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Shooting in Huntsville

February 12, 2010

Details are still emerging about Friday's murder of three biology professors at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, a shooting in which another professor there, Amy Bishop, has been charged with one count of capital murder. Law enforcement authorities have declined to identify a motive, but campus officials acknowledged that Bishop had been denied tenure several months ago.

The three professors who were fatally shot at a meeting of the biology faculty were Gopi K. Podila, chairman of the biology department, and Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson, both associate professors in the department.

Joseph Leahy, an associate biology professor, and Stephanie Monticciolo, a staff member in the biology department, were wounded and in critical condition as of Saturday morning, and Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera, an assistant professor of biology, was wounded but released from the hospital Saturday.

News is coming directly from the university, here.

Full external coverage is available from The Huntsville Times, which is following developments by the minute.

Here are some background articles from Inside Higher Ed that might help put the Huntsville shooting in some context. They relate to extreme reactions by faculty members to losing tenure, and about violent attacks on professors (which in addition to being rare, tend to come from students, not professors).

Inside Higher Ed held an audio conference last month on the topic of "When Students Threaten Professors," featuring the national expert Ann Franke, of Wise Results. As a service to campus officials who expect to face questions about protecting faculty or staff in the wake of the Huntsville shooting, Inside Higher Ed is making a recording of its audio conference available free.

It can be heard here.

The PowerPoint presentation and list of additional resources that Ms. Franke used to accompany her presentation are also available.

 

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