In today’s Academic Minute, Christopher Nomura of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry explains the discovery of a new weapon in the battle against bacteria. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Faculty members at Transylvania University have voted, 68 to 7, no confidence in President Owen Williams, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Faculty members object to the president's refusal to grant tenure to two faculty members who had passed reviews and who, faculty leaders said, had performed the work they had been told would assure tenure. Professors also criticized the president's management style. Trustees responded with a unanimous vote expressing confidence in Williams.
In today’s Academic Minute, Andrew Marsh of the University of Warwick reveals how nanodiamonds could help keep your energy costs down and your laundry sparking white. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Pro-Israel students at McGill University are protesting a plan to give an honorary degree on Thursday to Judith Butler, co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley, The Montreal Gazette reported. Butler is a major figure in literary and feminist scholarship, but she is controversial because her activism for the Palestinian cause extends to support of the movement to boycott Israel, a movement that critics see as equivalent to calling for the destruction of Israel. Ilana Donohue, co-president of McGill Students for Israel, said: "She’s an accomplished scholar, but her views on Israel would be quite disturbing to many students. She doesn’t believe in a Jewish state and we want other schools to think twice before giving her awards because it offends students." Christopher Manfredi, dean of arts at McGill, said Butler is being honored for her scholarship, and that the university supports freedom of expression even if "comments are controversial or considered objectionable by some."
Faculty leaders at Marshall University are raising questions about athletic spending, particularly in light of budget cuts to academic programs, The Herald-Dispatch reported. Faculty members say that they have been promised for years that athletics would become self-supporting, but that it remains a serious drain on funds. Last year, the athletics budget was nearly $25 million, and 46 percent of that was financed through student fees or direct university support. Professors are asking why those funds shouldn't be used to minimize academic cuts. Pamela Mulder, a psychology professor, told the newspaper that athletics was helping "very few people and not remotely connected to the physical well-being of our overall student body." David Steele, Marshall's associate athletics director, said that the university spends less on athletics than many of its peers. He added: "We're part of the institution, and we have to work together to make it work."
Ninety-two percent of tenured faculty members at Green River Community College have voted no confidence in President Eileen Ely, The Seattle Times reported. The faculty members criticized an atmosphere that they say has cut them out of decision-making and numerous unilateral changes that have led to, among other things, significant turnover among senior officials at the college. Ely told the Times that she disagreed with the faculty statement, but valued the input of professors and hoped to have a "courageous conversation" with those who organized the vote. Faculty leaders said that they did not ask those without tenure to vote because they did not want to endanger their job security.