The board of the University of Oregon voted Thursday to remove the name of Frederic Dunn (right) from a dormitory that has for years honored him, The Register-Guard reported. Dunn was a professor of classics at the university in the 1920s and 1930s and was respected for his teaching and scholarship. He was also a leader -- with the title “exalted cyclops” -- of the Ku Klux Klan in the region. Black students have been pushing for his name to be removed from the dormitory. The board delayed until later in the fall a decision on a building named for Matthew Deady, one of the university's founders and one who held pro-slavery views.
Michael C. Marcon, facing criticism over his comments on Twitter, resigned Thursday as chair of the Ursinus College board. Marcon met with students and faculty members in recent days to try to reassure them, but many have said he should not remain as board chair, and one other board member already quit in protest over the tweets. Marcon, an insurance executive, has made tweets about who should and shouldn't wear yoga pants, and written that Caitlyn Jenner's speaking fees mean there is no gender wage gap.
Despite the excuses that administrators often give, a commitment to diversity can go beyond lip service and translate into more faculty of color in tenure-track, tenured, full professor and upper administrative ranks, argues Adia Harvey Wingfield.
The University of Northern Colorado has announced that it is abandoning its separate bias response team and plans to deal with bias concerns through other university divisions. Many colleges have created bias response teams, but Northern Colorado's has been criticized for raising questions about the actions and statements of faculty members and students in class -- and many have expressed fears that the work of the team compromised academic freedom.
Kay Norton, president of the university, addressed the topic in her annual fall address to the campus. "Our new approach will uphold the principles of free speech and academic freedom as well as our commitment to create a safe and supportive environment for students. It will address all student concerns not covered by the Discrimination Complaint Procedures, and we will no longer have a separate process for bias-related concerns," she said. "Free speech and academic freedom fuel the ferment of ideas, insights and discoveries that emerge from university communities, and we must do all we can to encourage this ferment. We have an ongoing obligation to talk openly about the inherent tension between upholding academic freedom and building community. These are hard conversations, but this tension is what allows us to be a university community."
Students at Northern Kentucky University are protesting fliers that were placed on campus next to others that promoted "Welcome Black Week" activities for black students. The unofficial fliers advertised "Welcome White Week."
Native American alumni of Indiana University at Bloomington are criticizing the hiring of someone who is not Native American for the position of director of the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center (logo at right), the Associated Press reported. Nicholas Belle, the new director, did volunteer at the center when he was a student and has also spent time on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. But some students and alumni said they need someone who understands firsthand the kind of discrimination faced by Native American students. Belle did not respond to a request for comment, and the university released a statement noting that it does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, among other factors, in hiring.
A new report provides guidance for colleges on how to comply with the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the right of colleges to consider race and ethnicity in admissions but also affirming certain limits on the practice. The guide is from the College Board and Education Counsel, strong supporters of affirmative action.
Key points in the guidance:
Goals for student body diversity "should be sufficiently precise, without resorting to numbers only, and based on evidence-centered academic judgment."
Colleges need "institution-specific evidence should support the necessity of using race-conscious methods for achieving these goals."
Individual reviews of applicants must reflect "flexible consideration of race through individualized evaluation and an institution’s unique mission."
Gordon College has reached a settlement with Lauren Barthold, a tenured professor who will resign her position as part of the agreement, The Salem News reported. Barthold sued the college in April, saying that she had been demoted and that her job was threatened because she spoke out against Gordon policies that discriminate against gay people.