Notes in the Margins: Communion, threats and the MBA slump

Nienstedt denies communion to GLBT button students The archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese denied communion to a group of college students from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict because they were wearing rainbow-colored buttons in support of gay rights, a member of the group said Tuesday. (

Computer Scientists Cry Foul Over NRC Rankings The National Research Council modified its methodology for evaluating the field, but some scholars still say the data were flawed. (

Man who threatened to shoot professor taken into custody A 23-year-old Mankato man entered the Minnesota State University classroom of professor William Wagner and threatened to shoot the professor and "shoot up the school, too," according to a Mankato Department of Public Safety news release. The man, who was not a student, was arrested and taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. (

U gives smokers motive to quit The University Medical School and the National Institutes of Health have teamed up with three other Minnesota colleges to aid students in quitting smoking. They will also collect data throughout the study and to be used to improve smoking cessation services for students nationwide. Perks of the study include two weeks of free nicotine patches, weekly support e-mails, quit kits and Target gift cards to those who complete follow-up surveys. (

Proposed tobacco ban needs revisions The Minnesota State Student Association voted for Health Services to revise its proposed policy on the banning of tobacco on campus. President Tom Williams said a number of items need to be changed before MSSA stands behind the proposed policy. The senate does plan to back some form of the policy in the future. though. (

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Stanford predicts MBA application decline A Stanford admissions director thinks the low application numbers are partly due to the blame that has been placed on business schools for the global economic crisis, along with the bleak job market for MBAs, which has led to lower starting salaries and fewer job offers. (CNN/Money)

Bringing college lessons to front row Eugenia Paulus, a North Hennepin Community College chemistry professor, was the only representative from Minnesota of the 100 people who attended the first White House Summit on Community Colleges on Tuesday. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Two-year colleges lack services to reduce unplanned pregnancies - Months before its summit on community colleges Tuesday, the White House asked Americans to post on its website ideas for community college reform, and vote for their favorite idea. Viewers' favorite proposal? "Educate students on healthy relationships and family planning," Heather Thomas wrote, "in order to help community college students finish their education and then plan for a family when the time is right." (CNN)

Advising the Dissertation Student Who Won't Finish Not every graduate student will finish a dissertation. Nor should every graduate student finish. The problem is that academic culture doesn't credit the decision to stop writing a dissertation as legitimate. In fact, leaving graduate school has a reputation a lot worse than that. (

British Endowments, or "On Seeing the World as if From an Ivy League University" Most British universities do not have large or even small endowments. They have little in the way of their own resources so that when the financial screws tighten there are usually very few options available to save money quickly. It is very easy to say that cutting can be done in a right or a wrong way, very much harder to achieve when confronted with the realities of a particular situation and competing views on what should be done. American Ivy Leaguers should keep that in mind when they criticize recent British university cuts. (