faculty

Scores of full-time, non-tenure-track instructors were promoted last year under a recognition and reward system

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Scores of full-time, non-tenure-track instructors were promoted last year under a recognition and reward system at Penn State.

Princeton Fires Professor for Violating Consensual Relationship Policy

Princeton University terminated Sergio Verdu, former Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering, for violating a policy prohibiting sexual relationships between professors and students they supervise or evaluate, NJ.com reported. Verdu was previously disciplined, via additional sexual harassment training, for misconduct in 2017, after a graduate student said he invited her over to his home to watch movies involving sex and then touched her on her upper thigh and stomach. Verdu denied those allegations. But his critics, including the graduate student involved, said he deserved more punishment. 

Princeton said in a statement that its Board of Trustees dismissed Verdu from the faculty, as "recommended by the president and the provost after an investigation established that Dr. Verdu violated the university’s policy prohibiting consensual relations with students, and its policy requiring honesty and cooperation in university matters." A faculty committee reportedly reviewed his case and said termination could be reasonable.

 

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Women Ask Fewer Questions Than Men

Women are 2.5 times less likely than men to ask questions in departmental academic seminars, based on a new study of 250 talks at 35 institutions in 10 countries. The study also considered survey responses from some 600 academics across fields in 20 countries. The surveys indicate that male and female respondents sometimes don’t ask questions when they want to ask them. But, unlike men, women said they refrained due to internal versus external factors, such as “not feeling clever enough” or “couldn't work up the nerve.”

In the observational study, women tended to ask more questions when more questions were asked: When 15 questions were asked in all, beyond the median of six, there was 8 percent increase in the proportion of questions asked by women. When the first question in a seminar was asked by a man, the proportion of subsequent questions asked by women decreased by 6 percent, according to the study.

"While calling on people in the order that they raise their hands may seem fair, it may inadvertently result in fewer women asking questions because they might need more time to formulate questions and work up the nerve," co-author Alyssa Croft, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, said in a statement. Among other possible interventions, the study recommends that departments take a small break between talks and question-and-answer periods so that women have time to formulate their questions. “Women’s Visibility in Academic Seminars: Women Ask Fewer Questions than Men” was published in PLOS One.

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Tennessee Professor Resigns in 'Lieu of Termination'

Henri Grissino-Mayer, a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, resigned after the institution received a series of reports about inappropriate conduct and an “intimate relationship” with a student, according to his personnel file, Knox News reported. The university received an initial complaint last month and is currently investigating Grissino-Mayer, who had been previously been on administrative leave. 

"These reports describe a pattern of abusing his position and power as a tenured full professor with an active research program, a well-funded laboratory … and a steady pipeline of high-achieving graduate students," David Manderscheid, provost, reportedly wrote in an email to several faculty members about Grissino-Mayer. “[His] conduct has been so egregious, many of us have struggled with whether the university should accept his resignation.” But after careful review of the “competing concerns,” he said, “I concluded that the most compelling interests are those of his current and former students.” That means forgoing termination proceedings that would subject students to cross-examination or deposition, Manderscheid said. 

Grissino-Mayer's departure will be listed as "resignation in lieu of termination," and he is not eligible for tenure, professor emeritus status, retiree privileges or rehire at Tennessee, according to Knox News. He is also barred from campus and not allowed to contact students. Tennessee prohibits professor-student relationships when the professor has an evaluative authority over a student and otherwise discourages such relationships. Grissino-Mayer, who reportedly faced controversy in 2011 over his marriage to a former student, did not respond to a request for comment. A university spokesperson said he will receive his regular pay through his last day, earlier this month, and will receive the retirement benefits he has accrued.

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A professor remembers her struggles paying for college (opinion)

Those of us in education who work with high school students and their parents need to do more to help with the financial side of college, argues Terri E. Givens.

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Learning engineers pose challenges and opportunities for improving digital learning

What is a learning engineer, and how is it different from other roles?

Duke says it will stop asking job applicants to disclose past criminal histories

University says it will stop asking job applicants to disclose their past criminal convictions and will wait to do background checks until an applicant has been approved for hire.

How to network effectively within your own institution (opinion)

How can you network most effectively within your own institution? Stephen J. Aguilar provides advice.

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How to remain resilient during your job search (opinion)

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Christine Kelly offers lessons to help you process negativity and come through as a confident candidate.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018
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Resiliency and Your Job Search

Jordan Peterson dishes out what he sees as harsh truths, but can he take them in return?

Jordan Peterson dishes out what he sees as harsh truths, but can he take them in return? Critics see hypocrisy and even misogyny in his threats to sue them for defamation.

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