Essay on starting a career as a gay scientist in academe

Eric V. Patridge considers the issues facing a gay scientist starting a career in academe.

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U. of California Releases 'Climate' Report

The University of California on Wednesday released a "climate" report in which it analyzed survey results from students and employees across the university system. The results suggested that most people at the university feel comfortable, but that a significant minority do not. Twenty-four percent of respondents (breakdowns were not provided for different groups) reported that they "had personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct" at a university campus. And 9 percent said "that this conduct interfered with their ability to work or learn." Three percent reported that they had experienced unwanted sexual conduct at the university.

Among students, 69 percent of undergraduates and 78 percent of graduate students were satisfied with their academic experience. And 75 percent of undergraduates, 85 percent of graduate students, and 67 percent of postdocs said that they "felt valued by faculty in the classroom."


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Judge: Minnesota Discriminated Against Lesbian Coach

A state judge has ruled that the University of Minnesota discriminated against Katie Brenny, a former associate golf coach, because she is a lesbian, The Star Tribune reported. Brenny quit her job at Minnesota after most of her duties were reassigned, and the judge agreed with her contention that those reassignments came after some at the university learned her sexual orientation. The judge awarded her just under $360,000. A spokesman for the university, which has denied wrongdoing, said that it was reviewing the decision but was disappointed by the judge's ruling.

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Student Paper Criticized for Op-Ed Attacking Yoga, Hinduism

The student newspaper at John Brown University is being criticized by Hindu groups for publishing a column that attacked yoga because of its links to Hinduism. The op-ed in Threefold Online noted with concern the increasing popularity of yoga in the United States.

"As I have been thinking of all the arguments and reasons why yoga is not as beneficial as we’ve been led to believe, it all keeps coming back to the fact that yoga has its roots in the worship of demonic Hindu gods," the column said. "I believe that while yoga may offer some benefits, those benefits have hidden, demonic strings attached. I spoke to one of our chapel speakers years ago about this. He was a Dalit 'untouchable' from India who had become a Christian. His view is that yoga is the beautiful face that the very ugly religion of Hinduism uses to sell itself to Americans."

Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, has called for the paper and the university to apologize.

The editor-in-chief of the paper has published a piece saying that the column does not necessarily reflect the views of the newspaper or the university.

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Data Show High Educational Aspirations for Native Americans

The vast majority of Native American students (86 percent) say that they want a postsecondary education, but most are not well prepared in high school to succeed in college, according to a new report from ACT. The report, "The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2013: American Indian Students," found that a majority of the Native American students who took the ACT did not meet any of the four benchmarks the organization has set (based on taking rigorous college preparatory courses in various subject areas) as indicating likely success in college.

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Diversity Event That Excluded White People Called Off

An employee group at South Puget Sound Community College, facing criticism, has called off a diversity happy hour to which the white people were not invited, KING5 News reported. The email invitation said that there were other ways for white people to gather. "If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that," the invitation said. College officials said it was a "mistake" to organize an event that excluded anyone based on race or ethnicity.


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In Britain, Minority Groups Have More Education Than Do Whites

New research from the University of Manchester has found that members of some minority groups in Britain are more likely than white people in the country to have postsecondary degrees, Times Higher Education reported. The study found that 43 percent of those with Chinese heritage had a degree, as did 42 percent of those with Indian backgrounds and 40 percent of those from black African groups. Only about a quarter of white British people have a degree.


Special Diets for Cornell Dining Staff

Managers, chefs and other employees of the dining service at Cornell University are on special diets this week. To understand the dining needs of different groups of students, the dining officials are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in different campus facilities, and are adhering to various diets: vegetarian, vegan, kosher, dairy-free, gluten-free and both dairy- and gluten-free. Officials want to see the challenges of adhering to different diets in various campus dining halls.

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Undocumented Students Eligible for Aid in Washington State

A new law has made Washington State the fifth state where students who lack the legal documentation to live permanently in the United States are eligible for state student aid, Reuters reported. Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said that the law would help "thousands of bright, talented and very hard working students across the state of Washington."

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Number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grows

A total of 370 colleges and universities met the federal definition of "Hispanic-serving institution" in 2012-13, up from 356 the previous year, Excelencia in Education said in its annual analysis of the fast-growing sector of higher education. The group reported that about 60 percent of all Latino students were enrolled in such institutions, and that the colleges and universities were heavily concentrated geographically, with more than 80 percent of them located in five states.

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