Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University, apologized on Wednesday for what he said was a “highly offensive” parody by a student who dressed half-naked as the pope during a spring carnival parade sponsored by the institution’s College of Fine Arts, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Carnegie Mellon has not identified the student seen in photos of the parade, who wore mock papal robes from the waist up but was naked from the waist down. She passed out condoms to onlookers, and her pubic hair was shaved in the shape of a cross.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh called on the university to take action over the incident. Carnegie Mellon officials said this week they were reviewing the matter, and Mr. Cohon said he planned to remain silent until the review was complete. But in an e-mail to the campus, he said an update was in order in light of comments he had received about the incident. He wrote that the university would take the time to treat those involved fairly.
“I regret that this occurred, and I apologize to all who were offended by this, for religious or other reasons, and especially to those who witnessed this behavior,” he added.
Carnegie Mellon University has selected Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation, as its next president, the university announced on Tuesday. Mr. Suresh will take office on July 1, succeeding Jared L. Cohon, who is stepping down after 16 years. A news release from the NSF states that Mr. Suresh, who was appointed by President Obama to lead the agency in 2010, will step down from his role at the end of March to accept the appointment. Before coming to the NSF, Mr. Suresh was dean of the school of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A federal jury in Pittsburgh on Wednesday found that the Marvell Technology Group and Marvell Semiconductor Inc. infringed on patents stemming from the work of a Carnegie Mellon University professor and a former student, and awarded the university roughly $1.17-billion in damages, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Their technology “increased the accuracy with which hard-disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks,” according to the newspaper.
The company had argued that the technology was subject to an earlier patent, but all nine jurors disagreed in handing up their unanimous verdict. The jury found that the company had knowingly infringed on Carnegie Mellon’s patents and had “no reasonable defense” for doing so, according to the newspaper. The jury’s finding of a willful patent violation also means that the judge in the case could choose to triple the damages awarded to the university.
A Marvell spokesman told The New York Times that the company would ask the judge to reduce the damages in posttrial hearings, and might appeal the ruling otherwise. After the verdict was announced, the company’s share price dropped by roughly 10 percent, according to the Times.