Thursday, June 22, 2017

Proposed Israeli "Code of Ethics" Violates Academic Freedom

AAUP- National
June 19, 2017

The following is a statement of the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers.

The code of ethics' that the government of Israel is considering for the country's academic institutions is a threat not only to academic freedom in Israel, but to Israel's standing as a democracy.  We join with colleagues in Israel's Association of University Heads, and with the National Union of Israel Students, in condemning it.

Read the full statement at the national AAUP website here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

AAUP Removes Two from Academic Freedom Censure List, Adds Two

June 17, 2017

U of Illinois and Phillips Community College Removed from Censure List; Spalding U and Community College of Aurora Added

Washington, D.C. - Delegates to the 103rd annual meeting of the American Association of University Professors voted today to remove the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas from the AAUP's list of administrations censured for violating principles and standards of academic freedom.  The vote recognized that both institutions had successfully amended problematic policies and addressed the conditions that had brought about the original censure.  Delegates also voted to impose censure on Spalding University (Kentucky) and the Community College of Aurora (Colorado), based on investigations conducted this year that revealed serious departures from principles and standards of academic freedom at those institutions.

Read the full article at the National AAUP website here.

Committee A 2017 Censure Recommendations

AAUP National
June 15, 2017

Committee A submitted the following resolutions regarding censure and censure removal for the annual delegation.

See the files and download them at the National AAUP website here.

Border Patrol Searches of Electronic Devices

AAUP National
June 13, 2017

In conjunction with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the AAUP is seeking information from any faculty members who have had their cell phones or other electronic devices searched by US border patrol officers at the nation's borders while travelling internationally.  The Knight First Amendment Institute is a recently created non-profit organization that works to defend an strengthen freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age through litigation, research, and education.

The AAUP is concerned with the chilling effect such searches may have on academic freedom and the invasion into the privacy of academic work.  We are looking into legal issues related to a US regulation that authorizes border patrol officers to search a traveler's cell phones and other electronic devices at the borders without any basis for suspecting that the person has done anything wrong.  The government enforces this policy against both American citizens as well as noncitizens, and there has been a sharp uptick in these types of searches over the past year.

Read the full article at the National AAUP website here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender of Full-Time Faculty at More Than 3,700 Institutions

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 12, 2017

The sortable table below shows the percentages of full-time faculty members who were members of specific racial and ethnic groups at degree-granting colleges and universities in November 2015.

View the interactive table at The Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

Scholars See Bad Omens in Pulled Sponsorship of 'Julius Caesar'

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Fernando Zamudio-Suar├ęz
June 12, 2017

After Delta Air Lines and Bank of America pulled their sponsorship from the New York Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, scholars were quick to lampoon the decision.

This year's free Public Theater performance sets Shakespeare's drama in modern dress, and presents Julius Caesar as a figure resembling President Trump - complete with blond hair, blue suit, and gold bathtub, according to a review in The New York Times.

Verena Dobnik, AP Images
Read the full article at The Chronicle for Higher Education's website here.

Another Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Travel Ban

Inside Higher Ed
By Elizabeth Redden
June 13, 2017

A second federal appeals court ruled Monday against President Trump's travel ban, upholding an injunction imposed by a lower court.  The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to rule on the president's executive order banning entry into the U.S. for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, which Trump argues is necessary to prevent the entry of terrorists.  Critics of the ban see it as a pretext for banning the entry of Muslims, a step Trump called for in his campaign.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which is based in Virginia, had already ruled against the Trump administration, finding that the travel ban amounted to religious discrimination.  In its ruling Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is based in California, found that the president had exceeded his authority in issuing the order, which also suspended and capped the refugee admissions program.

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jordan Schnitzer gives PSU $5 million for art museum in downtown Portland

By Andrew Theen
June 8, 2017

Jordan Schnitzer, the Portland real estate developer and philanthropist, will give $5 million to Portland State University to open an art museum in the heart of campus.

