The University of Oregon's Faculty Senate says it has approved a statement on academic freedom that is one of the strongest in the country, The Oregonian reported. The resolution followed months of contentious negotiation of an academic freedom statement to be included in the faculty union's contract. The collective bargaining agreement eventually was signed this year, and included what faculty members have described as a compromise between the union and the university regarding academic freedom and free speech.
The new Faculty Senate resolution goes beyond what is included in the contract, extending free-speech protections to students and non-faculty employees, as well as faculty members, for the purposes of teaching, research, shared governance and public service, "which shall be exercised without fear of institutional reprisal.” The full text of the statement is available here.
In an email, Michael Gottfredson, Oregon's president, said: “I look forward to closely reviewing the senate's latest version of the statement. Academic freedom is central to our mission and underlies everything we do as a university. I fully support the strongest policy possible to affirm and strengthen this freedom." Gottfredson has 60 days to either approve or reject the statement.
David Rosen announced his resignation Thursday as president of the Kendall College of Art and Design, amid student protests on his behalf, MLive reported. Rosen did not give a reason for leaving, after only two years in office, but said that he was doing so voluntarily. But students and other supporters believe he is being forced out, and they are demanding that he be retained. Kendall was founded in 1928 as a free standing art college, but the Grand Rapids institution became part of Ferris State University in 2000.
Indiana University announced Thursday that it will increase the minimum wage paid to university employees to $8.25 an hour, up from the current minimum of $7.25, the federal minimum wage. About 8,750 employees at Indiana campuses -- many of them students -- currently are paid minimum wage. "Indiana University depends on the hard work of many part-time and temporary employees on all our campuses, and this much-deserved pay increase is one way we can recognize their important contributions to the success of IU," said President Michael A. McRobbie. "Many of these employees also are students at IU, and increasing their pay is consistent with our commitment to student affordability and accessibility."
A University of Connecticut sorority has been suspended while it is being investigated for hazing not of women, but of men, The Hartford Courant reported. The newspaper reported that the Delta Zeta sorority was "accused of forcing men involved with a school fraternity to consume alcohol, eat dog treats, paint their bodies, wear women's thong underwear and take shots of alcohol off each other's bodies, among other things."
Dartmouth College today announced a $100 million gift, the largest in the college's history. Half of the gift will match other gifts. The donor is anonymous. A major use for the funds will be Dartmouth's cluster hiring initiative, in which groups of faculty members will be hired with various interdisciplinary research agendas.
Students at Washington University in St. Louis on Tuesday started an outdoor sit-in, pledging to camp out on campus until the university cuts ties to Peabody Energy, a coal company. The company's CEO, Greg Boyce, has been a donor and serves on the board. Further, the students object to research that they say falsely suggests that the environmental issues associated with the use of coal can be minimized. They are vowing to continue their protest until the university position changes.
The university issued a statement affirming the right of the students to protest, but defending research related to coal. "Washington University ... is a significant contributor to finding solutions to the world¹s energy challenges. Our researchers are focused on making alternative energy sources more viable," the statement says. "Our researchers also are focused on mitigating the environmental impact of the use of coal, including approaches to capturing and storing carbon dioxide that accompanies combustion of any fossil fuel. It is this dual approach that will allow us to address the greatest global issues of this century. As a world-class research university, Washington University not only has the potential, but the responsibility, to participate in finding those solutions."