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File Under DUH: A More Civil Workplace Boosts Creativity

A new study probes what happens when the workplace is informed by “political correctness.”

What if instead of using the phrase “politically-correct” we just used the word “civility”? Would it strip the former phrase of anything other than its crude and irrational cultural associations? Would it do any harm to the truth? These are ginormous questions for another day, but if one thing’s for sure, if we used the word civility in the place of politically-correct we likely wouldn’t need Cornell University’s recent 46-page study bravely debunking the notion that “imposing a norm to be politically correct (PC)” among men and women in the workplace would “necessarily stifle creativity.” Who would’ve thought that professional cultures promoting civility between men and women wouldn’t transform them into desolate automatons content to dither away the workday building rubber band balls, reading CNN headlines, and steadily drooling?

The study, published in the journal Administrative Science Quarterly, chronicles two experiments conducted with 582 subjects in mixed-sex brainstorming sessions: one in which they’re instructed to be politically correct and one in which they’re not. In an unforeseeable twist of fate, the groups that consistently generated the most creative and innovative business ideas were the ones that discouraged inappropriate banter, gender-biased language and sexist stereotypes.

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Ninety-Nine-Year-Old Sets World Record, Proves It's Never Too Late to Finish College

Oregon resident Leo Plass dropped out of school in 1932, but now he finally has his college degree.

Did you drop out of college? Ninety-nine year-old Oregon resident Leo Plass is proof that it's never too late to get your degree. Plass dropped out of school in 1932 when he was 20 years old, but after receiving an associates degree from Eastern Oregon University, he's set a world record by becoming the oldest person to graduate from college.

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College Admissions and Affirmative Action: In Texas it's Still Legal

A court says the University of Texas at Austin can consider race as an admissions factor. With college admission so competitive, are they right?

The affirmative action debate is back in the hot seat after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the use of race as an admissions factor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Judge Patrick E. Higgenbotham wrote in the majority opinion that affirmative action is not unconstitutional and does not conflict with Texas' current policy of accepting all students in the top 10 percent of their high school classes into the state's public universities. In an ironic twist, this same federal appeals court banned the University of Texas in 1996 from using race as an admissions factor.

The current ruling upholds a 2008 lower-court decision that the University of Texas didn't violate the civil rights or constitutional right to equal protection of two white students, Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz, who were denied admission to U.T. Austin that year. The two women could have attended a less prestigious campus in the U.T. system and possibly transferred to Austin in their second year if they met the requirements to do so. Instead, they chose to sue.

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