The Daily brief: June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011, 5:01 p.m.

San Quentin | To help shrink California’s financial woes, the state Supreme Court ordered the San Quentin State Prison to resolve its overcrowding and downsize rehabilitation programs. The prison is home to The Prison University Project, California’s only degree-granting college program at a correctional facility, where 100-plus volunteers from universities that include Stanford, San Francisco State and UC-Berkeley teach courses to over 300 inmates. The Project operates with the assistance of 3,000 community volunteers and receives no state or federal funds. The Supreme Court’s order raises questions about whether similar projects could be feasible at other state prisons and probes the justice and impact of educating inmates.

Plagiarized speech | The University of Alberta announced Friday the resignation of Philip Baker as dean of the university’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, after allegations were made that Baker had plagiarized the 2010 School of Medicine Commencement speech given by surgeon Atul Gawande ’87. Baker will retain his professorship after a brief administrative leave.

Commencement coverage | Coverage of the 2011 Commencement of the Stanford Law School, Graduate School of Business and School of Medicine can be found here.

The Daily brief: June 20, 2011
(SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

Clean-energy progress | A Stanford research team developed a durable silicon-based solar electrode that may be key to scientists’ ability to use solar energy to split water into oxygen and storable hydrogen fuel in the future. The team, led by materials science and engineering professor Paul McIntyre and chemistry professor Christopher Chidsey, recently published its development in the journal Nature Materials.

Sports | Stanford’s swim program finished the Santa Clara International Grand Prix on Sunday at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Seven current and former Stanford swimmers won medals during the four-day event.

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