faculty

Academic Minute: Is Depression Contagious?

In today’s Academic Minute, Gerald Haeffel of the University of Notre Dame explain why college students might be open to catching depression while away at school. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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Benefits for Adjuncts Threatened in Washington State

Adjuncts and other part-time employees working for public colleges and universities in Washington State could have their health benefits threatened by pending legislation, The Seattle Times reported. Details are vague, which is part of why many are alarmed. And some view the legislation as a bargaining chip. But the budget bill would eliminate state-funded insurance for part-time employees of public schools and public higher ed. The part-time employees would receive an additional $2 an hour to buy coverage options created by the new federal health care law. Many say that most part-timers would end up either having to pay more themselves to maintain coverage or would lose some coverage. The legislation is notable because Washington State has historically provided more health insurance to adjuncts, who have organized around the issue, than has been the case in many other states.

 

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AAUP session centers on intellectual property and academic freedom in the online education age

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Cary Nelson warns that MOOCs could lead to erosion of faculty members' intellectual property rights.

Bad Timing for Report on Humanities and Social Sciences

Next week, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is scheduled to release a report -- requested by members of Congress -- on the state of the humanities and social sciences. But as The New York Times noted, the timing is anything but favorable. In the last week, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has seen numerous articles in The Boston Globe and elsewhere noting that the academy had applied for grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities stating that Leslie Berlowitz, the head of the academy, has a doctorate. She does not. The academy is investigating the reports just as it is gearing up for the report's release. Berlowitz was one of the key figures in preparing the report.

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Peer Review ... of Academic Misconduct?

A new Romanian-based website aims to crack down on research misconduct worldwide -- by encouraging scholars to submit work that they think might be flawed and soliciting other academics to review the work, Times Higher Education reported. The site, integru.org, describes itself as an "international collaborative effort working to uphold academic integrity and ethical values," leaning on the expertise of scholars in various fields because there is no international authority to judge academic misconduct.

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Academic Minute: Philosophy of Children’s Books

In today’s Academic Minute, Thomas Wartenberg of Mount Holyoke College reveals the philosophical thought that exists in children’s picture books. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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Faculty Athletics Rep Wants U. of Richmond Out of Division I

The faculty athletics representative at the University of Richmond has circulated an e-mail to colleagues calling for the institution to leave Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and to stop playing intercollegiate football, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. "I have come to the conclusion that it’s hard-to-impossible to consistently make DI-level sports conform and submit to the primary institutional focus on academics, because there’s just too much money and ambition involved," said  the e-mail from Rick Mayes, an associate professor of political science. Noting concerns about the impact of concussions on football players, he asked whether it would not be better -- for the sake of athletes and to prevent future lawsuits -- to drop football. University administrators indicated that Richmond has no intention of taking the advice Mayes offered.

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Multidisciplinary teaching pushes professors outside their comfort zones (essay)

Professors -- especially senior ones -- should challenge themselves by teaching in multidisciplinary programs that force them outside their intellectual comfort zones, writes Michael Nelson.

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Academic Minute: Music of Tin Pan Alley

In today’s Academic Minute, Daniel Goldmark of Case Western Reserve University revisits the music of Tin Pan Alley and explains why buying music by the song isn’t a new idea. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

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Former American U. professor charges institution with age discrimination and lack of commitment to professional track

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American U. says it has track for those with non-academic careers who want to join the faculty. A suit charges that the university only values traditional academic credentials.

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