Robert Cameron Redus, a dean's list senior at the University of the Incarnate Word, was shot and killed by a police officer at the university early Friday morning, The San Antonio Express-News reported. The officer is on a paid leave, pending an investigation. Authorities said that the officer pulled Redus over, off campus, for erratic driving, that they fought and that Redus was shot in the struggle. Friends of Redus said that they couldn't believe he would have done something to make a police officer feel the need to use force.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The American Association of University Professors has released an open letter to members of the American Studies Association urging them to reject a proposal backed by the group's leaders to endorse a boycott of Israel universities. Members of the American Studies Association are voting on the proposal this month. The AAUP has a longstanding position against boycotting entire universities or countries, and the open letter reiterated those views. "The association recognizes the right of individual faculty members or groups of academics not to cooperate with other individual faculty members or academic institutions with whom or with which they disagree," the letter says. "We believe, however, that when such noncooperation takes the form of a systematic academic boycott, it threatens the principles of free expression and communication on which we collectively depend."
A new study led by a University of Montreal researcher has found that the most Tweeted peer reviewed articles are not those that earn the most citations, a traditional measure of an article's scholarly influence. The science journal articles that receive the most tweets either deal with health issues or have findings that are either humorous or surprising, according to the study, which appears in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. The top two articles in terms of the number of tweets were on the effect of radiation on humans, and the top 15 included articles on acne in teenage athletes, penile fracture, and the links between physical activity and mortality rates.
The White House on Friday postponed a meeting with an estimated 140 college leaders that had been scheduled for this week, according to notices administration officials distributed to invited participants. The event was slated to be a discussion of strategies to better serve lower-income students. In order to get in the door the group of college presidents, state and local government officials and other invitees were asked to set a specific goal for improvement in areas such as remediation or enrollment numbers of Pell Grant recipients.
The meeting was bumped, however, because of a trip President Obama and Michelle Obama are taking to South Africa this week to attend a memorial for Nelson Mandela. In emails to invitees, White House officials said they remained "100 percent" committed to holding the meeting on higher education, probably in January. In the meantime they encouraged participants to continue to work with the administration to further develop their student-success pledges.
Temple University announced Friday that it will drop seven intercollegiate athletic teams, leaving it with 17. Five men's teams will be eliminated -- baseball, crew, gymnastics, outdoor track and field and indoor track & field. Two women's teams -- softball and rowing -- will be eliminated. A statement from Kevin Clark, the director of athletics, said that the university needed to focus athletics spending on other programs. "Temple does not have the resources to equip, staff, and provide a positive competitive experience for 24 varsity sports. Continuing this model does a disservice to our student-athletes," said Clark. "We need to have the right-sized program to create a sustainable model."
The Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced four college and university presidents as recipients of its 2013 Academic Leadership Award -- an award that comes with $500,000 for each president to use to advance academic initiatives. The winners and some of the accomplishments cited by Carnegie:
- Richard H. Brodhead of Duke University was praised for creating "Duke Engage to provide full funding so that each year some 400 students can undertake immersive civic engagement activities for a minimum of eight weeks in partner communities in the United States and around the world."
- Michael M. Crow of Arizona State University was cited for enrolling a fall 2013 freshman class in which 39 percent of students are from minority groups, a 165 percent increase in minority representation in the entering freshman class since 2002.
- John L. Hennessy of Stanford University was lauded for numerous efforts to involve the university in the reform of elementary and secondary education.
- Beverly Daniel Tatum of Spelman College was honored for promoting science and mathematics programs such that nearly a third of Spelman students earn degrees in those fields, challenging what Tatum calls “the low expectations for women and minorities in science.”
Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago voted overwhelmingly last week to authorize a possible strike, following 17 months of contract negotiations with the institution. Joe Persky, professor of economics and president of the University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty, a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors, said in a statement that he hoped to resolve contract negotiations without a strike. Mediation sessions have been scheduled through January.
But if the union decides a strike is necessary, 10 days' notice will be given, as required by law. About 80 percent of voters, both on and off the tenure track, showed up for the election, and 95 percent approved of a possible strike, according to the union. The faculty association says it's pushing for more equitable compensation for non-tenure-track professors and shared governance, among other issues.
In an email to faculty members sent Friday, Lon Kaufman, the provost, said he and other administrators would remain in "immediate contact" with the bargaining team to try to reach a resolution, but said that in the event of a strike, "the university does have an obligation to our students and other constituents to continue normal operations. It should also be emphasized that no faculty member is required to strike or stop work, even if urged by the union. Every faculty member has the right to continue work." He continued: "Frankly, both sides need to focus on resolving the contracts. Please be certain that the UIC administration has heard the proposals by the union and will respond with sincere and meaningful proposals as we move through the mediation phase."
Four more institutions will participate in the University of Wisconsin System's competency-based education program, which is dubbed the UW Flexible Option. System officials said the new offerings will be certificate programs aimed at adult and nontraditional students. They will include certificates in sales, geographic information systems and alcohol and drug abuse counseling, among others. Some will be non-credit programs, while others may soon be linked to "stackable" bachelor's degree tracks.
The Interfraternity Council at the University of Pittsburgh plans this year to fine each fraternity $20 for every tenth of a point below 2.5 of each pledge's grade-point average, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The goal of the new policy is to raise the average G.P.A. of fraternity members so that is it higher than that of all men at Pitt. Officials of the North American Interfraternity Conference said that they knew of many Greek organizations that set minimum G.P.A.s, but that they had not heard of a policy like the one at Pitt.
The University of Oregon is condemning the behavior of students who on Friday responded to a snowfall by attacking cars and people with snowballs, making it difficult or dangerous for some people (reportedly including professors) to drive. A statement from the university said it was working with authorities to determine who was involved and whether their actions constituted a criminal act. Here is the video: