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Campuses see flurry of racist incidents and protests against racism

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Blackface photos, tweets about lynching, swastikas and slurs roil campuses. Students rally against those incidents, which experts say aren't new but are finally getting attention. National anthem protests spread.

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Professor says she was fired over well-intentioned but ill-received class discussion on race

Professor accused of using a slur -- not against an individual -- during a well-intentioned but ill-received classroom discussion about race fails to earn reappointment to tenure track.

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Chico State faces backlash for faculty discipline

Faculty members and students at California State University, Chico, demand answers in a case involving a professor alleged to have lied about sleeping with a student and threatening professors who reported him.

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Berkeley Law Faculty Condemn Refusing Zionist Speakers

A group of professors at the University of California, Berkeley, Law School signed a statement protesting a decision by some student groups to adopt a bylaw not to host Zionist speakers.

“We hereby endorse the principle of free and open speech at the law school,” the statement reads. “We also condemn the discriminatory bylaw adopted by a small minority of our law student groups refusing to accept speakers who have Zionist views or beliefs. We believe this rule is not only wrong but is antithetical to free speech and our community values. These bylaws would also impermissibly exclude a large majority of our faculty from participating in the work of these organizations, including our Dean.”

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, said that only a “handful” of student organizations initially adopted the bylaw earlier in the semester, and he objected to it in a letter to all student groups.

He implied in a recent op-ed in The Daily Beast that media outlets have overblown the controversy.

“No group has violated the Law School’s policy and excluded a speaker on account of being Jewish or holding particular views about Israel,” he wrote. “Such conduct, of course, would be subject to sanctions.”

He added, “At this stage, all some student groups have done is express their strong disagreement with Israel’s policies. That is their First Amendment right. I find their statement offensive, but they have the right to say it.”

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Professor Emeritus Charged With Meth Distribution

A professor emeritus of voice and opera at the University of Iowa has been indicted on charges of distributing methamphetamine, causing the death of one person and possessing child pornography, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

John Muriello is being held in jail, and his trial in federal court will begin Dec. 5.

The University of Iowa received an anonymous complaint against Muriello in April 2020 from the parents of a freshman. They said their son attended a party at Muriello’s Iowa City residence, where the professor allegedly provided meth and used gamma hydroxybutyrate, known as a common date-rape drug, to “drug party goers to have sex with them.”

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Professor Emeritus Charged With Meth Distribution
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University of Minnesota to Rebuild Ties With Local Police

The University of Minnesota is re-establishing ties with the Minneapolis Police Department two years after distancing itself in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd by an MPD officer, an incident captured on video that sparked nationwide protests and prompted colleges to rethink such partnerships.

The university announced in 2020 that it would stop contracting with MPD for support at campus events, such as athletic outings, concerts and ceremonies, and would discontinue the use of various services provided by the local police department, including K-9 explosive-detection units.

Despite backing off that partnership in 2020, the University of Minnesota never fully broke away from the MPD and faced criticism earlier this year for deploying campus police to assist other law enforcement agencies responding to off-campus protests against police brutality.

On Wednesday, the university announced that it will begin the process of reinstating its relationship with the local police. An email to the campus community announcing the change did not mention Floyd’s murder as the reason for the initial distancing, The Star Tribune reported Thursday. The newspaper reported that university officials cited—but did not specify—the progress MPD has made in recent years.

MPD will now provide security for major events, such as football games, and other services.

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Bama Rush spotlights LGBTQ+ inclusion in Greek life

A nonbinary student failed to win acceptance into a University of Alabama sorority. Experts say Greek life has made progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion, but membership selection remains fraught.

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The Pi Beta Phi house, a brick structure with white columns, and a bus made of flowers, like a parade float, in front.

DOJ Investigating UMBC for Title IX Compliance

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the University of Maryland Baltimore County to see whether it has complied with Title IX rules that bar gender discrimination, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

The probe, which is ongoing, was opened in fall 2020.

The civil rights investigation is looking into how UMBC has responded “to complaints of sexual harassment and its Title IX compliance,” according to an email UMBC sent to students in April that was reported by the Sun. UMBC officials have said the university is cooperating with the investigation.

The newspaper reported that a timeline for the DOJ findings was not provided.

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Liberty Coach Takes Aim at Sex Assault Survivor on Twitter

Liberty University football coach Hugh Freeze has taken to Twitter to defend LU athletics from criticism around controversial hires, including direct messaging a sexual assault survivor who sued the university for mishandling her case and won.

Freeze, entering his fourth year at Liberty, previously coached at the University of Mississippi, where he was ousted for using a university cellphone to contact an escort service. Ole Miss later vacated numerous wins due to recruiting and academic violations that occurred partly under Freeze’s leadership.

Chelsea Andrews, a former Liberty student, was one of more than 20 plaintiffs who sued Liberty last year, alleging the university mishandled sexual assault cases and Title IX issues for years. (Liberty reached a partial settlement with various plaintiffs in May.) Andrews has tweeted critically about LU and its athletics program. One of her complaints was the hiring of Ian McCaw as athletic director, given that McCaw served in that capacity at Baylor University during a rampant sexual assault scandal. Seemingly irked by the criticism, Freeze rallied to McCaw’s defense.

“You don’t even know Ian McCaw,” Freeze said in a direct message to Andrews—one of several sent in recent months and verified by Inside Higher Ed—adding McCaw is a “Jesus like leader.”

Andrews declined to comment but questioned Freeze’s activity in a tweet: “Why is the head football coach at Liberty University DMing me during and after my lawsuit with LU? At almost midnight. When I didn’t tag him. & I haven’t responded to the other DMs he’s sent over the months,” she wrote. “Publicly naming so he can see that I don’t want direct contact w/ him.”

The incident, which has largely gone unreported by major and local news outlets, prompted a backlash against Freeze on Twitter, with observers calling the behavior “gross” and creepy.

Liberty University did not reply to a request for comment.

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Fresno State Drops Antisemite’s Name From Library

California State University, Fresno, will officially rename the Henry Madden Library, dropping its namesake over his antisemitic views, a move formalized Wednesday by a vote of the California State University Board of Trustees. The change comes after months of deliberation.

Fresno State formed a task force to study the issue in December and released a report in May that found Madden, a university librarian from 1949 to 1979, expressed antisemitic views and Nazi sympathies. Madden’s views were uncovered in materials he donated to the library in 1982, including letters he had written, that were sealed until 2007, per an agreement with his estate.

Beyond Madden’s antisemitism, the task force also found racism aimed at other groups.

“I charged the task force to determine whether there had been a development of thought that led Dr. Madden to reject the hateful views that he held in his twenties and thirties,” Fresno State president Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval said in a university news release. “Since Dr. Madden personally curated the materials before turning them over to the library, he was fully aware of their contents and knowingly included the disturbing letters and documents in the collection. While Dr. Madden had the opportunity later in life to reflect on those views, there is no evidence that he renounced those views. It is unfortunate that the undercurrents of his racist views remained palpable throughout his life. Naming a building or any key campus area must align with our communal values and reflect our shared spirit of discovery, diversity and distinction. ”

The library, named for Madden in 1980, will now be known simply as Fresno State Library unless trustees approve another name change. Work will begin immediately to remove Madden’s name.

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