Facebook Prank Lands Man in Prison

February 7, 2008

Concerned that your fake Facebook profile got deleted? At least you did not end up in prison. As reported by CNN:

Moroccan authorities arrested an engineer Wednesday for allegedly stealing the identity of the king’s younger brother on the social networking Web site, Facebook, the state news agency said. Fouad Mourtada, 26, was arrested in Casablanca for “villainous practices” in connection with the theft of Prince Moulay Rachid’s identity, Maghreb Arabe Presse reported.

It’s a great day to be in America today.

Update: a website has been set up to campaign for Fouad Mourtada’s release.


Lehman Keeps Presidential Compensation After Stepping Down

November 13, 2007

It is mid-November, time for The Chronicle of Higher Education to release executive compensation numbers. The Cornell Daily Sun article sums up the relevant info nicely:

After stepping down as Cornell’s 11th president, Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77, who left office under controversial circumstances, was compensated $785,518 for the 2005-06 fiscal year — over $75,000 more than then-Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings III. … Lehman’s post-job compensation in 2005-06 was more than all the Ivy presidents, except Yale University President Richard Levin, who earned $869,026.

As you may remember, Lehman made over $1 million in 2004-05, the most in the Ivy League. Rawlings took over as the president on July 1, 2005.


New Bill Addresses File Sharing on College Campuses

November 13, 2007

Elliott Back recently posted a blog entry dealing with file sharing at Cornell. He was extremely concerned with how the administration handles takedown notices:

Cornell is able to block copyright holders from identifying alleged music pirates by filing a motion to block or quash the subpoena. Cornell also could, like Professor Charles Nesson at Harvard, actively refuse to help the RIAA’s police mission. … the purpose of a University is to teach, not enforce an archaic notion of copyright.

Well, it appears colleges are about to encounter additional scrutiny stemming from P2P traffic issues. Ars Technica:

A massive education bill (747-page PDF) introduced into Congress contains a provision that would force colleges and universities to offer “technology-based deterrents” to file-sharing under the pain of losing all federal financial aid. Section 494 of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 is entitled “Campus-Based Digital Theft Prevention” that could have just as easily been called “Motion Picture and Recording Industry Subsidies,” as it could force schools into signing up for subscription-based services like Napster and Rhapsody.


Facebook Used by College Admissions Offices

September 10, 2007

Companies have been using Facebook when making hiring decisions. As Facebook spreads beyond just college students, so are its uses.

The Brown Daily Herald reports:

“We don’t use Facebook unless someone says there’s something we should look at,” said Dean of Admission James Miller ’73. But Miller conceded that admission officers take outside tips seriously. “Anything we get, we follow up on,” he said. Associate Director of College Admission Elisha Anderson ’98 agreed with Miller. There is a “limit to what we can appropriately judge people on,” he said, but added, “You have to remember (Facebook) is a public place.” He said there was “maybe one case” in which Facebook yielded information that affected an admission decision.

It should be noted, though, that certain applicants are actually trying to show off their profiles:

Sometimes admission officers receive friend requests on Facebook from applicants, Anderson said, noting that accepting the requests “would appear weird.”

Sending those requests in the first place is probably more weird.


Yale May Establish an Arts Program in Abu Dhabi

February 5, 2007

From today’s Yale Daily News:

A desert island teeming with mangroves and gazelles may seem like an unlikely site for a Yale arts program, but the government of Abu Dhabi, attempting to create the world’s next artistic and cultural haven, is betting that Yale will want to be a part of it. … The program would be the first of its kind in the Middle East for Yale.

Brings back the memories (from April 2001):

In an unprecedented expansion of the international presence of American higher education, Cornell University and a private foundation organized by the Emir of Qatar announced today (April 9, 2001) the establishment of the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. The new medical college will offer a complete medical education in Qatar leading to a Cornell University M.D. degree, based on the same admission standards and curriculum as the New York campus. … “This agreement is a first in Cornell’s 136-year history, and, in fact, a first for U.S. higher education,” said Hunter Rawlings, president of Cornell.

Just a little flashback.


Lehman One of the Top-Earning Educators

November 20, 2006

According to an annual survey of compensation by The Chronicle of Higher Education, seven college presidents received over $1 million during the 2004-2005 academic year. From the International Herald Tribune:

Audrey Doberstein, who stepped down in June as president of Wilmington College in Delaware, ranked first in total compensation, receiving $2.7 million in the 2004-05 academic year. That package comprised about $705,000 in salary, $798,615 in deferred compensation and $1.2 million in benefits.

Her successor, Jack Varsalona, said Doberstein’s total compensation had been increased by a change in the university’s retirement plan that required her to take the deferred compensation in a lump sum.

“It’s a really inflated figure,” Varsalona said.

Other presidents in the million-dollar club were Peter Traber from Baylor College of Medicine (more than $1.3 million), E. Gordon Gee of Vanderbilt University (nearly $1.2 million) and Karen Pletz of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (more than $1 million).

Three other presidents who stepped down recently also earned more than $1 million: Jeffrey Lehman of Cornell University, Roger Hull of Union College and Donald Ross of Lynn University.

Bloomberg had a slightly different spin on the numbers:

Cornell University President Jeffrey Lehman earned more than $1 million in his final year, the most in the Ivy League and almost twice as much as his Harvard counterpart.

Also recently released is the salary list for Iowa state workers. The Des Moines Register spotted a familiar name:

Then-U of I President David Skorton was paid $350,769 last fiscal year. Skorton left in June to become president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Looks like he received nice raise.


Rawlings on NY Governor-Elect’s Transition Team

November 12, 2006

From Chronicle Online:

Former Cornell President Hunter Rawlings and Cornell Trustee Elizabeth D. Moore ’75 have been named to the transition team of New York State Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer.