faculty

How to create an inclusive classroom for students with disabilities (opinion)

Teaching Today

Strategies for making learning more accessible for students with disabilities often make the classroom experience better for all students, writes Sara Schley.

Job Tags: 
Ad keywords: 
Editorial Tags: 
Show on Jobs site: 
Image Source: 
iStock/smartboy10
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Newsletter Order: 
4
Diversity Newsletter publication date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Email Teaser: 
Creating an Inclusive Classroom

Illinois Grad Union to Resume Strike Tuesday

Graduate assistants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign went on strike Monday over protracted contract negotiations. The graduate union, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, says members have been working nearly 200 days on an expired collective bargaining agreement. Points of disagreement include pay, health insurance, a childcare provision proposed by the union and tuition waivers. The union wants to maintain contractual assurances that tuition waivers will not be reduced for students in good standing, but Illinois wants to be able to adjust that provision for future students.

Provost Andreas Cangellaris said in a statement that the university is “disappointed” that the union “made the decision to end Sunday’s negotiations and to ask its members to participate in a strike.” Of tuition waivers, Cangellaris said UIUC’s proposal “explicitly guarantees tuition waivers for bargaining unit members, offers clear protections of the value of those waivers throughout a student’s academic career here and was adjusted to remove language about eligibility” the union said was a concern. The Graduate Employees Organization said the university’s final prestrike offer “made no real changes from their previous proposal, illustrating that they’re not interested in bargaining a fair contract that protects tuition waivers.” The Chicago Tribune reported that 53 people withheld their work Monday, 66 classes were moved to different locations to avoid picket lines and 27 classes were canceled.

Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Tips for making the most out of conferences when it comes to your career (opinion)

Category: 

Conferences have the potential to be great for your career, writes Derek Attig, but only if you approach them with focus and intentionality.

Job Tags: 
Ad keywords: 
Editorial Tags: 
Show on Jobs site: 
Image Source: 
iStock/Jdawnlnk
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Newsletter Order: 
3
Advice Newsletter publication date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Email Teaser: 
Making the Most Out of Conferences

Lawrence Krauss Accused of Harassing Women

Several talks by Lawrence Krauss, a professor of physics at Arizona State University and a well-known skeptic, were canceled after BuzzFeed reported on allegations of sexual harassment against him. Krauss, who denies the claims, will not speak at the American Physical Society’s meeting in April, it announced Friday. The society “deplores harassment in all its forms and remains committed to ensuring a respectful and safe environment at its meetings,” it said in a statement. Among other appearances, Krauss’s book talk at Massachusetts Institute of Technology next month has been canceled. The American Humanist Association, which in 2015 made Krauss its Humanist of the Year, also said it won’t ignore the allegations, and that it stands “behind the brave women who speak out against sexual misconduct.”

Arizona State said that it hasn’t received any complaints against Krauss but that it has initiated a review to “discern the facts.” Krauss is accused of groping and making inappropriate comments to students and colleagues going back to 2006, before he worked at Arizona State. He told BuzzFeed that it is “common knowledge that celebrity attracts all forms of negative attention from many different angles. There is no pattern of discontent revealed here that suggests any other explanation.”

Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Going Over Time at Conferences by Gender

Research suggests that women are underrepresented as speakers at conferences, especially in certain fields. But when they are invited to speak, do they take up as much airtime as men? No, suggests a new, preliminary study of speaking times at 11 different scientific conferences from 2016-17. Men went over their allotted share of time in 47 percent of the talks studied, compared to 41 percent of the time for women. The study found that allocated time, career stage and enforcement of timekeeping were the factors most associated with how long speakers talked but that gender and conference time also mattered significantly. Male speakers were most likely to go overtime at large conferences: 73 percent of the time, compared to 49 percent of the time for women at large conference.

Co-author Johanna Hoog, an assistant professor of chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said via email that while career step is still a more important determinant than speaker gender, the study still gets at “the ‘glass ceiling’ that keeps women from becoming leaders in academia.” The online reaction to the paper thus far also demonstrates how “much people hate when speakers come unprepared and go over time” in general, she added.

