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Short Takes - Rutger's Unions Strike over Contract

By Dan McGuire
News Editor

Leaders of four unions at Rutgers University in New York are threatening to go on strike as contract negotiations enter their second year. About 8,000 faculty members, lecturers, clerical staffers, and custodians have been working without a contract since July 1994.

Union workers want a four-year contract, a three percent across-the-board raise, and im-proved insurance, stipulations which are part of the contract used by other New York public universities. University officials, citing a $15.6 million budget shortfall, wanted to limit raises to 2.5 percent excluding merit raises.

Union members accused the administration of trying to co-opt its students and pointed out that a 10 percent tuition hike that would be needed to meet the unions' demands.

[The New York Times, April 23]

Harvard renovation setback

A group of Harvard alumni, neighborhood architects, and preservationists working to prevent the renovation of Harvard University's historic Freshman Union was dealt a severe blow by Middlesex Superior Court.

The court denied the request by the preservationist group, which is known as the Harvard Alumni Architectural Committee, for an injunction that would have halted construction at the university's historic building.

Renovations, which were slowed while the case was being considered, resumed at full speed after the judgement. "I am very pleased that the judge found no merit in the case against Harvard," said Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles.

[The Harvard Crimson, April 5]

Leno cancels Loyola visit

Comedian Jay Leno backed out of a speaking engagement at Loyola University Chicago's 125th anniversary celebration in September after learning of student dissatisfaction with the choice.

"Some students apparently felt that a university of our caliber should have someone more cerebral than a comedian," said a Loyola spokesman.

A statement issued by Leno said that he would "gladly accept an offer in the future with the full approval" of students.

[Chronicle of Higher Education, March 15]