On June 12, scientists from a British university will transmit a Doritos commercial to 47 Ursae Majoris in the hopes of contacting possible inhabitants of the star system, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The scientists from the University of Leicester are hoping it will promote more public interest in science.

Anthony van Eyken, director of the station, defended the project, saying it’s valid research.

“It’s not impossible that it could work,” he said. “We are taking it seriously.”

Goodbye Gmail?

Faculty members at a Canadian university are voicing concerns over the university’s e-mail system, which has recently been outsourced to Google, The Chronicle reported.

The faculty of Lakehead University filed a grievance against the University because they fear that outsourcing e-mail to an American company will allow their e-mail correspondence to be monitored by American intelligence agencies like the FBI or the CIA.

James Turk, director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said said using an American company raises academic concern.

“Now, with Google handling e-mail, everyone has to be mindful of the fact that anything they write may be scrutinized by security agencies in the United States,” he said.

Concern over alert delays

A University of Louisville student was arrested last week after killing her two children and holding a victim hostage in the University’s health center, the Louisville Cardinal reported.

The University received word at 8:30 a.m. about an armed woman at the health center.

At 9:14 a.m. the student, Gail Coontz, was disarmed and arrested. She has been charged with two counts of murder.

Although the University’s alert system was activated at 9:04 a.m., some students were concerned that the system was activated too late.

“Notifications should go out a maximum of 30 minutes after something happens,” said Rudy Spencer, vice president of the Student Government Association.

He’s not Yale material

Dongguk University in South Korea is suing Yale University for $50 million for confirming one of its professors was a Yale graduate and then later saying it never did so, The Associated Press reported.

Yale confirmed in 2005 that disgraced art history professor Shin Jeong-ah had received a doctorate degree from Yale, only to deny the claim later.

On Dec. 29, Yale apologized, saying it was an administrative error.

“Having spent almost six months publicly denying any role in the Shin matter and contending that Dongguk University had never contacted Yale University, Yale University’s Dec. 29 statements did not undo the damage suffered by Dongguk University,” the lawsuit said.

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