Louisiana authorities have arrested Todd Finley Shupe, director of Louisiana State University's Wood Durability Lab, and charged him with 98 counts of fraud and misappropriation of funds. Shupe is alleged to have repeatedly forged students' signatures to collect faked travel expenses of more than $16,000, The Advocate reported. Shupe did not respond to an email from Inside Higher Ed about the charges.
Could lack of credit for co-written papers explain the underrepresentation of women in economics? New research by Heather Sarsons, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Harvard University, detailed in The New York Times, suggests that women struggle to earn tenure in the collaboration-heavy field because they aren’t afforded the same recognition for group work as their male co-authors. Sarsons compiled data on the publication records of young economists recruited by top U.S. universities over the last 40 years, according to The Times, and found that while women publish as much as men, they are twice as likely not to earn tenure. The difference persists even when controlling for tenure rates across universities, different subfields, quality of research and other factors. It’s most pronounced when a woman is the only female co-author on a paper.
The one exception? Women who work alone, or solo author everything, have roughly the same chance of receiving tenure as a man. Collaborative work had no negative impact on men’s career success, meanwhile. Sarsons notably completed a parallel analysis of similar data concerning sociologists, in which no gendered effect was observed in relation to group work and earning tenure (though she notes the sample was small). One possible explanation is that economists list their names alphabetically on a co-written paper, while sociologists list the lead author first. Sarsons’s working paper, called “Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work,” is available here.
Today on the Academic Minute, Franco Pestilli, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University, examines how a once-forgotten discovery may bring huge benefits to our health. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Larycia Hawkins, whom Wheaton College in Illinois is trying to fire from its political science faculty, on Wednesday held a press conference to criticize the college. Hawkins attracted attention in December by saying she would wear a hijab during Advent to express solidarity with Muslims in a time of considerable anti-Muslim political rhetoric in the United States. The college, a Christian institution, said Hawkins disqualified herself to teach there by stating that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
At her press conference, surrounded by some of her students and by religious leaders, Hawkins said Wheaton treated her unfairly. "Wheaton College does liberal arts well. Yet, I am left to ponder, how well does Wheaton College treat its employees who dare to challenge students and peers to stand with, not merely for, people outside the Christian fold?" Hawkins said. "How well does Wheaton College care for its neighbor in Syria, in the south side of Chicago and in Soweto? And what if the neighbor on the south side happens to be Muslim? Will we fail to engage her because she is veiled? Will we shun the divine in her because she denies the deity of the one we call son of God and son of man?" Her full statement is here.
The American Political Science Association on Wednesday released a letter to Wheaton officials urging that Hawkins keep her job. “Her suspension appears to be connected to public statements about the status of religion in public life -- statements that cannot be separated from her scholarly focus on religion and politics,” the letter says. “While we cannot presume to know all the facts of her contractual relations with Wheaton College, we find the overlap between her scholarly focus, her public statements and Wheaton’s resulting action particularly troubling. We urge you to continue working to resolve the situation so as to leave no doubt as to the college’s commitment to academic freedom, to freedom of expression and to its stated support for ‘a robust exchange of ideas among faculty and students on the critical issues of the day.’”
Florida Atlantic University announced Tuesday that it has completed the process of firing James Tracy, an associate professor of communication known as a denier of the Sandy Hook mass shooting and other mass shootings. Last month, the university announced its plans to fire Tracy. While the university statement did not detail its reasoning for the dismissal, the university has in the past said that Tracy had a legal right to express his views. But the university's action followed complaints from the parents of one of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, who said Tracy was harassing them. The Sun Sentinel reported that the university is technically firing Tracy for failing to file, for three years, a required "Report of Outside Employment or Professional Activity Form."
The Sun Sentinel also reported that the United Faculty of Florida, the statewide faculty union, is providing legal help for Tracy, who is trying to hold on to his job.