California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Los Angeles jointly announced a new effort Thursday to increase the number of minority Ph.D.s in science, mathematics and technology fields. The four universities will create "a unique, cross-institutional community of underrepresented minority Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty members in the targeted fields; developing faculty training to better recognize and help these students thrive and advance; and conducting research that includes annual surveys of Ph.D. students about what factors impact their attitudes, experiences and preparation for the future," the announcement said.
Kent State University has suspended a wrestler from its team after he used anti-gay slurs on Twitter to talk about this week's news that a college football star came out as gay. While the Twitter comments have been removed, they were saved on the website Outrage DC and show Sam Wheeler, the wrestler writing about "that fag from mizzou." Jim Andrassy, head wrestling coach at the university issued this statement: "As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter. I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward."
Officials at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California are identifying racist and sexist fliers sent to Asian-American organizations on the two campuses, The Los Angeles Times reported. UCLA students held a rally Monday to protest the flier.
In a first, a star of big-time college football has come out. Michael Sam, who won numerous awards as a defensive linesman for the University of Missouri at Columbia, on Sunday told The New York Times and ESPN that he is gay. He told his teammates last year in the preseason. Last month, a freshman kicker on the Willamette University football team came out as bisexual, at the time becoming the first football player to publicly identify, while playing, as non-straight. While Willamette is Division III, Missouri plays with the elites of college football and Sam has been expected to be drafted in the National Football League.
Business and academic leaders and philanthropists on Tuesday unveiled TheDream.US, a program to provide scholarships to undocumented immigrants who qualify for the Obama administration's deferred action initiative. The new program awarded an initial 39 scholarships to recipients, who must have financial need and meet academic requirements both prior to and after receiving the grants and have financial need. Undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive federal financial aid and are barred from many state programs as well.
A dozen colleges and universities have signed on to the program at its start. They are Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College and Kingsborough Community College in New York, part of the City University of New York; California State University at Long Beach, El Paso Community College, Long Beach City College, Miami Dade College, Mount Washington College, South Texas College, Trinity Washington University, and the University of Texas-Pan American and University of Texas at El Paso.
Report on two months of harassment of black student at San Jose State says that he didn't want to report the ugly incidents, and that university officials generally followed proper procedures. But president wasn't in the loop for weeks.
Women in Harvard University's business school have been treated inappropriately for decades, Dean Nitin Nohria told an alumni gathering last week, according to Business Insider. Nohria personally apologized for the mistreatment, saying that women at the business school were "disrespected, left out, and unloved by the school. I'm sorry on behalf of the business school." Among the pledges he made: to double (to 20 percent) the share of female protagonists in the case studies that are a key part of the M.B.A. curriculum. The apology came after an article in September inThe New York Times detailed the negative experiences of many female students, and the business school's attempts (with mixed success) to promote a more hospitable environment.
Students and others at Memorial University, in Canada, are angry over one question on an assignment for computer science students, CBC News reported. They were asked to determine whether a rape victim, especially after being mocked online, would be likely to kill herself. Critics say that there was no need to use such an example for the computer science course. The professor did not respond to the network or Inside Higher Ed.
Black student and faculty groups at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities have asked the institution to stop using racial descriptions in crime alerts, CBS Minnesota reported. "[We] unanimously agree that campus safety should be of the [police department's] utmost importance; however, efforts to reduce crime should never be at the expense of our black men, or any specific group of people likely to be targeted. In addition to causing black men to feel unsafe and distrusted, racial profiling is proven to inflict negative psychological effects on its victims," said a joint letter from the groups. The letter responded to the the incorrect identification of a student as a suspect in an attempted robbery at the university.
Pamela Wheelock, vice president of university services. responded at a forum this week by saying that while racial profiling is inappropriate, full descriptions of crime suspects -- including race -- are appropriate. “I firmly believe that a well-informed community is an asset to public safety," she said. "I believe that sharing more information in our crime alerts, not less, is most beneficial in terms of public safety, especially when that information is available."