faculty

Drake Defends Action on Professor in Harassment Case

After facing criticism for allowing a professor found to have harassed students to resign rather than be terminated, Drake University said this week that it handled the situation as well as it could, the Des Moines Register reported. In an email to faculty and staff members and students, President Marty Martin said there are two ways to remove a tenured professor: accepting a resignation or referring the case to a disciplinary committee in a process that would have been “protracted and stressful” for all parties.

Mahmoud Hamad, an associate professor of political science at Drake, resigned in December following reports that he spanked female students and had them sit on his lap. A university investigation found that he had “physically, sexually and verbally intimidated” some students and violated the university’s consensual relationship policy, though Hamad denied the charges.

Hamad will not teach until the resignation takes effect June 1, but students have accused the university of being secretive about the case and too easy on Hamad. They didn’t learn Hamad had stopped teaching until April, for example. Drake’s Faculty Senate in a statement condemned Hamad’s actions but supported the university’s action in the case, according to the Register.

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Harvard Will Bargain with Grad Assistant Union

Harvard University said Tuesday that it will honor the results of the recent graduate student union election and engage in collective bargaining with the new United Auto Workers-affiliated chapter. Provost Alan M. Garber said in an all-campus email that “in light of the outcome of the vote and the existing [National Labor Relations Board] precedent, Harvard is prepared to begin good-faith negotiations, guided by our fundamental commitments as an academic institution.”

Harvard’s graduate student union will represent some 5,000 teaching and research assistants on campus. Notable for its large size, the chapter is also one of the few graduate student unions on private campuses to be recognized by its administration following a 2016 NLRB decision saying that graduate students on private campus are workers entitled to collective bargaining. A group of other private institutions have since said they won’t engage in collective bargaining on the grounds that students are students and not workers, in their view. They’ve also been hopeful that the Trump-era NLRB will overturn the precedent allowing students at private institutions to unionize.

“We applaud Harvard for doing the right thing and honoring the results of our majority vote in favor of a union,” Justin Bloesch, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, said in a statement. “We look forward to negotiating with them in good faith – and making progress on issues like sexual harassment and assault, improved conditions for international workers, predictable workloads, compensation and more.”

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Indiana University inclusive access model offers road map for others

Indiana University wants other institutions to absorb insights gleaned from its fast-growing digital textbook initiative.

Advice for Ph.D.s struggling to find their values and voice after leaving academe (opinion)

Jennifer Polk and L. Maren Wood give advice for Ph.D.s struggling to find their values and their voice after leaving the academy.

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Building expertise is more important than transferable skills in gaining alt-ac employment (opinion)

Djahane Banoo and Martin Gutmann explain why building expertise rather than gaining transferable skills is the key to alternative-academic employability.

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Should you see a counselor or a coach for career advice? (opinion)

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Stephanie K. Eberle recommends what type of adviser you should choose to get the best career support along the way.

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The racial exclusions in scholarly citations (opinion)

The lack of citations of scholars of color furthers racial dominance and forecloses potentially valuable avenues of intellectual inquiry, argues Victor Ray.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018
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The Racial Politics of Citation

AAUP on Maricopa Shared Governance Changes

The American Association of University Professors is concerned about “apparent departures from generally accepted principles of academic governance” within the Maricopa Community College District, it said in a letter to the district’s governing board Thursday. The association said it had been alerted by district faculty members to a February board resolution to terminate a “meet and confer” provision in the faculty policy manual and create a new manual limiting the participation of the faculty in institutional governance. The “meet and confer” policy pertained to an “agreement regarding change with respect to responsibilities, wages, governance, benefits and all other terms and conditions of residential faculty employment.”

The AAUP also questioned an administrative directive saying that campus faculty senate presidents and representatives “must be dutiful in avoiding any [Faculty Executive Council] or Faculty Association-related work or conversations during business hours.” Such a directive violates faculty members’ academic freedom, including the freedom to express their views on institutional policies, the AAUP said. A district spokesperson referred questions to the governing board’s president, Laurin Hendrix, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Montana State's Faculty Senate narrowly votes down proposed economics research center to be funded by Charles Koch Foundation

Montana State's Faculty Senate narrowly votes down proposed economics research center to be funded by an active Charles Koch Foundation grant.

Essay on 'erotics of mentorship' sets off debate on whether sexuality has any place in academic relationships

Essay on "erotics of mentorship" sets off debate about whether sexuality has any place in academic relationships.

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