With a threat by the faculty union at Portland State University to strike on April 16 looming, the union and administration reached a deal on a new contract on Sunday, ending months of highly contentious negotiations. A press release from the union -- part of the American Association of University Professors -- said that deal provides raises for all professors and key advances for full-time, non-tenure-track professors. According to the AAUP, the contract will create a path for long-term contracts for 80 percent of full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members, up from the present 45 percent. And these long-term contracts will be available after four years, not the current six years. The Oregonian characterized the raises in the deal as more "than the administration had said it could possibly afford, but substantially less than the union had sought." A statement from the university quoted President Wim Wiewel as calling the deal "fiscally responsible."
Colleges and universities can't leave it to chance -- they must deliberately change a culture that often encourages female researchers to become isolated in their jobs, write Santa Ono and Valerie Gray Hardcastle.
A group of 20 University of California at Santa Cruz students were arrested early Wednesday during a protest outside the campus's two main entrances. Robert Cavooris, a graduate student of political theory who is part of Graduate Student Workers-United, affiliated with the United Auto Workers, said that four graduate student workers on a pre-announced strike were arrested along with 14 undergraduates who were supporting them. Cavooris, who was not arrested, said that at least some of those arrested had been picketing legally, and were not trying to block entrances to campus. They were still being held as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.
Jim Burns, a Santa Cruz spokesman, said that the campus has just two vehicular entrances and that students had been allowed to block one but not the other. Students were arrested based on a variety of charges, including blocking an entrance to a university and failing to disperse. He said only one student resisted arrest.
Graduate student workers across the University of California System had planned to strike Wednesday and today in protest of unfair labor practice claims filed against various campus administrations, including that Santa Cruz had violated labor law by videotaping union activities earlier this academic year. Burns said he was unfamiliar with those claims.
The National Geographic Channel has indefinitely put off a new television show "Nazi War Diggers" that was to have featured the digging up of Nazi war graves, The New York Times reported. The action followed strong criticism of the planned program by the American Anthropological Association and other scholarly groups. Scholars, who conduct digs according to ethical standards, have said that their work is undercut when television shows suggest that digs are about entertainment or making money.
In today's Academic Minute, Frederic Bouchard, a postdoctoral research fellow at Université Laval, explains his work with the climate models of many areas across Canada. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
The Faculty Senate at the College of Charleston voted unanimously Tuesday that it has no confidence in the college's board. The vote was prompted by the recent pick of a career politician known for his love of Confederate history as the next president of the college. Board members -- elected by legislators -- have said that Glenn McConnell's political connections will help the college. But students and professors disagree.
The resolution of no confidence says that the search was conducted with "clear disregard" for best practices, by adding candidates (including McConnell) to a list of finalists prepared by the search committee. Further, the resolution notes board members who have been raising questions about the teaching of books that offend them, and an apparent disregard in the college's mission as a liberal arts institution. "[T]hese recent actions and positions have hurt the image and brand of the college and appear likely to negatively impact our ability to recruit students, expand our outreach to minorities, recruit and retain faculty, and successfully engage in fund-raising," the resolution says.