JACKSON TO HEAD RENSSELAER

TROY, N.Y. — Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, chair of the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission has been named the new president of Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute.

Jackson, a theoretical physicist, was the first African American to
earn a full professorship in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT). She also carries the distinction of being the first
African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics, which she completed
at MIT in 1973.

BOWIE STATE PRESIDENT RESIGNS, INTERIM HEAD CHOSEN

BOWIE, Md. — The board of regents of the University of Maryland
accepted the resignation earlier this month of Bowie State University’s
president, Dr. Nathanael Pollard, who had been criticized for poor
financial management by auditors.

Pollard’s interim replacement is Dr. Wendell M. Holloway, a member
of the University System Board of Trustees. He earned his bachelor’s
degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, and his master’s and doctorate
degrees in public administration from the University of Southern
California. Holloway will begin his new duties on Jan. 1

System officials said the regents expect to undertake a national
search for a permanent replacement, which they hope to complete within
six months.

Bowie State and Pollard have been under scrutiny since the spring
by the University of Maryland for alleged misspending of funds (see
Black Issues, Sept. 27).

CUNY REMEDIAL POLICY FACING COURT CHALLENGES

NEW YORK — In a lawsuit attempting to block implementation of the
City University of New York’s (CUNY) planned remedial education
phase-out, six civil liberties groups have accused CUNY trustees of
violating state law, according to a story in The New York Times earlier
this month.

The plaintiffs claim that the new remediation policy should not be
enforced because CUNY trustees did not submit the proposal to the State
Board of Regents for approval, as required by law. The plan would
eliminate remedial education from all of the four-year campuses in the
system. (See Black Issues, June 11, & Feb. 19)

FIRED PROFESSOR WINS SUIT INVOLVING SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR BASKETBALL STAR

CORINTH, Miss. — A federal jury awarded a former junior college
professor $571,000 earlier this month in a lawsuit alleging she was
fired for criticizing the school’s special treatment for basketball
star Dontae’ Jones.

Peggy Rainey Wroten, an instructor at the community college for 22
years, filed the suit last April in federal court against the school’s
president, Joe Childers, and two school administrators. She claimed the
three defendants violated her First Amendment right to freedom of
speech.

After deliberating less than two hours, the jury found that
Childers and the other administrators did not allow Wroten to teach
evening and summer classes in 1996 and did not renew her employment
contract in 1997 because she had criticized the administration’s
policies.

The jury award included $71,000 for lost wages and $500,000 to
compensate Wroten for her emotional pain, suffering, depression and
damage to her professional standing. The jury did not award punitive
damages.

JUDGE TELLS WILSON SOME AFFIRMATIVE ACTION LAWS MUST STAY

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For Gov. Pete Wilson and proponents of
Proposition 209, two out of five will have to do for the time being as
a Superior Court judge let stand three of the five affirmative actions
laws the Republican governor attempted to strike down.

Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly denied most of Wilson’s
petition to invalidate programs dealing with state and community
college hiring and state contracts. Wilson contended that the programs
violate the equal protection guarantees of the state and federal
constitutions and Proposition 209 of 1996, which barred racial or
sexual preferences or discrimination in government employment,
education or contracting.

For the most part Connelly disagreed, saying, in part, that 209
does not “prohibit the use of race and gender without discrimination or
preferential effect for the purpose of equalizing employment, education
and contracting opportunities.”

CALIFORNIA’S BAN ON BILINGUAL EDUCATION TO GET COURT TEST

SAN FRANCISCO — Supporters of bilingual education have sued to
block a provision of Proposition 227, the voter-approved initiative
requiring all students to be taught in English.

The lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month seeks to
overturn a part of Proposition 227 that holds teachers, administrators,
and school board members “personally liable for fees and actual
damages” in case of a civil lawsuit by parents.

PRAIRIE VIEW FINED $31,000

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Prairie View A&M University has been
fined $31,000 by the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) for
violating a two-game suspension of its marching band following a brawl
with the Southern University band. (Sec’ Black Issues, Oct. 15 and 29)

The league also ordered Prairie View to conduct workshops and
seminars on SWAC membership, “participate actively and in good faith”
in all league activities, and demonstrate its commitment to the
conferences values and ideal.

By Dec. 31, the university must pay the fine and agree to comply
with the other sanctions for a three-year probationary period. Failure
to do so could result in dismissal from the league.

“Needless to say, Prairie View is extremely disappointed in the
punitive actions taken by the Council of Presidents,” said Dr. Larry
Raab, the university’s vice president of operations.

RICE TO LEAVE STANFORD AND RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL ARENA

STANFORD, Calif. — Condoleezza Rice, a national security adviser
to George Bush when he was president, is quitting as provost at
Stanford University amid reports she may join a White House bid by
Bush’s son, Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

After more than five years as Stanford’s chief budget officer, Rice
told the trustees earlier this month that she felt a need to return to
“my passion” for international politics. She said she had no immediate
plans but added she has talked with friends about opportunities in
corporate and business circles.

Rice admitted talking with the Texas governor about foreign affairs, although she said, “There was nothing formal.”

The move would come as no surprise to Dr. Reginald Wilson, the
former senior scholar at the American Council on Education who now
teaches at the University of Texas-Austin. He thinks the Bush camp will
welcome Rice with open arms.

“Having a conservative Black in his camp will make [Gov. Bush] a
rather formidable opponent” in the next presidential election, he said.

Despite her politics, Wilson had nothing but praise for Rice’s academic accomplishments.

“She is a conservative, but that doesn’t take anything away from her academic performance and her outstanding record.”

CENSUS STUDY FINDS THAT ATTENDING COLLEGE PAYS

WASHINGTON — The wage gap between those with college degrees and
those without continues to grow, according to the latest Census Bureau
statistics.

Data released earlier this month reveal that college graduates made
an average of $40,478 last year. That was 76 percent more than the
$22,895 average made by high school graduates in 1997. In 1975, the gap
was 57 percent.

“The bottom has fallen out for the value of a high school
education,” Jacqueline King, the director of federal policy analysis
for the American Council on Education, told The Washington Post.

Blacks have posted meager gains when compared to Whites at all levels of education.

In 1975, for example, the average Black college graduate made 75
percent of the income ($9,473) that the average White college graduate
made ($12,597). By last year, Black college graduates made 77 percent
($32,062) of what White college graduates made ($41,439).

COPYRIGHT 1998 Cox, Matthews & Associates



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