faculty

Collaboration Aims to Produce Latino Humanities Professors

A group of research universities will work with three Hispanic-serving universities on a project aimed at increasing the number of Latino professors in humanities fields, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and led by the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

The collaboration, announced by the Penn center Thursday, aims to prepare 90 students from Florida International University, the University of Texas at El Paso and California State University Northridge to enter doctoral programs at one of five predominantly white universities within five years. The universities are: New York and Northwestern Universities, the Universities of California at Berkeley and at Davis, and Penn.

Mellon will provide $5.1 million for the program, Pathways to the Professoriate.

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Common mistakes academic job seekers make (essay)

What are the things academic job seekers definitely should not do? Melissa Dennihy provides a list.

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Controversial U of Missouri Professor Suspended

The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced late Wednesday that it was suspending Melissa Click, who teaches communications at the university's flagship campus in Columbia. Click was recently charged with misdemeanor assault in relation to her videotaped blocking of a student journalist during last fall's campus protests. She has apologized for the action, but many Republican legislators have called for her dismissal. Faculty members, while not defending her actions during the protests, have said she should not be fired.

The statement from the university board said: "The Board of Curators directs the general counsel, or outside counsel selected by general counsel, to immediately conduct an investigation and collaborate with the city attorney and promptly report back to the board so it may determine whether additional discipline is appropriate."

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Loyola U Chicago Adjuncts Form Union

Part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty members teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University in Chicago voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, 142 to 82, they announced Wednesday. (Some 326 instructors were eligible to vote, for a turnout of about 69 percent.) In a statement, the university thanked instructors for their participation in the process and said it looked forward to “continuing the conversation and the negotiations with SEIU about these faculty in the coming year.”

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Nobel Laureate Won't Allow Guns in Class, Despite Law

One of the most famous professors at the University of Texas at Austin said this week that he plans to ban guns from his classroom, despite a new state law that will allow concealed weapons across campus, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The new law has already attracted lots of faculty opposition, but the pledge from Steven Weinberg, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in physics and the Jack S. Josey-Welch Foundation Chair in Science and Regental Professor at Austin, gives the cause new weight. That's in part because critics of the law have said it could make it harder for Texas institutions to recruit and retain top professors. “I will put it into my syllabus that the class is not open to students carrying guns,” Weinberg said at a Faculty Council meeting, drawing sustained applause. “I may wind up in court. I’m willing to accept that possibility.”

At the meeting, the council voted to approve five resolutions about the new campus carry law, including one calling for classrooms to be gun-free. Under the law -- set to take effect at public universities this summer and community colleges in 2017 -- people may now take concealed weapons into campus buildings (an earlier law permitted guns on campus but not explicitly inside classrooms or other indoor spaces). Campus presidents are permitted to establish guidelines related to specific safety concerns, but they can’t prohibit weapons outright. Gregory L. Fenves, Austin’s president, is expected to announce his guidelines next month.

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Indigenous professor denied tenure claims narrow focus on peer-reviewed publications is discriminatory

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A professor of indigenous ancestry who lost a tenure bid due to a lack of peer-reviewed publications is claiming the university was biased in discounting her "nontraditional" scholarship.

Tips for managing controversies that result from research (essay)

What should you do if your research lands you in controversy? M. V. Lee Badgett offers advice.

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Mizzou Professor Who Blocked Journalist Is Charged

Melissa A. Click, who was roundly criticized after she blocked a student journalist and called for "muscle" to block others at a protest at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has been charged with misdemeanor assault, The New York Times reported. Click teaches communications at the university. She did not respond to a request for comment. She has previously apologized for her actions but said they were motivated by a desire to help the minority students who were protesting.

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Berkeley Math Lecturer Files for Wrongful Termination

A popular lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley has filed a wrongful termination complaint against the university's board after openly criticizing his department's policies.

In the complaint, a self-identified mathematics lecturer accuses Berkeley of opting, improperly, not to renew his appointment after, among other things, he wrote an open letter critical of the math department. “I believe my employer discriminated and retaliated against me on the basis of my disability, medical leave and engagement in protected activities,” the complaint reads in part.

Though the lecturer’s name was redacted from a copy of the complaint provided to Inside Higher Ed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Alexander Coward wrote such a letter, in which he also revealed he had been hospitalized for depression, and then expanded on it in an October blog post. In the post, Coward, who is widely loved by students, asserts that he wasn’t reappointed because the department was uncomfortable with his teaching style and suppressed evidence of its success.

Both Coward and the university, whose officials said they had not yet seen the complaint, declined to comment. California's fair employment department accepted the complaint and officially granted a right to sue notice.

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Pentagon Wants Psychologists to Lift Interrogation Ban

The Pentagon has asked the American Psychological Association to reconsider a ban it enacted last year on psychologists participating in national security investigations, such as those at Guantánamo Bay, The New York Times reported. The ban was adopted after many psychology professors and practicing psychologists expressed outrage over some of their colleagues helping the military in ways many viewed as unethical. The APA said it would meet soon with the Pentagon to discuss its policies. Military officials have said they don't object to the association adopting ethical standards, but urged the group to avoid a "blanket prohibition" on helping with national security interrogations.

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