faculty

Iowa State cancels class on Biblical insights for business

After a faculty campaign, university calls off a class on applying the Bible to business.

MLA panel considers changes in the academic job search

Incredibly tight academic job market in the humanities is changing strategies of search committees and candidates.

Humanities scholars consider the role of peer review

At the MLA, scholars consider how radically to change the traditional models for deciding what gets published.

In evaluating digital humanities, enthusiasm may outpace best practices

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Digital Humanities

Language and literature scholars have embraced technology in their research, but can they win tenure on it?

Debate over Chinese-funded institutes at American universities

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As network of Chinese-funded institutes at American universities expands, some professors see opportunities. Others worry about academic freedom and whether centers promote "culturetainment," not scholarship.

Essay puts spotlight on uneasy relationships between faculty and adopted states

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Iowa professor's critique of small town life in his adopted state reflects tensions many faculty members overcome as they take jobs in places they never imagined would be home.

How did a professor's stray email linking to an 'Inside Higher Ed' article result in a letter of reprimand?

How did a professor's stray email linking to an Inside Higher Ed article result in a letter of reprimand in his personnel file?

Historians Pledge Action on Harassment

In a new report to members of the American Historical Association, Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University and AHA president, pledged action on sexual harassment — including developing a procedure that could expel offenders from AHA events. While the association “has long been on record as decrying sexual harassment in employment,” Norton said, that “statement clearly needs expanding and updating.”

Norton said leaders within the association have been discussing the matter since the fall and recently decided to survey members about their experiences with harassment at past conventions. The association also held a session on harassment within the field at its annual meeting in January, during which members requested that AHA develop “best practices” to guide historians and their employers. It has therefore become clear, Norton said, that “rather than one statement, the AHA needed to adopt several: one on sexual harassment, setting forth principles and complaint procedures for our conventions and other meetings we organized, and others on such topics as hiring and mentoring, outlining principles and best practices in contexts over which we have no direct control.”

Members of AHA’s governing Council have agreed on the basic outlines of a new procedure to promote appropriate behavior at association events, Norton said, and attendees should be required to consent to related guidelines during registration. An ombuds team also has been created to receive complaints about harassment at meetings. Possible sanctions against offenders include expulsion from the event. The statements and new procedure for addressing harassment will be drafted by an AHA Council committee. “We anticipate approval by the Council in June and full implementation at the 2019 AHA annual meeting in Chicago,” Norton said. 

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Men Talking About Women in Math

No, it wasn’t satire. A poster inviting “all women who love math” to an all-male panel on the topic was widely criticized at Brigham Young University and beyond this week.

The university’s math department soon responded to the controversy on Facebook, saying that the poster was made by a student organization and had since been updated.

A university spokesperson referred a request for comment to the math department’s response, as well as to commentary from an undergraduate student who said she made the poster. 

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Lego Grad Student Is Now an Assistant Professor

Known for his grimly humorous depictions of graduate student life in Lego blocks, and, of late, more politically charged messages, the social media figure Lego Grad Student was uncharacteristically joyful Wednesday in sharing that he’d accepted an assistant professorship (or at least his anonymous human creator had).

Lego Grad Student, who studied the social sciences at a large university on the West Coast, spent two years on the job market -- and just about as long making people laugh and cringe online. He debuted his Lego portraits in mid-2016 and quickly developed a major following: some 40,700 fans on Twitter alone.

Lego Grad Student’s creator said Wednesday that some in his new department know about his “other identity,” since several graduate students and professors mentioned it when he was visiting. Still, he said, he’d like to remain “semi-anonymous.” 

Asked about what his success communicates, Lego Grad Student said that he hopes it “provides some inspiration or hope to others.” But after going on the job market twice, he said, “I've also come to realize that the process is so arduous and uncertain that my words of support can only do so much to help endure the market season. It's the toughest experience I've had in recent memory.”

As for a possible Lego Assistant Professor, the jury is still out.

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