New data on what humanities majors earn

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Study agrees with conventional wisdom that they earn less majors in other fields, but challenges idea that they gain little (financially) from their degrees.

Calls to Oust DePaul Dean Implicated in Torture Report

Some Chicago-area faculty members and students continued their efforts to get DePaul University to investigate the past of its dean of the College of Science and Health, based on allegations that he -- as past president of the American Psychological Association -- may have supported torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. More than 600 people have signed a petition calling for the ouster of Gerald Koocher as dean, and late last week, a group of activists held an on-campus news conference expressing their continued concerns.

“They had one goal in mind, and that was to make sure that psychologists could continue in Guantanamo,” Frank Summers, a professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University, said at the conference. M. Cherif Bassiouni, a professor emeritus of law at DePaul, urged the university to independently investigate whether Koocher violated its code of ethics, saying that “an academic institution like DePaul based on its Vincentian values cannot allow for a member of its faculty be involved in such situations.”

The allegations against Koocher come from a recent independent review by the APA, which found that the association seemed to want to please the Pentagon rather than stick up for ethical standards -- and that the activities of key leaders of the association buttressed the argument for using interrogation techniques many consider to be torture. The report mentions Koocher by name numerous times but does not conclude that he personally supported torture of detainees. It does, however, conclude that APA leaders had reason to suspect that it had occurred.

DePaul did not return requests for comment. In July, upon release of the report, Koocher and another past president of the APA wrote a lengthy public response denying participation in or support of torture. “We want to state clearly and unambiguously: we do not now and never have supported the use of cruel, degrading or inhumane treatment of prisoners or detainees,” they said. “We absolutely reject the notion that any ethical justification for torture exists, and confirm that any such behaviors never have been ethically acceptable. … We never colluded with government agencies or the military to craft APA policies in order to justify their goals or the illegal ‘enhanced interrogation’ practices promoted by the administration of President George W. Bush.”

The APA apologized for its actions upon the report’s release, and pledged a series of reforms.

This isn't the first time an academic psychologist’s career has been challenged by past involvement in detainee interrogation policies. Retired U.S. Army Col. Larry James’s 2013 bid to take a new administrative post at the University of Missouri at Columbia died after students protested his work at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at Guantanamo. James, however, said he helped fix a broken a broken system -- much of which is recounted in his book, Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib.

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Barnard College Adjuncts Approve Union Bid

Non-tenure-track instructors at Barnard College voted to form a union affiliated with United Auto Workers, they announced Friday. Some 207 faculty members were eligible to vote in the election; of those who voted, 114 were in favor and 11 were opposed. “We are encouraged by the college’s commitment to neutrality and look forward to negotiating long overdue improvements in our first contract,” Siobhan Burke, an instructor of dance, said in an announcement.

Barnard’s administration said in a statement, “We look forward to working productively with the union and thank all of our faculty for their efforts each and every day to provide the best-quality education to our students.”

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Trump: Armed Instructors Would Have Helped Umpqua

Donald Trump, a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said the deaths at Umpqua Community College on Thursday would have been minimized had instructors been armed, CNN reported. "By the way, it was a gun-free zone," he said at a campaign event in Tennessee. "Let me tell you, if you had a couple teachers with guns in that room, you would have been a hell of a lot better off."

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Harvard Professor Didn't Disclose Corporate Tie

Calestous Juma, a Harvard University professor who is an international development expert, wrote a policy paper last year in support of genetically modified organisms without disclosing the role of Monsanto in the work, The Boston Globe reported. Emails obtained by the Globe show that that Monsanto suggested the topic of the paper, connected Juma with a publicist who promoted the paper and suggested the headline for the work. Juma noted that he had not been paid by Monsanto, and said he didn't intend to do anything wrong but may have used "bad judgment."

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Layoffs at EDMC's Art Institute Campuses

Education Management Corporation has laid off 115 faculty and staff members at its Art Institute campuses, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The for-profit chain has had slumping revenue and enrollments. In May it announced the closure of 15 of the 52 Art Institute locations. Then, in June, EDMC laid off 300 employees.

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Academic Minute: Economics in Sports

In today's Academic Minute, Jonathan Willner, professor of economics at Oklahoma City University, describes his research into the economics of sports. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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Temple U Adjuncts May Set Date for Joint Union Election

Temple University adjuncts, full-time faculty, librarians and academic professionals have enough in common that they can hold an election to form a joint union, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board said this week. No election date has been set, but the Temple Association of University Professionals said the decision was another step toward forming a bigger, more inclusive union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. If successful, the union drive would effectively merge 1,300 adjunct faculty into a union currently representing some 1,300 tenured and non-tenure-track full-time faculty. Current union members will not be able to vote.

“Adjuncts deserve a voice and a seat at the table,” Art Hochner, an associate professor of human resource management at Temple and union president, said in an announcement. “Not only do we have a legal community of interest, but we also have many common interests: our students’ education, the advancement of knowledge, Temple’s historic mission and our material well-being.”

Temple said in a statement that it is “unwise for [the union] to be in a position to favor the interests of one group over another. Adjunct and full-time faculty are similar in some ways, but there are also important differences in responsibility and priority over tenure, workload, pay and contracts. For these reasons, merging adjunct faculty into [the union] does not make sense for full-time or adjunct faculty.”

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Essay on making the most of a relationship with a dissertation adviser

Sonja K. Foss and William Waters provide guidance on how to create the best relationship with your dissertation adviser.

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Reports raise concerns about efforts to suppress pro-Palestinian advocacy on campuses

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Two new reports raise concerns about attempts “to silence advocacy for Palestinian rights” on campuses.


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