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President's Day News Overload

Jenna Johnson

University of Alabama shooting
A biology professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville allegedly opened fire during a Friday faculty meeting, killing three of her colleagues and injuring three others, The Chronicle reports. Professor Amy Bishop, 42, had been denied tenure and had hired a lawyer to challenge the decision, and among those killed was a department committee chairman who had recommended her for tenure. The campus newspaper, The Crimson White, reported that students learned of the shooting through text messages and were shocked by the violence. "When I first heard about the shooting, I figured it was just a student with problems," Julie Backer, a junior who was in Bishop's class for two semesters, told the Crimson White. "But to find out it's your own teacher? It's hard to wrap your mind around it. It's just sickening."

Importing students
South Carolina lawmakers want to put the brakes on the rising number of out-of-state students attending its three public research institutions, Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina at Columbia, The State reports. Between 2009 and 2009, the number of in-state students increased 4 percent. During that same time period, the number of out-of-state students jumped 44 percent. University officials say out-of-state students, who pay higher tuition rates, are an important source of revenue as state funding declines.

Pagan celebration
Syracuse University appointed its first pagan chaplain to reach out to the handful of pagan students on campus. Such chaplains are rare on college campuses, although there is also one at the University of Southern Maine, The Daily Orange reports.

Educational debt
Unlike home mortgages, credit-card and gambling debt, it is nearly impossible to wriggle out of student loan debt, especially once a collection agency gets involved, The Wall Street Journal reports. There is an estimated $730 billion in outstanding federal and private student-loan debt, only 40 percent of which is actively being repaid. The rest is in default or in deferment. One of the WSJ's examples: Michelle Bisutti, a family practitioner in Ohio who finished medical school in 2003 with about $250,000 in student-loan debt. Since then, it has ballooned to more than half a million dollars.

Med school boom
Nearly two dozen U.S. medical schools have recently opened or might open, the most at any one time since the 1960s and 70s, The New York Times reports. During the 1980s and '90s only one new medical school was established. The new schools are appealing to bright students who could not get into the country's most competitive medical schools and sometimes fled to offshore medical schools.

Good luck, tigers
The Chinese New Year was celebrated on Sunday, kicking off the Year of the Tiger. Could this be good luck for all of the schools with tiger mascots, like the University of Missouri, Louisiana State University, Clemson, Towson and Trinity?

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By Jenna Johnson  |  February 15, 2010; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Clemson, Louisiana State, Syracuse University, Towson, Trinity, University of Alabama, University of Missouri, University of South Carolina  
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