Adjunct faculty members at St. Michael’s College in Vermont voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Monday. They’re the third group of adjuncts to vote to form unions under SEIU’s Adjunct Action campaign in recent weeks, after those at Burlington and Champlain colleges. About 75 percent of St. Michael’s eligible faculty participate in the vote, and the tally was 46 in favor and 26 opposed.
Anne Tewksbury-Frye, an adjunct faculty member at St. Michael’s College and Champlain College, said in a statement that the St. Michael’s union “will serve to improve best practices, and help us learn as educators and teachers in a way that will benefit our students directly.” Jeffrey Ayres, dean of the college, said St. Michael’s remained neutral throughout the process and encouraged all adjuncts to vote. “Adjuncts are an important part of the college in providing an excellent educational experience,” he said. Adjuncts teach about 20 percent of classes there.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is at risk of losing $4.5 million if the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rehires James Kilgore as an adjunct, The Chicago Tribunereported. Kilgore has a strong record as an adjunct but was dropped from teaching last year amid reports about his criminal past with the Symbionese Liberation Army. While Kilgore was open abut that history when he was hired, some questioned his suitability to teach, while many faculty groups said that he should be judged on his performance as an adjunct, not his past. The Illinois board last month cleared the way for Kilgore to be rehired, and the Tribune reported that departments are in fact starting the process to employ him.
But the Tribune reported that Richard Hill, a Chicago businessman who last year pledged $6.5 million to the Illinois-Chicago bioengineering department, has informed the university that if it proceeds with Kilgore's rehiring, he will not give the $4.5 million that remains on his pledge. "I no longer wish to be associated with University of Illinois," he wrote to the university. "The academy at the University of Illinois has clearly lost its moral compass." In an email to the Tribune explaining his views, he said, "I will not contribute neither time nor money to such a morally debased enterprise.... If they stand up and police their own organization to assure they are of the highest standards, I will stand with them till my dying days."
In the wake of last week's decision by the grand jury in Missouri not to issue an indictment for the shooting of Michael Brown, Howard University students were involved in several protests. While Howard officials praised the activism, President Wayne A.I. Frederick issued a statement taking issue with whoever put up a Pan-African flag on the university's flagpole. "While I openly support freedom of expression on our campus, I do not support unauthorized use of University property or official platforms to transmit these expressions of thought and ideas. The flag was removed. Our flagpole is reserved for the American and official Howard University flags," Frederick wrote. "The events in Ferguson, Mo., have resulted in the loss of a young African-American's life. That remains the primary concern of the Howard University community. The social construct that exists in our country, which has led to this loss, is one that fortifies why Howard University exists. The core values of our University include truth, service, justice and freedom, which are the same values embodied in the American flag. Howard University must and will lead in finding solutions through our research and scholarship that contributes to our Nation's betterment."
Comments about the statement on the university's Facebook page were mixed -- with some praising the president, others saying that his statement was pragmatic (in light of how the flag protest would look to potential funders), and others saying he shouldn't have objected to using the flagpole for the Ferguson protests.
A car accident on Thursday killed Ada Meloy, general counsel of the American Council on Education, who was traveling to a Thanksgiving gathering. Since joining ACE in 2007, Meloy has played a key role in mapping legal strategy for higher education on a wide range of issues. Previously, she was deputy general counsel of New York University.
Molly Broad, ACE president, issued a statement: "There are no adequate words to describe the emotions that accompany this devastating news about our trusted colleague and dear friend. Ada has been a passionate and tireless advocate for students, faculty, presidents and chancellors, and the entire higher education community. Since her arrival at ACE in 2007, Ada has made many important contributions to the higher education landscape, from her work on behalf of student access to her efforts to ensure that colleges and universities maintain their ability to construct diverse campuses. Her legal portfolio spanned a wide range of other issues, from academic freedom and campus safety to copyright and patent laws to university governance."
Submitted by Jake New on December 1, 2014 - 3:00am
All Greek social functions at San Diego State University have been indefinitely suspended and all members of campus fraternities and sororities will undergo sexual assault prevention training, the university's Greek leadership groups announced Tuesday.
The University of Georgia is moving to terminate a psychology lecturer found to be in violation of the institution’s policy on student-professor relationships for a second time, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. The lecturer, Rich Suplita, says he plans to leave the university anyway, but has appealed the results of the most recent investigation, saying they are “completely inconclusive based on the evidence.” Suplita said his “personal conviction is I’m not in any way in violation.”
Suplita admitted, however, that he had violated the university’s relationship policy in 2012, by dating an undergraduate in his class; the institution prohibits relationships between instructors and students over whom they have authority. Suplita was reprimanded in that case. This year, after he started dating a teaching assistant assigned to one of the classes he taught, administrators again accused him of violating the policy. But Suplita said this relationship does not go against university policy since he did not technically oversee the teaching assistant.