William Paterson University in New Jersey must pay more than $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a former professor of secondary and middle school education who says she was harassed and discriminated against on the basis of race and religion, a jury decided last week. Althea Hulton-Lindsay, former chair of her department, alleged various forms of mistreatment and said she was stripped of her responsibilities and saw her proposals rejected by Candace Burns, dean of the College of Education, because she is black and a born-again Christian, NorthJersey.com reported. For example, Hulton-Lindsay said, Burns once called campus security because she and colleague were praying at the colleague’s desk.
Hulton-Lindsay said that she filed several harassment complaints with William Paterson, but that they were never investigated and that she was eventually removed as department chair in 2012. The professor also alleged retaliation, saying that the action came a week after she filed a complaint, but the jury rejected that claim. Noreen Kemether, a deputy state attorney general who represented William Paterson during the trial, said that Hulton-Lindsay was not discriminated against and rather removed from her leadership role because she failed to work cooperatively with Burns and other colleagues.
Hampden-Sydney College announced on its Facebook page that General Jerry Boykin (at right) has accepted a contract for the next year to teach in the college's military leadership and national security program. The announcement appeared routine, but it followed General Boykin announcing on Facebook that his contract wasn't going to be renewed because of his statements against the Obama administration's policies to require schools and colleges to let transgender students use bathrooms that are consistent with their gender identity. The college issued a statement that this had never been the case, and that the general -- as an adjunct -- was hired from year to year. Further, the college said that it had been looking for "rotating" people to bring a range of expertise to the program, and that this had been the motivation to consider other candidates for the position.
General Boykin still insists he initially lost the contract due to his views on transgender issues. "The PC police tried to silence my voice," he wrote on Facebook. "I stood on my principles and others joined me and we pushed back the tide. Let your heart hold fast in the knowledge that no matter how much they attempt to control the conversation: they are not in the majority."
The University of Melbourne, in Australia, is currently restricting three mathematics faculty jobs to female applicants, ABC Australia reported. Officials said mathematics departments struggle to attract female applicants. Australian law permits discrimination (in this case against male applicants) designed to promote equal opportunity.
Some 30 percent of female medical academics have experienced sexual harassment on the job, compared to 4 percent of their male counterparts, according to a new research letter in TheJournal of the American Medical Association. A majority (59 percent) of women who’d experienced harassment said it hurt their confidence in themselves as professionals, and 47 percent said the experiences limited their career advancement.
The study, led by Reshma Jagsi, associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan, is based on survey responses from 1,066 recent recipients of career development awards from the National Institutes of Health regarding their career and personal experiences. Women were much more likely to than men to report both perceptions of and experiences with gender bias in their careers. Common harassment experiences include sexist remarks or behavior and unwanted sexual advances, while a much smaller proportion of respondents reported experiences with bribery or threats to engage in sexual behavior or coercive advances.
The study notes that a similar 1995 survey found strikingly similar results, indicating more reform is needed. ”Although a lower proportion reported these experiences [sexual harassment] than in a 1995 sample, the difference appears large given that the women [in this new survey] began their careers after the proportion of female medical students exceeded 40 percent," it says. "Recognizing sexual harassment is important because perceptions that such experiences are rare may, ironically, increase stigmatization and discourage reporting. Efforts to mitigate the effect of unconscious bias in the workplace and eliminate more overtly inappropriate behaviors are needed."
Far too many faculty members end up feeling anxious that they've accomplished -- and relaxed -- much less than they had hoped over the summer months, write Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist, who offer tips on how to avoid that.