A request to write letters evaluating other faculty for tenure and promotion means that other people think you are qualified to make this important assessment. It can also be terrifying, write Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist.
Charles J. Ogletree Jr., a prominent law professor at Harvard University and civil rights activist, is going public with the diagnosis that he has Alzheimer’s disease, The Boston Globe reported. He has not noticed any symptoms, and the disease was diagnosed during a routine physical. He said he isn't planning to slow down, but instead to spread awareness of the disease, especially among people from minority groups, who are more likely than others to develop Alzheimer’s. “I want to be a spokesperson,” Ogletree told the Globe. “I want to tell people don’t be afraid of it.”
A new group, Historians Against Trump, announced itself Monday with an open letter explaining its mission. The group is not endorsing anyone or affiliated with a party but plans to take steps against the candidacy of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
"Today, we are faced with a moral test. As historians, we recognize both the ominous precedents for Donald J. Trump’s candidacy and the exceptional challenge it poses to civil society. Historians of different specialties, eras and regions understand the enduring appeal of demagogues, the promise and peril of populism, and the political uses of bigotry and scapegoating," the letter says. "Historians understand the impact these phenomena have upon society’s most vulnerable and upon a nation’s conscience. The lessons of history compel us to speak out against a movement rooted in fear and authoritarianism. The lessons of history compel us to speak out against Trump."
A Republican state senator is threatening to punish the University of Wisconsin at Madison through the budget process because a lecturer assigned a reading that involves the choices gay men make about sex partners and contains a reference to oral sex between gay men, the Associated Press reported. Steve Nass, the legislator, is vice chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. He sent the reading to Madison administrators and to members of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. “Since students at UW Madison are required to read this offensive material it is only appropriate that as leaders of the system you also read this offensive essay and respond with your thoughts on its educational value,” Nass wrote. “Is this what the people of Wisconsin should expect when paying taxes and tuition to support the UW System?”
The reading is not generally required of Madison students, but only of those in one sociology course, Problems of American Racial and Ethnic Minorities, which deals in part with issues of sexuality and racism, and in which students are warned in advance that some material may make them uncomfortable. Pamela Oliver, chair of the sociology department, issued a statement defending the lecturer's course. “Taken within the context of the course, the material appropriately pushes boundaries in order to spark discussion,” she wrote. “Among adult college students, analyzing how people talk about sexuality is considered appropriate material.”