diversity

Michael Kimmel's former student is putting a name and details to those harassment 'rumors'

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A prominent male feminist deferred a sociology award last week over what he called "rumors" about his professional conduct, but now a former student of his is putting a name -- and details -- to the claims.

Bryn Mawr reconsiders how it has honored its bigoted second president

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Bryn Mawr will change building name but won't remove inscription on building -- in attempt for a balanced view of its second president.

Michigan Union Will Fight Instructor's Termination

The University of Michigan’s non-tenure-track faculty union is fighting the termination of a longtime senior lecturer in English at the Ann Arbor campus, MLive reported. The American Federation of Teachers-affiliated union says that the lecturer, John Rubadeau, received a termination letter citing his interactions with colleagues just one year into his five-year contract. The union says that amounts to a violation of the contract, as his termination appears to have nothing to do with his strong teaching record. Rubadeau declined to comment, citing the legal nature of his case.

Rubadeau reportedly was investigated and cleared of sexual harassment allegations within the last year. Kirsten Herold, vice president of the Lecturers' Employee Organization, described her colleague as "eccentric" and "unorthodox" but "well regarded" as a teacher. He’s dyed his beard green for St. Patrick’s Day, for example, and has been known on campus to use profanity in his classroom. Herold told MLive that Rubadeau also corrected himself regarding concerns about his attitude toward students who prefer non-binary gender pronouns.

Rick Fitzgerald, university spokesperson, declined comment on Rubadeau’s specific case but said that Michigan generally takes the termination "of any employee very seriously and in each case these matters are carefully considered."

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Sociologist Facing Harassment 'Rumors' Defers Award

Michael Kimmel, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an internationally known expert on masculinity, asked the American Sociological Association to delay presenting him with a major award for six months, so that still-anonymous allegations of sexual harassment against him can be vetted, he said last week.

"I have been informed that there are rumors circulating about my professional conduct that suggest I have behaved unethically," Kimmel wrote in comments to the association, requesting that they be read at the association’s annual meeting later this month in Philadelphia (he shared the comments with Inside Higher Ed). "While nothing has been formally alleged to the best of my knowledge," he said, "I take such concerns seriously, and want to validate the voices of those who are making such claims. I want to hear those charges, hear those voices, and make amends to those who believe I have injured them."

Kimmel, who has described himself as a "tireless advocate of engaging men to support gender equality," was to be presented the association’s Jessie Bernard Award for broadening research on the role of women in society. Nancy Kidd, executive director of the association, said that a committee of peer reviewers selected Kimmel for the award "based on extensive review of his academic contributions." The association also "takes very seriously any accusations of misconduct against sociologists which violate our Code of Ethics, and we have a process for receiving and addressing complaints," she said. So should a complaint be filed and investigated, "through us or other investigative bodies, that leads to a finding of misconduct, [the association] will take appropriate action."

Kimmel in his statement said that the sociological association cannot act on "rumors," and that he hoped "those making these accusations will file a complaint with the [organization’s] Committee on Professional Ethics so that these accusations can be formally addressed." In order to facilitate that process, he said, "I will defer my acceptance of this award for six months."

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Christian student group sues U of Iowa, incites debate on religious freedom and LGBTQ rights

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University of Iowa says it's trying to assure equal opportunity by not letting registered groups bar gay students from leadership roles. But a Christian group with legal backing says it should have just that right.

Authors discuss their new book on experience of Asian American students at Harvard

Authors discuss their new book on the experience of Asian American students at Harvard University.

Police Called on Black Student Eating Lunch

An employee at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., called campus police on a black graduate student because the employee thought the student looked “out of place,” MassLive reported.

Oumou Kanoute was reading and eating her lunch in a campus common space when an officer approached her and asked why she was there.

“I was eating lunch,” she told the officer. “I’m working the summer program, so I was just relaxing on the couch.”

Kanoute posted videos from the encounter on her Facebook page.

“I did nothing wrong, I wasn't making any noise or bothering anyone,” she wrote alongside the videos. “All I did was be black. It's outrageous that some people question my being at Smith Collge [sic], and my existence overall as a women [sic] of color.”

In a statement, Amy Hunter, interim director of inclusion, diversity and equity, wrote that the officer "found nothing suspicious about the student's presence."

In a separate Facebook post, Kanoute asked the college to release the name of the employee who called the police so Kanoute could "confront and acknowledge the harm done to me as s [sic] student." The college addressed the request in an update to their earlier statement.

"Under college policy, any campus police records that are released must redact the names of parties involved," Hunter wrote. "This policy recognizes the potentially adverse consequences of releasing identifying information, especially in those cases where doing so may discourage the use of this critical safety resource."

This is hardly the first time police have been called on students of color who were minding their own business. In May, Yale campus police were called on a black graduate student who was napping, and that same month Colorado State University police responded to a complaint that two Native American students on an admissions tour "really stand out."

Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College, issued an additional statement later Thursday afternoon. She said that faculty and staff would receive mandatory antibias training beginning this fall and that campus police would "strengthen the protocols by which they triage, assess and respond to calls for assistance."

The college's full response to the incident can be found here.

Kanoute could not be reached for comment.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018
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Charleston Reverses Itself on Affirmative Action

Two days after The Post and Courier revealed that the College of Charleston had stopped considering race in admissions, without telling anyone, in 2016, the college reversed course. Stephen C. Osborne, the interim president, released a statement Tuesday in which he said that there "was no secretive effort to change the college’s policies by past administrations." But his statement also confirmed the report saying the college changed its policy in 2016. Prior to that time, the college conducted an additional review of minority applicants who were not recommended for admission, and that policy was stopped. Based on discussions this week, Osborne wrote, he has asked admissions officials to resume that review "and to make it abundantly clear that, as an institution, we do and will consider race as a factor in our holistic review process."

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Despite downsizing on a few campuses, college equestrian programs riding high

Randolph College folded its expensive equestrian program amid declining popularity among prospective students. What's happening with other college programs?

College of Charleston reportedly ended race-based affirmative action without telling anyone

College of Charleston stopped considering race in admissions in 2016, and word just leaked Sunday.

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