Many University of California at San Diego students are outraged over a "Compton Cookout" party held by fraternity members to mock Black History Month, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Attendees were encouraged to wear chains and cheap clothing. A guide for women attending the event said: "For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks — Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes."
Higher Education Quick Takes
A federal jury ordered the University of Oregon to pay Paula Rogers $164,000 after finding that she was a victim of adverse treatment and a hostile work environment in the East Asian languages and literatures department because she is half-Japanese and not entirely Japanese, The Eugene Register-Guard reported. The university declined to comment on the verdict. Since her contract was not renewed, Rogers has taught in Taiwan, resulting in an extremely long-distance marriage with her husband, who teaches at Oregon.
An associate professor at Bowling Green State University has been suspended for making verbal threats to colleagues, the Associated Press reported. The suspension took place before Friday's murders at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. The professor who was suspended has been charged by police with aggravated menacing and inducing panic.
A student organization will file a suit today in federal court, challenging California's ban on affirmative action by public colleges and universities, and other state agencies, the Los Angeles Times reported. The suit will charge that the ban violates equal protection rights of the black and Latino students who might otherwise be admitted to the university system. Challenges to the right of states to ban affirmative action have been rejected by courts in the past, allowing the bans to stand in the states where voters have approved them. The group filing the suit is the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary.
To settle a lawsuit filed by the student newspaper, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has agreed to release documents and recordings from a student governance panel and to pay the publication's legal costs. The UWM Post, which filed the suit, reported on the settlement Monday. The university had sought to shield from public view records related to meetings of the Union Policy Board, which allocates student fees. Milwaukee administrators had argued that because the board was made up largely of students, it had a right to redact information related to the student members under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Per its name, that law is designed to protect students' educational records.
Some faculty members are objecting to a plan at Purdue University to reduce contributions to retirement accounts, The Journal and Courier reported. University officials say that the savings will allow for other important spending -- on faculty salaries, for example. But some professors say that they haven't had enough input and that alternatives should be considered.
Baylor University on Monday named Kenneth Starr as its next president. Starr is best known for the investigation that led to the impeachment of President Clinton. But for the past six years, Starr has been an academic administrator, as dean of the law school at Pepperdine University. The Waco Tribune reported that Starr, who was raised in the Church of Christ (his father was a minister), has said that he will join a Baptist church once he moves to Baylor. An online forum in the Tribune featured widely varied reactions to the selection. The Lariat, Baylor's student newspaper, endorsed the pick. "This Vernon, Texas-native is an unusual selection because of what he is most widely known for -- his work in the Bill Clinton impeachment case and because he comes from a Church of Christ background, but unconventional does not equate amiss. These hesitations have not tarnished his impeccable reputation; rather, everyone who spoke to the Lariat had immensely positive things to say about him," the editorial said.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council has come out in defense of the students at the University of California at Irvine who repeatedly interrupted a speech last week by Israel's ambassador to the United States, leading to arrests and university investigations. Advocates for free speech generally defend the rights of those opposed to a speaker to picket or rally outside, ask tough questions or hand out literature, but generally object to heckling mid-speech. But the council is taking a different view. "These students had the courage and conscience to stand up against aggression, using peaceful means," said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the council. "We cannot allow our educational institutions to be used as a platform to threaten and discourage students who choose to practice their First Amendment right."
Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was the eighth most well compensated corporate director in 2008, according to an analysis by Bloomberg. She earned a total of $1,346,648 for her board work, while also earning $1.6 million from RPI.
Lindenwood University, in Missouri, has agreed to recognize a gay-straight student alliance, but only on the condition that the group expand its reach to include "other students in need of understanding and support," The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Student organizers said that they viewed the compromise as a step forward that would allow them to form the group. Administrators had previously called the idea of a gay-straight alliance "parochial and self-serving." Lindenwood describes itself as "an independent institution firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian values. Those values include belief in an ordered, purposeful universe, the dignity of work, the worth and integrity of the individual, the obligations and privileges of citizenship and the primacy of truth."