Israeli authorities are investigating the practice of a former professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz of listing his academic affiliation in his journal articles as Ariel University, an institution he has never visited, Haaretzreported. The professor listed Ariel as an affiliation on seven articles in 2014 and two this year. Ariel is a controversial Israeli university, located on the West Bank and criticized by many (including Israeli academics), who question the appropriateness of building an Israeli university there. The question of journal articles and their ties to a university is important because the government in Israel evaluates its universities, in part, on the research output of its faculty members. Ariel said that the professor collaborates with one who is on campus.
In 2011, Sciencereported that some Saudi universities were boosting their apparent research output by creating extremely loose affiliations with scholars in other countries who were being hired on the condition that their journal articles list their affiliation with Saudi universities before others.
Chinese authorities are vowing to eliminate textbooks with "Western values" from universities, AFP reported. "Never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes," Education Minister Yuan Guiren told the official Xinhua news agency. He added that "remarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China" and "smear socialism" must never be permitted in classrooms.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday charged that three Russians had been part of a spy ring in New York City for their country -- and that they sought recruits at a university in New York. An announcement from the FBI said that the Russians attempted "to recruit United States residents, including several individuals employed by major companies, and several young women with ties to a major university located in New York, New York (“University-1”), as intelligence sources." The announcement also said that the Russians discussed efforts of other agents "to recruit a number of other Russian-origin individuals associated with University-1 as intelligence sources."
A job ad for a position at the University of Bristol, in Britain, is capturing attention with its headline: "Associate Dean of Eureka Moments." (The first Eureka moment is illustrated at right -- but today's deans may be inspired in other locations.) The ad is actually for associate dean for the university's Faculty of Health Sciences. The position -- detailed here -- is for an "inspirational educational leader, who can build on our established reputation as a pioneering powerhouse of global medical research and education."
Jonathan Sandy, the dean of health sciences, said via email that the person who is hired won't actually hold the title associate dean of eureka moments. "This was to attract interest," he said. "The idea was from the advertising company and we are getting some interest even this early."
Eighteen Nobel laureates have written to Saudi academics, urging them to publicly oppose the jailing and caning of a blogger who has called for political reform in the country, Times Higher Education reported. The letter was prompted by the case of Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to repeated public caning during a long prison term. While Saudi actions against political reformers are hardly new, the Badawi case has drawn particular outrage.
The letter from the Nobel Laureates is addressed to leaders of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, known by its acronym KAUST, which has recruited numerous Western professors in a push to become a leading global university. "We write out of concern that the fabric of international cooperation may be torn apart by dismay at the severe restrictions on freedom of thought and expression still being applied to Saudi Arabian society," the letter says, in urging academics to speak out about the Badawi case. "We are confident that influential voices in KAUST will be heard arguing for the freedom to dissent, without which no institution of higher learning can be viable," the letter adds. "The undersigned friends of KAUST will be there to support you in asserting the values of freedom that we are all agreed are essential to the future of a University in this twenty first century, and that will determine the success of the extraordinary venture which you lead."
King's College London has dropped a rebranding campaign that would have, in part, encouraged people to call the institution King's London, Times Higher Educationreported. Many students and alumni rallied against the plan, questioning its cost and purpose since, in their view, King's College London enjoys an excellent reputation.