Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Important January 2018 Leadership Update + Brief Filed in Janus v. AFSCME

AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress
AAUP Email Communication
January 22, 2018

Welcome to a new semester and a new year.  We know that we will face challenges in 2018, but we also see great hope emerging because of AAUP leaders like you.

On Friday, the AAUP filed with the National Education Association (NEA) an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 is the latest legal threat to union rights and is part of a broader effort to weaken the power of working people, to undermine public services, and to erode the common good.  The AAUP, with its members and allies across the country, will continue to fight these attacks, and AAUP chapters will continue to organize to defend higher education as a public good.

Read the full communication here.

Friday, January 26, 2018

When a Field's Reputation Precedes It

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
January 25, 2018

Theories abound as to why women remain underrepresented in may fields.  A new study says that perceived gender bias in a given discipline is the primary criterion women use for selecting a college major, not the perception that a field science or math oriented (sorry, Larry Summers).

Departments "need to think through what types of messages they may be sending about gender and who belongs in a particular major," said lead author Colleen Ganley, an assistant professor of psychology at Florida State University.  "These messages could be quite subtle, but, based on our data, people seem to be picking up on them."

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

Michigan State president announces resignation

By The Associated Press
January 24, 2018

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon has announced that she is resigning.

Simon is stepping down in the wake of a scandal involving Larry Nassar, who worked at Michigan State as a medical doctor.  Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting young girls and women under the guise of medical treatment.

Many of the victims accused the university of mishandling past complaints about Nassar.

Read the full article at the OregonLive website here.

'Some Kind of Authority'

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
January 24, 2018

In an extremely rare move that expresses ongoing internal disapproval of how the University of Rochester handled a major sexual harassment case, the institution's Faculty Senate is considering censuring the professor at the center of it all.

During a senate meeting Tuesday, the body's executive committee also introduced a motion condemning employees in the university counsel's office who searched the emails of professors who sought to bring the case to light - and then shared those emails with the professors' department chair without permission.

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

Students from defunct ITT Tech get a shot at claiming school's remaining assets

By The Washington Post
January 24, 2018

A federal judge approved a settlement Wednesday allowing former students at ITT Technical Institute to participate in the bankruptcy proceedings of its parent company, giving them a shot at the remaining assets of one of the nation's largest for-profit college operators.

The agreement resolves a lawsuit students filed against ITT Educational Services last year to join the line of creditors, federal regulators, state attorney general and employees seeking redress from the defunct company.  It recognizes a $1.5 billion claim that students, who attended the school between 2006 and 2016, asserted against the company for breach of contract and consumer protection violations.

Read the full article at the OregonLive website here.

Kicked Out for Racism

Inside Higher Ed
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
January 23, 2018

Note: This article contains explicit and potentially offensive terms that are essential to reporting on this situation.

The cases were similar and the punishment was the same.

Not even three years ago, many Americans applauded as the University of Oklahoma kicked out two fraternity members for their role in helping lead a racist chant that was recorded and went viral.  But despite popular support for that decision and the shuttering of the campus chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, legal experts said the institution had actually flouted the students' First Amendment rights, which protects even the vilest of speech.

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

Stranger Things

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
January 22, 2018

Tarrant County College in Texas suspended an astronomy instructor last week after he reportedly entered the classroom late with his head, face and hands covered, turned off the lights, and spoke about Islam.

Some students said they thought the incident was a joke.  But others were frightened and called the police.  Campus officers searched and questioned the instructor, Daniel Mashburn, but did not arrest him.

Read the full article at the OregonLive website here.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Why It's So Hard to Calculate What You'll Pay for College

The New York Times
By Ron Lieber
January 19, 2018

ALONG THE MASSACHUSETTS TURNPIKE - It's high season for the people with some of the toughest jobs in higher education.

No, not the admissions officers and their piles of applications.  I'm talking about the people who run what's become to be known as enrollment management.  When they're not talking to the families writing the tuition checks, they speak in business terms - of overall discount rates and net tuition revenue.

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

Union is Formed at Los Angeles Times and Publisher Put on Leave

The New York Times
By Sydney Ember
January 19, 2018

Journalists at The Los Angeles Times voted overwhelmingly to form a union despite aggressive opposition from the paper's management team, reversing more than a century of anti-union sentiment at one of the biggest newspapers in the country.

Shortly after the final vote count was announced on Friday, The Time's parent company said that the newspaper's publisher, Ross Levinsohn, was taking an unpaid leave of absence while a law firm investigated allegations of coarse workplace behavior while he was employed by other companies.

Read the full article at The New York Time's website here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Carrier Plant Workers Are Livid After Facing Layoffs Despite Trump's Promises

By Bryce Covert
January 16, 2018

Even before he officially took office, President-elect Donald Trump flew to Indianapolis in December of 2016 to trumpet a deal he had reached with air conditioning and heating furnace manufacturer Carrier.  In return for Trump's pledge to reduce the corporate tax rate and reduce regulations, as well as $7 million in economic incentives, the company agreed to keep some jobs in the state rather than move them to a plant in Mexico as planned.

While Trump bragged that he had saved 1,100 jobs, the truth was just 730 jobs were preserved at the Indianapolis plant.  In reality, 550 from Indianapolis were still being moved to Mexico, and all 700 workers at the company's Huntington plant would still lose their jobs.

Read the full article at the Truthout website here.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Janus Oral Arguments Scheduled for Feb 26 2018

By Amy Howe
December 20, 2017

Court releases February calendar

The Supreme Court today released the calendar for its February sitting, which starts on Tuesday, February 20 (because Monday, February 19 is a holiday) and ends on Wednesday, February 28.  The justices will hear nine oral arguments over five days, with the highest-profile argument of the sitting coming on February 26 in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the challenges to the constitutionality of the fees paid by government employees who are represented by, but do not belong to, a union.  The justices have already held oral arguments on the questions presented by Janus twice before; they did not decide the issue the first time, while they deadlocked the second time on the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Read the full blog post at the SCOTUSblog here.