Ad keywords: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Educators should not be armed in their classrooms (opinion)

Talking about gun violence is not something I enjoy doing. I am a psychology professor, and I specialize in the psychology of religion, human sexuality and certain aspects of personality. Those are domains in which I have some expertise. Those are things I am comfortable talking about. Gun violence is not one of those areas -- not by any stretch of the imagination. But there are times when all of us have to get uncomfortable, and it seems that my time has come.

I’ve only been in academe for about two years -- eight if you count my time as a graduate student and 12 if you count my time as an undergraduate. But in that time, I’ve learned that my life story and experiences are a little bit different from those of most college professors.

I was born and raised in a conservative family in the rural South, and, as you might imagine, that means that I was raised in the heart of gun culture. Growing up, I cannot recall a time when there were not at least 12 guns in the house; at many times there were more. I’ve been shooting since I was extremely young. I was comfortable handling a gun without supervision as a young teenager. At the age of 21, I applied for and received a concealed weapons permit in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For the next few years, I would carry my concealed .357 whenever I felt the need. Although I no longer have that permit and have no desire to ever have such a permit again, to this day I still own a number of guns, as I still shoot for sport at times.

On paper, this life story makes me seem the exactly type of person President Trump is referring to when he suggests that we incentivize some teachers to carry concealed weapons in classrooms. And while Trump has focused on elementary and secondary schools, some state legislators have proposed the same for college professors.

I -- a gun-owning, firearm-proficient white man -- am exactly the target demographic for National Rifle Association campaigns on increased gun ownership. However, it is exactly my experiences with guns that lead me to believe that this is a fundamentally absurd proposition. Indeed, some have argued that even engaging in this conversation is so patently absurd that it distracts from the real debate on appropriate gun control. Yet, even a few minutes on social media reveal that there seem to be millions of Americans that think that arming educators is a viable path forward. As someone with experience in the worlds of gun ownership and education, I am here to say that this is an impossible proposition.

My experiences with gun ownership generally and my past experiences as a concealed weapons permit holder specifically have taught me that carrying a firearm is fundamentally incompatible with being an invested educator. For me personally, carrying a firearm meant being constantly on guard. Carrying a firearm meant being fully aware of the status of that firearm at any given moment, being aware of potential threats in the environment around me and constantly evaluating whether or not I was going to need to use that weapon I had tucked away.

Carrying a gun meant estimating whether each and every person I interacted with was a threat I might need to neutralize. In short, for me -- and for countless other people who have carried or do carry a concealed weapon -- having a gun on your person means viewing the world as a much darker and more threatening place than you ordinarily would.

When students enter my classroom, they are trusting me to care for them, to teach them and to guide them forward. In this regard, they are my responsibility, and I view that responsibility as an almost sacred duty. However, I cannot look at my students as both young minds eager for education and potential threats I might need to eliminate. I cannot teach effectively or educate compassionately when I am on guard and wondering if I might need to take another human life that day. This proposition -- that some teachers need to be equipped and prepared to either educate or execute other human beings -- is plainly impossible.

I’m a junior professor in a Ph.D. program at a research university. On a very practical level, my position is clearly defined by the terms of my contract: 40 percent teaching, 40 percent research, 20 percent service. In many ways, my identity as an educator is reflected in that contract. At this point in time, there is no allocation for what percentage of my time is meant to be spent peacekeeping, enforcing or defending my students with firearms. I was not hired to be an enforcer, and no teacher I know of anywhere has been. If that is to be part of my job, then I would argue that it would have to come from some other aspect of what I do. I mean this in a much deeper way than in just in reference to my contract. Beyond changing the terms of my contract, to be an enforcer or protector would fundamentally change my identity as an educator.

At the end of the day, I don’t know what the solutions to our current crisis are. Banning firearms entirely is likely a fantasy for the foreseeable future and a reality that I don’t particularly want, either, but continuing as we are also seems impossible. In either case, however, asking teachers to take on the responsibility of being both educators and potential executioners is not a viable path forward.

Joshua Grubbs is an assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University.

Editorial Tags: 
Image Source: 
iStock
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

It's unfair to expect graduate students to shoulder all the diversity work (opinion)

Expecting graduate students to engage in diversity work that benefits the university -- without compensation or accountability -- is inherently exploitative, argues Prabhdeep Kehal.

