Quick Takes | Higher education round-up: Sept. 28


A weekly roundup of news from around the Ivy League and the higher-education community




Princeton University

Petraeus may be gunning for presidency

Less than a week after President Shirley Tilghman announced she will be stepping down in June 2013, speculation has arisen over whether Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus may be next in line for Princeton’s presidency.

The Daily Princetonian reported that Petraeus, a Princeton alumnus, “harbors a serious interest in one day serving as University president.” The newspaper spoke with multiple friends and colleagues familiar with Petraeus’ career aspirations.

At a recent event, when asked if he had ever considered running for president of the United States, Petraeus reportedly responded, “I am running for president of Princeton.”

Yale University

New frat at odds with school policy

Yale’s newest fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, will have to change its membership policy of admitting only Christian students if it hopes to be in line with university regulations.

Associate Dean for Student Organizations and Physical Resources John Meeske told The Yale Daily News this week that BYX’s practice runs counter to the school’s anti-discrimination policy. It is not yet clear if BYX will amend its policies.

According to the website of BYX’s national organization, “each of our members is a professing Christian and exhibits a willingness to serve in Christ’s Kingdom.”

Cornell University

Times reporter fooled by Cornell students

In a piece earlier this month, a New York Times freelance reporter quoted several Cornell students whose names and class years were false.

The Cornell Daily Sun reported that the journalist, Courtney Rubin, “had not considered at the time that the students could be lying,” and was “shocked” by the recent developments.

In an editor’s note Thursday, the newspaper wrote, “None of the names provided by [six Cornell] students to a reporter and photographer for The Times … match listings in the Cornell student directory, and The Times has not subsequently been able to contact anyone by those names. The Times should have worked to verify the students’ identities independently before quoting or picturing them for the article.”

Harvard University

Harvard denies fault in wrongful death suit

Following the 2009 shooting of Justin Cosby, a non-student drug dealer, Harvard is facing a wrongful death lawsuit, which it moved to dismiss in court on Sept. 17.

The lawsuit alleges that Harvard was negligent in allowing then-senior Brittany Smith’s boyfriend, Jabrai Jordan Copney — who was convicted of murdering Cosby last year — to live in her campus dorm. Trial witnesses said that Copney shot Cosby when he refused to hand over drugs that he had been planning to sell to Harvard students.

At a hearing scheduled for Dec. 19, Harvard will move to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the University had no “special relationship” with Cosby that obligated it to protect him.

Stanford University

Law School “wipes out” financial aid funds for 2012-13

Stanford Law School will be forced to dip into its reserve funds for the first time ever to provide financial aid for students this year, The Stanford Daily reported.

The Law School faces a budget deficit due to an increased number of students qualifying for financial aid, as well as a 25-percent decrease in endowment returns that caused it to lose $2 million in financial aid income.

In response to the growing demand for financial aid, the Law School will launch a $20 million fundraising campaign in addition to seeking assistance from the University.

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