The school and the Portland native announced the gift during a Thursday morning news conference.  The 7,500-square-foot art museum will bear Schnitzer's name and occupy parts of two floors of Neuberger Hall.

A rendering of the proposed Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
(Courtesy of PSU)
Read the full article at the OregonLive website here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

GOP Skeptical on Trump Budget

Inside Higher Ed
By Andrew Kreighbaum
June 7, 2017

Washington -- When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes an appearance before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, one would expect a hostile reception from Democrats who have opposed her since she was nominated for the job.  Less expected is open skepticism from Republicans.

That's exactly what DeVos got Tuesday, however, at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on the proposed White House budget for 2018 which includes deep cuts to education programs as well as other nondefense spending.

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Monday, June 5, 2017

As New Threat Closes Evergreen State, Students Rip Legislation That Would Cut Its Funding

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Chris Quintana
June 5, 2017

A student-government organization in Washington State on Monday condemned proposed legislation that would strip funding from Evergreen State College, an institution embroiled in student protests and allegations of racism.

The statement was issued by the Washington Student Association, which represents college students statewide, on the same day that classes at Evergreen were canceled for a third weekday in a row so local law-enforcement officials could "review new external threat information received over the weekend."

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

Colleges Declare They Are 'Still In' on Paris Goals

Inside Higher Ed
By Scott Jaschik
June 5, 2017

Many college and university presidents have signed a statement -- "We Are Still In" -- that will be released today.  The statement will also be signed by governors, mayors and business leaders -- all pledging to continue efforts to meet the environmental goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, the pact from which President Trump announced last week that he would withdraw the United States.

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

5 Forces That Drive Administrative 'Bloat'

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Audrey Williams June
May 25, 2017

The state auditor of California last month released a report saying that the California State University system had hired managers at more than twice the rate of other employees over a nine-year period without explaining why it needed to bring on so any people.

"Campuses were often unable to justify the number of management personnel they hired," the report said, "and consequently they could not demonstrate that they are providing these services in the most cost-effective manner."

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

'I Won't Give Up': How First-Generation Students See College

The New York Times
By Elizabeth A. Harris
May 30, 2017

Getting into college and making it through can be hard no matter what your circumstances.  But for first-generation students - the first in their families to attend college - the challenges are even greater because they must tackle them largely on their own.  Students whose parents have gone to college can draw on that experience, perhaps talking to them about filling out applications or picking a major.  Many college-educated parents also help their children financially, or provide a cushion if things go awry.

New York Times
But, said Dr. Michael V. Drake, president of Ohio State University, a lot of first-generation students have feelings of doubts of whether they really belong.  They can't call home and ask their parents how college was for them.  "I think all those things that pertain to being the first anyone who's doing something, you really are a pioneer," Dr. Drake said.  "That can be exhilarating, but it can also be a little unnerving."

Read the full article at the New York Times website here.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Damaging Budget Proposal

AAUP- National
May 26, 2017

The Trump administration's budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year would make drastic cuts to education, slashing federal student aid and research funding.  The proposal, released May 22, fleshes out the "skinny budget" released by the administration in March.

Read the full article with information on cuts in student aid, arts and humanities, science, and international education at the AAUP website here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

NLRB Issues Second Decision Allowing the Unionization of Undergraduates

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt
May 24, 2017

The National Labor Relations Board has cleared the way for the unionization of student employees of the University of Chicago's libraries, marking the second time this spring that it has declared undergraduate students eligible to bargain collectively.

In a ruling handed down on Tuesday, Peter Sung Ohr, director of the NLRB's regional office in Chicago, rejected the university's argument that the paid student workers in its libraries should be precluded from unionization because its relationship with them is primarily educational.  Undergraduates account for the overwhelmingly majority of the more than 220 student workers that the decision allows to on forming a collective-bargaining unit, which would be affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.