Job Tags: 
Ad keywords: 
Editorial Tags: 
Show on Jobs site: 
Image Size: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Newsletter Order: 
2
Diversity Newsletter publication date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Email Teaser: 
Hitting the Wall

Authors discuss new book on why American professors and universities focus on the U.S.

Authors discuss their new book that suggests American higher education -- especially in the social sciences -- is less globally minded than rhetoric might make you think.

Review of W. J. Rorabaugh, 'Prohibition: A Concise History'

Has anyone ever compared a law to the 18th Amendment and meant it as praise?

That’s the one criminalizing “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes.” Ratified in 1919 and repealed near the close of 1933, Prohibition has become the quintessential example of public policy at its most catastrophically misguided: a perfect storm of the counterproductive and the self-defeating. The images of that period that come to mind tend not to be of sober or law-abiding people, with the possible exception of Eliot Ness. And as W. J. Rorabaugh reminds us in Prohibition: A Concise History (Oxford University Press), Ness was something of a publicity hound, eager to claim credit for ending Al Capone’s career. Minus the spin, Ness and the handpicked agents in his Untouchables squad stood as evidence of how much the illegal liquor trade had corrupted the rest of law enforcement.

Hence the more or less consensus judgment that the whole episode amounted to an unrealistic attempt to legislate morality -- a legacy of Puritanism, perhaps, which H. L. Mencken called “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy.” (Mencken got through Prohibition by learning to brew his own beer.) In the 1960s, Joseph Gusfield offered a more sociological variant of this interpretation in Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement, treating Prohibition as an effort to shore up the waning authority of groups threatened by social change. Besides giving the force of law to the old-fashioned American virtue of abstemiousness, the 18th Amendment delivered a blow to urban immigrant communities such as the Irish and the Germans, who accepted drinking as normal behavior.

Historians have debunked much of the received wisdom about this side of the American experience -- but without the general public noticing, for the most part. On that score, Rorabaugh’s “concise history” might prove more effective in changing minds than any of the monographs he and his colleagues have published.

For one thing, the whole “lingering Puritanism” or “Yankee abstinence” mythology about the roots of Prohibition should have bitten the dust a long time ago. “Drink is in itself a good creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness,” preached Increase Mather, the father of Cotton, “but the abuse of drink is from Satan …” Virtue was in moderation, not abstinence. Rorabaugh includes a telling story about the political education of one of the Founding Fathers:

In 1755, when George Washington ran for the Virginia House of Burgesses, the colonial legislature, he neglected to offer the customary liquor, and the voters declined to elect him. Three years later, Washington provided 155 gallons of rum, punch, wine, hard cider, and beer. He won with 307 votes. Each vote had cost him almost half a gallon of alcohol.

But colonial Americans were quite restrained compared to their descendants in the early republic. “By the 1820s,” Rorabaugh notes, “the typical adult white American male consumed nearly half a pint of whisky a day,” roughly three times today’s rate. And if Americans drank a lot of whiskey, that was in part because there was a lot of whiskey for them to drink: it was more profitable to turn grain into spirits than to transport it. Unlike milk, hard liquor did not spoil quickly, and it was less likely to spread disease than the water available in urban areas.

But heavy consumption took its toll, both on individual health and public order. The rise of a movement to discourage drinking was arguably less a “symbolic crusade” than an attempt to deal with quite concrete problems. And it did so to noticeable effect, with alcohol consumption falling 50 percent between 1825 and 1850. The author points out that this figure represents not reduced drinking per capita so much as an increase in the number of people who rejected alcohol entirely.

And so a kind of virtuous circle began to turn. Teetotaling became a middle-class norm: a condition of employment, marriageability and access to credit. Local governments, “strongly supported by dry forces,” began to provide clean drinking water to city dwellers. Coffee became the beverage of choice -- fuel for the social mobility of the hardworking.

