Professor Told Students to 'Americanize' Names

North Carolina State University says that a professor there will apologize to his students for making "an offensive statement in jest." A statement from the university says that "the professor realizes that his statement devalued the heritage of some students and was inappropriate for the classroom or anywhere else on the university's campus." Further, the department head will meet with any concerned students.

The university did not name the professor or say what he said. But WTVD News reported that the professor was Charles Hardin and that, when he was returning exams in a biochemistry course, he had difficulty reading some names and said that students should "Americanize" their names "because this is America." Hardin did not respond to a request for comment.



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New report highlights challenges in establishing international joint or dual degree programs

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New report examines the challenges U.S. universities face in establishing international joint or dual degree programs and raises the issue of ‘credential inflation.’

Universities Oppose Norway's New Tuition Plan

University leaders in Norway are working against a government plan to force them to charge tuition to students from outside the European Union, News in English Norway reported. Tuition is free in Norway -- for Norwegians and others -- but the new government has adopted a budget that assumes charges of about $15,000 for those outside the European Union. Norwegian academics note that when Sweden started charging foreign students, its foreign enrollments fell. Some universities in Norway are exploring ways to pay the foreign students' tuition so that the institutions can continue to enroll students from many parts of the world. Dag Rune Olsen, dean of the University of Bergen, told the newspaper Aftenposten, “We may need to admit fewer [foreign students], but I don’t think we can demand so much money from this group of students. We believe those foreign students who come to us are a very good investment in our future international network. They are good students but not necessarily able to pay tuition.”


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American Studies Association seeks to broaden public image after boycott

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A year after it voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions, American Studies Association is sticking to its guns. But it wants to broaden its public image, and demonstrate involvement in activism beyond Middle East.

Nursing Student in Ebola Controversy Leaves Program

The boyfriend of the nurse at the center of the controversy over Ebola quarantines has withdrawn from his accelerated nursing program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent due to concerns about the university’s handling of the situation, the Portland Press Herald reported. Ted Wilbur, whose girlfriend, Kaci Hickox, fought government efforts to enforce a mandatory quarantine after she returned from volunteering as a nurse in West Africa, had agreed to temporarily stay away the university “under duress” and opted to withdraw from the program after university officials declined to preemptively communicate to students that any harassment or threats against him would not be tolerated upon his return to campus. (University officials reportedly told him that there had been threats against him.)

“They didn’t show any leadership or support to me and they had an opportunity, as a nursing school, to act like a medical community, and they didn’t,” Wilbur said.

A spokesman for the University of Maine system, Dan Demeritt, told the newspaper that the university had worked hard to address “community concerns” about the Ebola virus. “Unfortunately he feels we weren’t accommodating enough, but we worked hard to balance the students’ needs and the overall concerns of the campus and the community.”

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The challenges (and possibilities) of being a foreigner on U.S. academic job market (essay)

International graduate students are faced with an added challenge on the U.S. job market -- get a job or go home -- but it's possible to turn their foreignness to their advantage, Christopher Garland writes.

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Study finds female academics less likely than men to seek to make longer presentations at conferences

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Study asks why women at an academic meeting are more likely than men to seek shorter time slots for their presentations.

Tri-Valley President Sentenced on Visa Fraud Charges

The founder and CEO of the now-defunct Tri-Valley University was sentenced to 16 years in prison for visa fraud and related charges, the Contra Costa Times reported. Susan Xiao-Ping Su, who was convicted earlier this year, was accused of running a fraudulent school that catered to foreign applicants seeking student visas. Employees of the California-based institution testified during the trial that Tri-Valley had no requirements for admission or graduation.

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Anger Over Students in Blackface Winning Costume Contest

Faculty members at Brock University, in Canada, are angry that the winners of a student costume contest for Halloween were four students who put on blackface as part of their portrayal of the Jamaican bobsled team, CBC News reported. The university has said that it will consider ways to screen offensive costumes, but some faculty members consider that response to be insufficient. 

Brock's student body president said that the contest was judged by audience applause, and that participants were not seeking to offend. But critics said that it should be well-known by now that blackface is not acceptable humor.


Canadian Law School Loses Recognition Over Anti-Gay Policy

The British Columbia Law Society, reversing an earlier decision, has revoked recognition of the new law school at Trinity Western University, The Globe and Mail reported. At issue is Trinity Western's ban on students and faculty members having sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage. Critics say that the policy violates principles of equal rights for gay people. Earlier this year, in a non-binding referendum, members of the law society recommended that its governing council withdraw recognition, and it has now done so. A legal fight could follow. Trinity Western has argued that it should be allowed to have rules consistent with its Christian beliefs. A statement from the university said that it was reviewing its options.


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