The American Psychological Association will conduct an independent investigation into whether it colluded with the government concerning post-9/11 interrogation practices, The New York Timesreported. The investigation appears to have been prompted by new revelations about association staff members' involvement in shaping policies for psychologists involved in interviewing suspected terrorists during the Bush administration. The revelations appear in a new book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War, written James Risen, an investigative report for The Times. The association criticized Risen's reporting last month, but Risen said it didn't refute key claims.
In today's Academic Minute, Jin Montclare, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NYU-Policy discusses work fabricating microfibers from proteins. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Adjuncts at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., along with adjuncts at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board for an election to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union. Adjuncts at several other institutions in the San Francisco area have voted to form unions affiliated with SEIU in recent months: Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute and California College of the Arts.
It’s illegal for public employees to strike under New York’s Taylor Law. But it's apparently expensive not to strike, at least at Nassau Community College. Members of the independent Adjunct Faculty Association who did not participate in last year’s strike over contract negotiations have been fined $1,000 by their union, Newsday reported. Non-striking members recently received letters from the union saying they owed it $200 for each day of the five-day protest in September 2013. Outraged adjuncts told Newsday they didn’t approve of the strike, and were dissatisfied with its outcome (no contract agreement has been reached). The state Public Employment Relations Board is reportedly looking into 35 formal improper practice complaints filed by adjuncts against faculty association. Charles Loiacono, union president, said the fine is part of the union’s bylaws; he declined to say how many adjuncts were fined. "They think it is O.K. to not support the strike and get the same benefits as everyone else," Loiacono said. "And they don't like being called freeloaders."
Harvard University is planning to expand its computer science faculty by 50 percent over the next decade, The Boston Globe reported. The university hopes that its new total of 36 computer science faculty slots will allow it to compete with still larger programs at Stanford University (about 50) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (55). Much of the growth is being financed with gifts from Steve Ballmer, an alumnus who was formerly CEO of Microsoft. Also this week, Balmer and his wife, Connie, announced a $50 million gift to her alma mater, the University of Oregon.