The other side of this emerging value system was that the rest of the population consumed as much alcohol as much as it ever did. And the expanding economy of a growing country created a new business model as drinkers developed a taste for beer: “Major breweries established tied-house saloons,” writes Rorabaugh; “that is, the brewers owned or financially controlled the saloons, and each saloon-keeper agreed to sell only one brand of beer. The brewer provided the building, furniture, fixtures, and inventory in return for monthly rent … A national brewer might locate four or six saloons on a single block to capture foot traffic and keep out rivals.”

Distillers did the same for their product. To turn a profit, saloon keepers sometimes ran sidelines in gambling and prostitution. Another option (not mutually exclusive by any means) was for the saloon to become a voting place allied to a local political machine. One clergyman characterized saloons as “the most fiendish, corrupt, and hell-soaked institution that ever crawled out of the slime of the eternal pit,” which seems a little overblown, though not an entirely groundless assessment by any means.

If the temperance advocates of the first half of the 19th century tried to strengthen the moral fiber of the individual citizen against the temptations of alcohol, the Prohibition movement regarded drinking as only part of the problem. Prohibitionists were up against a confluence of liquor manufacturers, corrupt politicians and criminal predators. Passing laws against the sale or use of alcoholic drinks on the local or state level was one approach -- an effective one, it seemed for a while, especially in rural areas. But improved transportation and interstate commerce undermined the local option. Only on a national scale could the scourge be defeated.

And not even then, suffice it to say. Rorabaugh is no sympathizer for the Prohibitionist cause, but he seems very evenhanded in presenting why and how its advocates thought and acted as they did. Insofar as any figure represents the Prohibitionist movement in the American popular memory, it’s probably Carrie Nation -- an enraged woman taking her ax to a bar to smash the bottles and furniture. She was hardly typical, however, and Rorabaugh says she was an embarrassment to others in the movement. On the other hand, she also re-enacted her “hatchetations” on Broadway in sellout performances, suggesting she understood a thing or two about cultivating the public’s attention.

But what carried the movement to victory was the far more subtle role of a lawyer from Ohio named Wayne Wheeler, head of the Anti-Saloon League. “Wheeler insisted that prohibition not become a partisan issue,” Rorabaugh says. “If one party went wet, the wet party might eventually gain power and destroy prohibition. To prevent that result, dry majorities were needed in both parties.”

Under his leadership, the ASL shepherded the 18th Amendment through Congress and ratification during World War I -- probably the only time it could have passed, Rorabaugh suggests. The movement’s victory was also its defeat: however much credit it’s granted for laudable intentions, Prohibition had no effect at all.

Right? Well, again, the facts prove a little more complex than that. “An American born in 1900 could not drink legally until the age of 33,” the author points out, “past the age when use normally peaks. Consumption drops with each decade of adult life, and by age sixty-five a majority of people are abstainers.” Per capita consumption was reduced by about a third following repeal, and only returned to pre-Prohibition levels in the late 1970s. That hardly means the effort was a good idea, but it had an effect -- even, to some degree, the effect intended.

Editorial Tags: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Historians Pledge Action on Harassment

In a new report to members of the American Historical Association, Mary Beth Norton, AHA president, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University, pledged action on sexual harassment -- including developing a procedure that could expel offenders from AHA events. While the association “has long been on record as decrying sexual harassment in employment,” Norton said, that “statement clearly needs expanding and updating.”

Norton said leaders within the association have been discussing the matter since the fall and recently decided to survey members about their experiences with harassment at past conventions. The association also held a session on harassment within the field at its annual meeting in January, during which members requested that AHA develop “best practices” to guide historians and their employers. It has therefore become clear, Norton said, that “rather than one statement, the AHA needed to adopt several: one on sexual harassment, setting forth principles and complaint procedures for our conventions and other meetings we organized, and others on such topics as hiring and mentoring, outlining principles and best practices in contexts over which we have no direct control.”

Members of AHA’s governing council have agreed on the basic outlines of a new procedure to promote appropriate behavior at association events, Norton said, and attendees should be required to consent to related guidelines during registration. An ombuds team also has been created to receive complaints about harassment at meetings. Possible sanctions against offenders include expulsion from the event. The statements and new procedure for addressing harassment will be drafted by an AHA Council committee. “We anticipate approval by the Council in June and full implementation at the 2019 AHA annual meeting in Chicago,” Norton said. 

Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - faculty
Back to Top