Adjunct faculty members at Arcadia University voted to form a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, they announced Thursday. Elsewhere in Philadelphia, AFT represents adjuncts at Temple University. A spokesperson for Arcadia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Faculty members at Fordham University voted no confidence this week in Father Joseph M. McShane, president, over what they’ve called “draconian” proposed cuts to their health care benefits. Other concerns include the university’s alleged refusal to discuss pay raises until the faculty accepts changes to their health care, the state of shared governance and the university’s opposition to a proposed part-time faculty union affiliated with Service Employees International Union. Some 488 of 611 eligible faculty members participated, with 431 voting no confidence.
Fordham’s Board of Trustees promptly passed a resolution expressing full confidence in McShane. In a separate statement, the board took responsibility for some of the issues at play, saying it had directed the administration to reduce the rate of increase in health-insurance costs and the size of faculty salary increases. Faculty members have received a salary increase every year of McShane’s tenure, it said, “and at his insistence.”
Friends and colleagues of Will H. Moore, a professor of political science at Arizona State University, were shocked and saddened Wednesday to read an apparent suicide note posted to his personal blog. A university spokesperson confirmed late Wednesday that Moore had taken his life that morning.
“Assuming I did not botch the task, by the time this posts I will have been dead via suicide for several hours. Nope, that’s not a setup to a joke,” Moore wrote. “Why would someone who is healthy, employed, has every outside appearance of success and so on, take their own life? In my case the answer is simple enough: I was done, but my body wasn’t. But that answer isn’t satisfying, so, for those who are aggrieved, upset, saddened, etc., let me do my best to try to explain.”
Moore said that he’d enjoyed every “conceivable advantage a human might hope for” and “lived a rich, rewarding life of which I am, I confess, quite proud.” Yet he described never quite growing out of his “misfit” childhood identity and feeling grave discomfort with everyday social interactions. “Far too often I angered, insulted, offended and otherwise upset people, without expecting or intending to,” he wrote, elsewhere noting that he was on the autism spectrum. “I rarely felt that I was successful explaining my ideas, perceptions, understandings to others.”
Anticipating arguments that he had “so much to live for,” Moore wrote that he had many hobbies, from reading novels to hiking. They all provided limited pleasure, however, in that “they are consumption,” he said. And to “feel good about myself -- to be able to look myself in the mirror -- I needed to produce. I learned long ago that producing something I found useful/valuable did not mean anyone else would see it as useful/valuable. One must market it: show others its use/value. And that may seem straightforward, but it isn’t.”
Moore said he’d first considered suicide when he was a teenager, but quickly learned that it was “taboo” and therefore not to be discussed. His suicidal thoughts retreated when he had children, but they eventually returned. Saying that “perhaps some of you who are hurting will find something useful here,” Moore thanked “each and every one of you who interacted with me, in person and/or virtually, and especially those who I interacted with frequently and came to know.” He ultimately implored readers to “Go hug somebody!”
Arizona State in a statement sent “deepest and heartfelt condolences” to Moore’s family, describing him as a “respected, valued member of our faculty, who was engaged in multiple endeavors within and outside the university, and was beloved by his students.” Moore’s “relentless pursuit of knowledge in the field of politics and human rights contributed to volumes of insightful research to help us better understand the world around us,” it said. “The knowledge and passion Will imparted on his students, colleagues and many others is one of his legacies and will live on for decades to come.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential 24-7 service that can provide people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information and local resources. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Members of Rider University's American Association of University Professors chapter have voted no confidence in President Gregory Dell'Omo.
Faculty members are unhappy with what they called “a series of rash actions” by Dell'Omo shortly after he started at the university in 2015, as well as a decade of financial management that predates his tenure. They also criticized his leadership style as autocratic and ignoring faculty input.
Dell'Omo has been under fire for a controversial decision to have the university try to sell Westminster Choir College and rocky contract negotiations with the faculty union. He has been a controversial figure at Rider nearly since the moment he was hired, as he attempted to cut majors and jobs shortly after taking over -- although the faculty union agreed to a deal to stave off layoffs in exchange for a wage freeze and other concessions.
The vote asks Dell'Omo to act to regain faculty members' confidence. It is the first time the AAUP at Rider, which represents 500 full- and part-time faculty members and other university employees, has voted no confidence. The vote passed with 75 percent in favor.
The National Science Board, the policy arm of the National Science Foundation, Wednesday released an interactive infographic designed to help educators, students, policy makers and business leaders understand career opportunities for those with doctorates in science, engineering and health fields. The graphic allows users to see the number of Ph.D.s working in 26 fields within academe, government and industry, and how career paths change over time. Demographic breakdowns include those by gender and ethnicity. Data on job duties and satisfaction also are available.
Geraldine Richmond, Presidential Chair of Science and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon and chair of the board’s National Science and Engineering Policy Committee, said during a news conference that she and her colleagues believe the nation benefits from having trained scientists working in all sectors of the economy, and that the graphic will hopefully shed light on the “wide variety of career paths” scientists may pursue. Data are taken from the National Survey of Doctorate Recipients, 1993 to 2013. Key findings include that more than half of science, engineering and health doctorates are employed outside academe within 10-14 years of graduating -- and that’s been true for more than 20 years. Some 90 percent of respondents report job satisfaction 15 years or more after getting their Ph.D.s. The majority of recent doctoral graduates engage in research and development, regardless of employment sector, while their more senior counterparts engage in other activities, such as management.
Lars Maischak, the untenured lecturer in history at California State University, Fresno, who is under investigation by the Secret Service and his institution for tweeting that President Trump “must hang,” will take what the university described as a voluntary leave of absence for the rest of the semester, effective immediately. “The agreement for the paid leave was reached in accordance with provisions in the collective bargaining agreement with the California Faculty Association, the union that represents all faculty,” the university said in a statement. “During his leave of absence, Maischak will no longer have a teaching role but will be conducting research off campus.” Maischak’s courses were canceled Monday and Tuesday, according to the university, but substitute faculty members have since been assigned to his five classes. Maischak did not immediately respond to a request for comment.