduced this coming academic year.
The University of Alberta has reached a compromise with atheist and agnostic students who have been pushing to charge the convocation for new graduates. Canwest News Service reported that while God will remain in the charge, the wording is significantly different. The old charge asked graduates to work "for the glory of God and the honor of your country." The new charge, being praised as more inclusive, asks graduates to work "for the uplifting of the whole people; to inspire the human spirit; for all who believe, to serve your God; and to pursue more steadfastly whatsoever things are true."