Colgate U. Returns Aboriginal Art to Australia

Colgate University will today formally transfer ownership of more than 100 pieces of art to Curtin University, in Australia, The New York Times reported. The collection consists of paintings and drawings by Aboriginal children who were living in a settlement camp in Australia in the 1940s and 1950s. The art is considered by experts to be "so distinctive and so technically sophisticated that it received considerable acclaim when it toured Europe in the 1950s," the Times reported. The collection came to Colgate when an alumnus donated it in 1966, but most of the art has been out of view. Colgate officials said that they saw the transfer as a just tribute to the artists and a way to build ties to an Australian university.


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Outrage Over Fraternity at Willamette U.

Many faculty members and students are expressing outrage at the Sigma Chi fraternity at Willamette University after a blog posted information about what fraternity brothers were posting on what they thought was a private Facebook page, The Statesman Journal reported. One post called for a female administrator to be kicked in the genitals. Another post discussed the need to "beat" a female student. Another said that "women's rights are the biggest joke in the U.S." On Monday, some students protested, while local police responded to reports of a car's tire being slashed on the campus. Stephen Thorsett, the president, sent an e-mail to the campus denouncing the tire slashing and the Facebook posts.


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Essay on learning from rejected grant applications

Russell Olwell describes how to use rejection to improve your grant-writing skills.

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Study finds black and Latino grad students borrow more to earn Ph.D.s

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Study finds that black and Latino students borrow more than others do to earn doctorates in STEM and social science fields.

Ohio public institutions consider creating adjunct referral system

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As colleges cut hours of part-time instructors, would recommending favorites to nearby institutions be a good reward for them -- or would it simply give the institutions more power over non-tenure-track faculty?

Academic Minute: Spirituality and Political Ideology

In today’s Academic Minute, Jacob Hirsh of the University of Toronto explores the connection between a person’s spirituality and political ideology. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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Georgetown U. Adjunct Professors Vote to Unionize

Adjunct faculty members at Georgetown University voted late last week to unionize, becoming the third major group in the Washington area to join a burgeoning citywide organizing effort by the Service Employees International Union. Nearly three-quarters of the eligible faculty members who voted supported the union. Georgetown officials said they would support the decision of the adjunct faculty members to unionize.

Adjuncts at George Washington and American Universities are already part of the citywide bargaining unit, SEIU Local 500.


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Academic Minute: Autism Studies and Wearable Technology

In today’s Academic Minute, Matthew Goodwin of Northeastern University reveals how wearable technology is improving the quality of autism studies. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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NEA Prepares New Statement on Digital Learning

The board of the National Education Association, which represents college faculty members in addition to elementary and secondary school teachers, on Friday approved a new statement on digital learning that is likely to be adopted as official policy for the union by its Representative Assembly in July. The policy, which applies to both K-12 and higher education:

  • Endorses "hybrid" teaching -- involving both technology and teachers -- as the best approach. "Optimal learning environments should neither be totally technology free, nor should they be totally online and devoid of educator interaction," the statement says.
  • Calls for teachers to be centrally involved in decisions about how to use technology in classrooms.
  • Says that "education employees should own the copyright to materials that they create in the course of their employment. There should be an appropriate 'teacher’s exception' to the 'works made for hire' doctrine, pursuant to which works created by education employees in the course of their employment are owned by the employee. This exception should reflect the unique practices and traditions of academia."
  • Urges policy makers to consider the extent to which increased reliance on technology for learning may exacerbate inequities in the education system.


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Controversial President to Step Down at Saint Louis U.

The Rev. Lawrence Biondi announced Saturday that he will step down as president of Saint Louis University once a new president is selected. Father Biondi has served as president for 25 years, but in the last year has been the subject of no confidence votes and considerable criticism from students and faculty members who have said he has ignored their concerns, and who have questioned his management decisions. Father Biondi and the board had until Saturday indicated no intent to change course. The university's announcement did not reference the recent controversies.


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