diversity

Michigan Fails to Keep Promise to Native Americans

More than 80 years ago, the state of Michigan promised Native American tribes that if they would give up land Central Michigan University needed to expand, Native American students would forever attend public colleges in the state free. But as The Detroit News reported, the state has not been providing nearly enough money to keep its promise. This year the state provided only $3.8 million of the $8.5 million needed for the program. As a result, the colleges and universities that enroll Native American students lose money since they can't charge tuition, but the state doesn't provide the funds it promised, either. College and tribal officials are pushing the state to keep its promise, saying that failing to do so means that colleges have a disincentive to recruit Native American students.

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U of Texas Will Move Statue of Jefferson Davis

The University of Texas at Austin will move a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, from a prominent campus location to a history museum. At the same time, other statues of Confederate leaders will remain in their current locations, but may have plaques added to them explaining their history and providing more context. The decision seems unlikely to satisfy students and others who have been pushing for the removal of all the Confederate statues, and some traditionalists who have accused the university of being politically correct.

Christian college group faces conflict over its failure to expel institutions that will hire professors in same-sex marriages

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University quits Christian college group because it didn't kick out two members that have decided to permit the hiring of faculty members in same-sex marriages. Others may follow.

Research questions whether having women on search committees increases odds of hiring women

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Having more women on committees that select academics for jobs does not increase the chances for female candidates and may actually do the opposite, according to a study of Italian and Spanish universities.

Eastern Michigan Drops Huron Logo From Band Uniforms

Eastern Michigan University is dropping a Huron logo that has appeared on its band uniforms, The Detroit Free Press reported. In 1991, the university stopped using Hurons as the name of its athletic teams, replacing that name with Eagles. Many Native American groups have said it is offensive to relegate their tribal names and traditions to team names and mascots. But three years ago, the university put the Huron logo back on band uniforms, although Eastern Michigan has faced criticism for doing so.

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Texas Panel Offers Options on Confederate Statues

A task force at the University of Texas at Austin has called for several statues on the campus, including those of Confederate figures, to either have explanatory plaques added to the statues or to have one or more statues moved to a different area of campus, the university announced Monday. The committee, which was created by President Gregory Fenves in June, included leaders of the student government at UT-Austin, faculty members and administrators. It met six times since June and presented its findings to the president today. Two public forums were held on the presence of the statues in July, and more than 3,100 people responded to an online questionnaire about the statues. The president will review the report before making a final decision.

Three of the statues, which are all of Confederate leaders, including the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, were vandalized in June. A UT-Austin spokesman said the graffiti on the statues was cleaned off the day it was discovered and university policemen regularly patrol the area where the statues are located.

Judge Upholds Rules for LSAT; ABA Drops Exemption

A federal judge on Friday upheld most of the rules an independent panel had ordered the Law School Admission Council to make so that people with disabilities could seek accommodations on the Law School Admission Test. The panel was set up as part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by federal and California officials, arguing that people with disabilities were not having legitimate accommodations awarded. While the judge rejected a few of the panel's decisions, the vast majority of those challenged by the council were upheld. The rules stipulate the kind of documentation needed to demonstrate a disability requiring an accommodation. The council did not respond to a weekend request for comment.

And in a sign of the continued importance of the LSAT, the American Bar Association has ended after one year an exemption that allowed selected ABA-recognized law schools to admit up to 10 percent of their classes from applicants who hadn't taken the LSAT, The National Law Journal reported. Officials said that the exemption was confusing and inconsistent.

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Essay explains new hashtag campaign to draw attention to the diversity of professors and their appearance

OneLogin’s recent recruitment campaign showing diverse engineers on billboards in the San Francisco Bay Area inspired a viral hashtag: #ILookLikeAnEngineer.

Frustrated by the microaggressions we experience as “nontraditional” faculty, we started a new hashtag: #ILookLikeAProfessor. The flurry of photos, retweets and horror stories since last Thursday suggests that we are not alone in experiencing entrenched stereotypes and bias -- both subtle and explicit.

  • The female professor mistaken for an undergraduate. She was grading homework, not doing it.
  • Male teaching assistants assumed to be the professor.
  • Faculty members of color assumed to be the custodian.
  • Asian professors assumed to be Chinese food delivery drivers.

We are not making this up.

These are real posts from real people -- real professors in diverse fields across the United States -- who do not fit the stereotype of a 60-something, white male professor, usually in tie and tweed. Extra credit if glasses and a beard came to mind.

With the start of the new academic year just around the corner, it’s worth remembering how much the professoriate has changed over the past half century. The civil rights movement, feminism, gay rights, the Americans With Disabilities Act and more transformed many aspects of society, including the academy. It’s time for our assumptions about faculty to catch up with reality.

So, who are we?

We are economists and art historians, musicians and engineers, chemists and sociologists, poets and mathematicians.

We are black, brown and white -- and every shade in between.

We come in all shapes, sizes and proportions.

We are feminine, masculine and androgynous -- and sometimes we look different one day to the next.

We are queer, straight and questioning.

We speak many languages, and some of us have accents.

We have voices high and low, loud and soft.

We wear suits and jeans, hiking boots and high heels.

We have dreads and dyed hair -- and yes, some of us do have beards.

We wear glasses and contacts, ties and scarves, kipot and hijabs.

We have earrings, tattoos and piercings -- only some of which you can see.

We are partnered and single, parents and child-free, caregivers and neighbors.

We are Christian and atheist, Muslim and Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist, pagan and agnostic.

We are athletes and bookworms, hikers and artists, musicians and chefs, gardeners and dog walkers.

In other words, we look just like you.

We look like professors because we are professors. It’s long past time that we ditch the stereotype.

Sara B. Pritchard (@SaraBPritchard) is associate professor of science and technology studies at Cornell University and a Public Voices Fellow at the Op-Ed Project.

Adeline Koh (@adelinekoh) is a director of a digital humanities center at Stockton University and associate professor of literature there.

Michelle Moravec (@professmoravec) is associate professor of history at Rosemont College.

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Unarmed Black Male Student Fatally Shot by Police

Christian Taylor, a student and football player at Angelo State University in Texas, has become the latest unarmed black male to be fatally shot by the police. The Star-Telegram reported that Taylor was shot in a car dealership in the middle of the night, with police investigating a possible robbery in progress there. Police reports say that Taylor was shot during an altercation with police, but some members of Taylor's family doubt that account. On July 30, Taylor used his Twitter account to say: "I don't wanna die too younggggg."

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Engineering Deans Pledge to Promote Diversity

At Tuesday's "Demo Day," a White House event to promote entrepreneurship, more than 100 engineering deans issued a pledge to promote diversity efforts. Specifically the deans -- through the American Society for Engineering Education -- said that they would develop diversity plans for their institutions, create at least one K-12 or community college "pipeline activity" to attract a more diverse pool of students to their institutions, and promote partnerships with non-Ph.D. granting engineering colleges that serve groups that are under-represented in engineering.

 

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