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Garrett named Cornell’s 13th president

Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern California, will be Cornell’s 13th and first female president, the Cornell Board of Trustees announced Tuesday.

Garrett will succeed David Skorton on July 1, 2015. Skorton, who in March announced plans to relocate to Washington to become secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, will continue serving as president through June.

Garrett received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1988. She has held multiple professorial positions in law, including at the University of Chicago, Harvard and UVA, the Ithaca Journal reported, and has held her current position at USC since 2010.

“Cornell is fundamentally shaped by its founders’ lasting vision of a university built on egalitarianism, inclusion and public engagement, as well as the breadth and diversity of ways in which this vision continues to be expressed across the university,” Garrett wrote in a statement to the Cornell community posted on the university’s website.

“I could not be more certain that we have found the most perfect person in Beth Garrett,” said Robert Harrison ’76, chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees, at Tuesday’s press conference.

A 19-person presidential search committee selected Garrett out of a pool of roughly 200 candidates.


Drug informant policy at UMass criticized after student death report

The campus police department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst came under scrutiny this weekend after the Boston Globe published an article revealing that a student informant for UMass police died of a heroin overdose last October.

The student, a 20-year-old junior at the time whom the Globe referred to by his middle name, Logan, was caught selling LSD and molly by UMass police in 2012. Instead of suspending Logan and notifying his parents, police offered to keep the drug offenses a secret in exchange for Logan’s help apprehending other drug dealers on campus, the Globe reported.

When Logan was caught — close to a year before his death — UMass police found an unused hypodermic needle in the student’s room, a possible indicator of a drug problem.

UMass announced Monday that it will evaluate the university’s confidential drug informant policy and possibly altering it to require informants seek help for drug problems, the Globe reported.

UMass said in a statement that the review would analyze whether the program “that deters distribution of illegal, lethal drugs” could continue effectively with “a mandatory referral to an addiction specialist or notification to a parent” for the informants, the Globe reported.


Man apprehended in UVA student abduction case, linked to other crimes

A man charged with abduction with intent to defile in the case of missing 18-year-old UVA student Hannah Graham may be linked to other crimes near UVA’s Charlottesville campus, Fox News reported Tuesday.

Forensic evidence found in the investigation of Graham’s abduction might connect 32-year-old Jesse Matthew to the 2009 murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, who was last seen alive in the same area.

Graham disappeared after attending an off-campus party Sept. 13, Fox News reported. Evidence, including clothing, found during a search of Matthew’s home “provided a significant break in this case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue” in Harrington’s death, Virginia State Police announced in a statement Monday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had previously announced that DNA belonging to Harrington’s attacker matched DNA found in the investigation of a 2005 sexual assault, Fox News reported. This evidence could implicate Matthew in all three crimes. The FBI would not comment on its investigation.

Virginia State Police named Matthew a person of interest in Graham’s abduction Sept. 20, after which Matthew fled to Texas. Police apprehended and returned Matthew to Virginia, where he could potentially face a sentence of life in prison, Sept. 26.

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