All posts by Andy Thomason


Stanford U. Apologizes for Fliers That Rated Montana Candidates’ Politics

Stanford University has apologized for a research project that sent fliers to Montana residents rating the political leanings of candidates for the state’s Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports. The fliers, which bore Montana’s state seal, were condemned by its secretary of state, Linda McCulloch, who called them “deceitful.”

The university said it was investigating the methods of the project’s leaders, who are researchers at Stanford and Dartmouth College. ”We do share the concerns that t…


Athletes Should Be Paid Minimum Wage, New Lawsuit Argues

A new lawsuit asserts that college athletes should be paid at least the minimum wage, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, USA Today reports. The suit, filed this week in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, names the NCAA and every college with a Division I athletic program as defendants.

The lawsuit argues that athletes belong in the same category as work-study students because they also perform nonacademic tasks for no academic credit. It asks that athletes who began playing at least two years ago be given “unpaid wages.”

Samantha Sackos, a former women’s soccer player at the University of Houston, is named as the plaintiff.

The legal attacks on the NCAA and its limits on what athletes can receive while playing college sports have been spread across a much wider front with the filing of a lawsuit that names the NCAA and every Division I school as defendants. The suit – filed this week in U.S.

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3 Senators Urge Education Dept. to Make Studying Abroad Safer

Three U.S. senators urged the education secretary, Arne Duncan, in a letter on Thursday to provide better safety information to college students who plan to study abroad.

The letter—signed by Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Al Franken of Minnesota, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, all Democrats—recommends, among other things, that the Education Department better advertise the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Links to sign up for the program should be provided in the …


West Virginia U. Expels 3 for Role in Rioting After Football Victory

West Virginia University has expelled three students for their part in destructive rioting on Saturday after the football team upset Baylor University. Law-enforcement agencies also charged 11 other students with crimes.

“We have made it clear that this university will hold students accountable for their unlawful behavior,” said the university’s president, Gordon Gee, in a written statement. “We will not allow individuals to remain enrolled who commit these crimes and damage the reputation and…


3 Questions Left Unanswered by Chapel Hill’s Academic-Fraud Report

After the latest report of academic fraud at the University of North Carolina flagship was released on Wednesday, administrators said that, disturbing as the findings were, the campus’s four-year nightmare might finally end.

“I believe we now know all that we are able to know about what happened and how it happened,” said the system’s president, Thomas W. Ross, according to an account in The Daily Tar Heel.

But the 136-page report, the result of an investigation led by a former federal prosecuto…


Band Director at U. of Oklahoma Steps Down After Student Outcry

The University of Oklahoma’s marching-band director has stepped down after members vocally criticized his leadership and asked for his dismissal, The Oklahoman reports.

Students criticized the leadership of Justin Stolarik—along with a rule prohibiting them from criticizing the program, known as the Pride—in a series of full-page advertisements published in newspapers last week. The same day the ads were published, the university’s president, David L. Boren, voided the ban on criticism.

“I care deeply about the Pride and applaud the tremendous effort of our students,” Mr. Stolarik said in a statement released by the university. “I always wanted them to have a good experience and be exposed to new ideas. I’m committed to doing everything I can to help unify the band and encourage the students’ success.”

NORMAN – The director of the University of Oklahoma’s marching band, Justin Stolarik, is stepping down as director, effective immediately. Stolarik has been the director of the Pride of Oklahoma marching band since August 2013. Students have asked for his removal.

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Oklahoma State U. Sues New Mexico State U. Over ‘Pistol Pete’ Mascot

Oklahoma State University has sued New Mexico State University for using a mascot it says is too similar to Oklahoma State’s own “Pistol Pete.” The university filed suit on Monday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma. It calls New Mexico State’s mascot “confusingly similar” to Pistol Pete.

In a statement, New Mexico State said it is “confident that good sense will prevail and that this court action will lead to an agreement” allowing both institutions to keep their mascots.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – Powerhouse Oklahoma State University is suing New Mexico State University, claiming the Aggies have plagiarized its pistol-packing mascot. The federal lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Western Oklahoma says the NMSU’s mascot is “confusingly similar” to OSU’s Pistol Pete Marks.

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3 Key Findings in Chapel Hill’s Academic-Fraud Investigation

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday announced the findings of a long-awaited, independent investigation into academic fraud in its department of African and Afro-American studies. The comprehensive, 136-page report tells a gripping narrative full of new revelations in the prolonged scandal. The findings take aim at a number of people at Chapel Hill who have previously been implicated in the scandal but who have denied any knowledge of or role in the alleged fraud.

Here a…


Scientists Protest Restrictions on Sharing Research in Canada

More than 800 scientists in 32 countries are calling on the Canadian government to drop rules that they say restrict scientists’ freedom and hurt their ability to collaborate. In a letter drafted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the signatories ask Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, to restore government scientists’ “freedom and funding.”

In a statement, a government spokesman said that the administration had made “record investments” in science and that, “while ministers are the primary spokespersons for government departments,” scientists “are readily available to share their research with Canadians.”

Hundreds of scientists around the world are asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end “burdensome restrictions on scientific communication and collaboration faced by Canadian government scientists.” The call was made in an open letter drafted by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that represents U.S.

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U. of Oklahoma President Voids Rule Banning Criticism by Band Members

The University of Oklahoma’s president has repealed a policy prohibiting members of the university’s marching band from disparaging the program, The Oklahoman reports.

The president, David L. Boren, rescinded the ban on Friday, the same day full-page advertisements were published in newspapers across the state criticizing the band program and the rule prohibiting public dissent.

“President Boren was incensed when he learned of the band-participation agreement and was disturbed that he had not been told of it by the School of Music,” a university spokeswoman, Catherine Bishop, wrote The Oklahoman in an email.

Members of the University of Oklahoma’s marching band are free to speak their minds about the Pride of Oklahoma by order of OU President David Boren. A full-page newspaper ad criticizing band director Justin Stolarik was published in three newspapers Friday. The ad was presented as a letter to Boren and signed by “The Pride of Oklahoma Students.”

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