Academic Minute: Discrimination in STEM

In today's Academic Minute, Mary Murphy, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University at Bloomington, discusses women in STEM fields. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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Ivory Toldson to Lead White House HBCU Office

Ivory Toldson is the new executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Friday. Toldson has been deputy director of the initiative since 2013. He follows George Cooper, the previous executive director, who died in July.

A former professor of psychology at Howard and Southern Universities, Toldson also has worked for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, congratulated Toldson in a written statement. "Despite difficult circumstances," Duncan said, "he and the initiative’s team have continued to remain focused on their work and the students they serve."

Divinity School Cancels Talk by Palestinian Activist

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School rescinded a speaking invitation to a Palestinian rights activist after he received death threats and a Jewish organization raised concerns over his past statements, according to The Democrat and Chronicle.

The Reverend Graylan Hagler, a senior minister of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and vocal supporter of Palestinian rights, said he didn’t ask for the additional security that Colgate Rochester insisted it would need, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester said its officials did not specifically ask that the event be canceled.

Still, “after certain concerning facts came to light,” Colgate Rochester President Marvin McMickle said in a statement, the college is “no longer prepared to allow this lecture to take place.”

Among the items brought to the college’s attention: this video of Hagler speaking at a rally and a call, attributed to Hagler, to “dismantle the state of Israel.” (More collected here by the organization Roc4Israel before Colgate Rochester's decision.)

Incident Sparks Debate About Race at USC

The student body president at the University of Southern California, who was born in India, has set off a broad discussion on campus by reporting what happened to her while walking by a fraternity house, The Los Angeles Times reported. Rini Sampath, the student body president, wrote on Facebook that while she and friends were walking past a fraternity (which she didn't name), a fraternity member screamed at her that she was “an Indian piece of” (an expletive) and threw a drink at her. “Once his fraternity brothers realized it was me, they began to apologize,” Sampath wrote on Facebook. “This stung even more. Today, as I try to unpack these events, I couldn’t quite figure out why their after-the-fact apologies deepened the wound. But one of my friends explained it to me the best this morning: ‘Because now you know, the first thing they see you as is subhuman.’ And that’s the first thing some students on our campus see when they look at anyone who looks like me.”

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Apparent Nooses at U of Delaware Weren't Nooses

This item has been updated.

The discovery of what looked like three nooses on a tree at the University of Delaware Tuesday evening upset many, but it turned out that they weren't nooses.

Nancy M. Targett, acting president, issued a statement after the discovery of the apparent nooses that said in part: “Such cowardly and reprehensible acts are clearly designed to intimidate and frighten, and they are unacceptable on our campus. I assure you we will work diligently to get to the bottom of this situation, identify the person or persons responsible, and hold them accountable for their actions.” She also scheduled a campus gathering for today in response.

But she then sent a second message to campus this morning in which she said that the apparent nooses were “the remnants of paper lanterns” from a previous event. The campus gathering will go on as scheduled today because, she wrote, “the sensitivity of our campus to this potential issue clearly indicates a need for continuing dialogue within our community.”

2 colleges leave Christian college group to avoid split over gay marriage

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Eastern Mennonite U and Goshen, which recently ended bans on gay faculty members, leave Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Had they stayed, others would have left the association.

Hampshire reports a successful admissions year by going test blind

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Hampshire is the only college that not only doesn't require the SAT, but won't look at applicants' scores. The college is no longer ranked by U.S. News -- and it may have just had its best admissions year ever.

Grad student defends art project of placing "white only" signs at SUNY Buffalo

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Graduate student who placed "White Only" signs on SUNY Buffalo campus explains her intent -- and renews the debate over her art.

Academic Minute: Modern Segregation

In today's Academic Minute, Heather O’Connell, a postdoc at Rice University’s Kinder Institute, examines the effects of slavery we can still observe today. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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SUNY Buffalo roiled by art project of "whites only" posters around campus

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"White Only" and "Black Only" signs appear -- and are torn down -- at SUNY Buffalo.


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