We are in the process of rolling out a couple of local fixes that we hope would be beneficial to others and incorporated into a future version of Forums. In short, it allows one to quickly create a new forum or topic and associate a gradebook item without scrolling (in reasonable resolutions and browsers) by
1) collapsing all settings and permissions between description and gradebook item into "Detailed Permissions and Settings." The gradebook item field has been taken out of the permissions area. This section will open expanded if users click Settings for Forums or Topics but will be closed during initial creation, thus it goes a step beyond msgcntr-530,
2) halving height of short description field and doubling width
Jing can post this when qa'ed, please ping us if we haven't and you are interested.