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Georgia Tech basketball banned from postseason play

Georgia Tech men's basketball team is banned from participating in postseason play in 2019-20 and placed on four-year probation for multiple recruitment violations.

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Professor argues that college must again be made "whole"

Professor argues against "unbundling" and for coherence in education.

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Researchers Tackle Predatory Publisher Awareness

Texas Tech University academics have been awarded funding to create a training program helping scientists identify and avoid predatory publishers.

With support from the National Science Foundation, an interdisciplinary team of researchers will develop a free online training program that will help educate academics about predatory publishing. The training will be geared toward scientists, but applicable to all disciplines. The Texas Tech team will also conduct research into the awareness of this issue among academics.

Predatory publishers often offer to publish authors’ work for a fee, but unlike credible open-access journals, they fail to follow accepted standards in scholarly publishing such as rigorous peer review.

The rise of predatory publishing was closely tracked by librarian Jeffrey Beall, who for many years maintained a list of open-access publishers he believed to be illegitimate. Beall took down the list in 2017, reportedly as the result of legal threats.

“One of the reasons predatory publishing has thrived is because it’s so easy to blast out information that seems legitimate,” said Amy Koerber, one of the Texas Tech professors who will lead the research, in a press release. “Hopefully we’re providing a counterforce, because we are going to make our training available online and free.”

The training program will join a host of resources designed to help authors navigate this issue, such as the Think. Check. Submit. website, which is backed by major academic publishers. Many university libraries also offer tips on how to identify trusted journals.

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Student Debt Reinforces the Racial Wealth Gap, Study Finds

The burden of student loans on young black people is a crisis that requires immediate policy action, argues a paper released Wednesday from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.

The report finds that 20 years after entering repayment, the median white student borrower has paid back 94 percent of their student debt. The median black borrower, meanwhile, still owes 95 percent of their student loans, or roughly $18,500.

Black borrowers experience more discrimination in labor markets and are more likely to support older relatives. But the hourly income gap between white and black workers is dwarfed by the size of the wealth gap, the report finds. In fact, the earnings gap has narrowed over the last 25 years, but the wealth gap has continued to grow.

White college graduates, who have more family resources to draw on for loan repayment, get a head start on wealth-building activities like homeownership, the report finds. The median first-time white home buyer is six years younger than the first-time black homeowner.

While holding student loans doesn’t affect college graduates’ income, negative wealth outcomes are a major financial consequence for young adults, the report finds.

“This is not, then, primarily a labor market story,” the report’s authors write. “It goes to legacy, institutions, policy, kinship networks, race, and the experiences of different groups with access to wealth-building opportunities.”

The report, called “Stalling Dreams,” was co-authored by Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Meschede, Thomas Shapiro and Fernanda Escobar of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy. Sullivan and Shapiro previously advised the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign on a $1.25 trillion proposal to cancel student debt.

It also adds to a growing body of research into the racialized effects of student debt after graduation.

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Professor Banned for Saying He'd Shoot Students

Wagner College banned an associate professor of psychology from campus indefinitely for making threatening remarks against students, according to SILive.com. The website, which identified the professor as Richard Brower, reported that he told students in one class of their peers in another class, “If I had a gun, I would shoot every one of them in the head.”

Wagner sent a notice to students Wednesday, saying, “According to the accounts of several students, a professor made disturbing remarks of a violent nature yesterday afternoon during a class.” The college said it took immediate action to escort the professor off campus, suspend him and bar him from returning. A local police spokesperson confirmed that authorities are investigating. Brower did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Academic Minute: Craft Breweries and Property Values

Today on the Academic Minute, part of University of Toledo Week, Neil Reid, professor of geography and planning, determines that having a successful brewery in the neighborhood might be good news for homeowners. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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University of Iowa band claims verbal, physical abuse by Iowa State fans

Future football games between the University of Iowa and Iowa State are debated after altercations between fans and the visiting marching band.

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Academic Minute: Social Media and Sex Trafficking

Today on the Academic Minute, part of University of Toledo Week, Celia Williamson, professor of social work, examines how healthy relationships with parents go a long way toward keeping teens safe against predators online. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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UC Santa Cruz Historian Fired Over Sexual Misconduct

The University of California, Santa Cruz, fired Gopal Balakrishnan, a professor of history, following an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct, according to BuzzFeed News. BuzzFeed reported that Santa Cruz last year determined that Balakrishnan violated its sexual harassment policy when he had oral sex with a drunk undergraduate without her consent, in 2013.

Santa Cruz received additional complaints against the professor, and a spokesperson reportedly said that the "misconduct, confirmed through our investigation and adjudication process, harmed the complainants, and that trauma rippled through our campus and university system." Balakrishnan has been on paid leave since 2017 and was suspended without pay in August. He has previously denied wrongdoing and criticized the university’s response to his case.

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U of Oklahoma students' racist video, departure prompt First Amendment questions

Legal experts ponder whether public universities can ask students who are racist or who misbehave to leave. Has this become the new strategy to avoid kicking them out and facing First Amendment backlash?

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