diversity

Author discusses new book on how World War I created opportunities for British women in science

Author discusses new book about how World War I created a brief period of progress for female scientists in Britain -- and the implications of that history for women in science today.

North Texas administrator criticizes push to name new building for a woman or minority individual

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Administrator says it is "reverse racism" to seek more diversity in the names of buildings.

IEEE in trouble once again for allegedly minimizing work of female historians

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Scholarly society for engineers and technologists is on blast once again for allegedly minimizing the work of female historians who write about bias against women in technology.

Failure of Immigration Bills Leaves DACA in Doubt

Leaders in the U.S. Senate brought four immigration bills to the floor for a vote Thursday, each needing 60 votes to advance. All four failed, leaving a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in serious doubt.

The DACA program, an initiative of the Obama administration, provided temporary protection against deportation as well as work authorization to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants -- including many college-age recipients -- who were brought to the U.S. as children without documentation. DACA recipients, often referred to as Dreamers, have faced uncertainty over their status since President Trump announced in September that he would wind down the program.

Trump said Congress would have time to authorize a long-term fix for the program before a March 5 deadline. But even after a January government shutdown partially driven by demands from progressive Democrats for a DACA solution, lawmakers have failed to reach a deal. The failure to advance legislation Thursday puts DACA recipients in further jeopardy. But Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said in a written statement that now is not the time to walk away.

"Rather, now is the time for Congress to redouble its effort and strive to find a solution that will protect these individuals who were brought to this country as babies or young children. These young people, many of whom are part of our public university community, know of no other home than the United States and our government must deliver a solution for them," McPherson said. "The fact that it is difficult to reach an agreement in Congress pales in comparison to the difficulty that these young people and their families will face if a solution isn’t reached. Congress must reach an agreement that will allow for these young people to continue to flourish and contribute greatly to our nation’s economic growth."

Ted Mitchell, president and CEO of the American Council on Education, offered even stronger words. The Senate's failure is both "bitterly distressing and utterly unfathomable," he said in a written statement.

"Distressing because these are high-achieving and talented young people who seek only to contribute their knowledge, skills, and energy to America, the only country they have ever called home. Unfathomable because there is widespread support nationwide and across the aisle in Congress about the need to protect these outstanding individuals," he said. "We urge congressional leaders in both chambers: Come back to the table, do not allow extraneous issues to hold Dreamers hostage to a political face-off, and redouble your efforts to reach a bipartisan compromise. Not only is it in our nation’s best interest to keep our door open to these outstanding individuals, it is simply unacceptable and morally wrong to do otherwise."

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DACA

Princeton professor who was criticized for using N-word in class on hate speech cancels course

Princeton professor who was criticized for using the word in a class on hate speech cancels the course.

Education Department No Longer Pursuing Bathroom Complaints From Transgender Students

The Department of Education will not take action on civil rights complaints filed by transgender students blocked from using the bathroom matching their gender identity, BuzzFeed News reported Monday.

The website quoted department spokeswoman Liz Hill, who said it was the Education Department's position that bathroom complaints are not covered by Title IX. But Hill in an email said "there is nothing new here" and that the department's position has been that gender identity isn't covered by Title IX since Secretary Betsy DeVos last year withdrew Obama administration guidelines issued to protect the rights of transgender students.

The guidelines were issued to ensure those students had access to bathrooms and other facilities of their choice, but DeVos argued those issues were best handled at the state level and said the guidance had given rise to legal disputes over the issue.

A memo from acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson to regional officials last June clarified that investigators should continue to evaluate complaints for sex discrimination under Title IX, whether or not an individual was transgender. That document did not, however, mention whether access to bathrooms matching a student's gender identity would fall under the type of complaint officials should investigate.

Hill's statement to BuzzFeed clarifies that the department does not necessarily consider access to bathrooms based on gender identity a civil rights issue under Title IX.

“Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX,” Hill told the site. “In the case of bathrooms, however, long-standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”

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Civil Rights

Teaching evaluations are often used to confirm the worst stereotypes about women faculty (opinion)

Such evaluations pretend to be the result of a neutral process but are better measures of student stereotypes than teaching effectiveness, argues Victor Ray.

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Diversity Newsletter publication date: 
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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Is Gender Bias an Intended Feature of Teaching Evaluations?

Instructor suspended for using N-word in class

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Instructor suspended after using slur. Does it matter if he was singing along to a song a student played in class?

Scholar sets off Twitter furor by critiquing a book he hasn't read

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Scholar at respected professional organization sets off Twitter furor by questioning new book on technology and discrimination that he later admitted he hadn't read. 

White supremacist group angers many at Colorado State and University of Tennessee

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At Colorado State, skirmishes follow a speech, and anger follows anti-immigrant posters. At Tennessee, concerns arise over a room booked under apparently false pretenses. Colorado State president issues statement saying, "A Nazi is a Nazi is a Nazi."

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