Richard McCallum, president of Dickinson State University, is resisting requests from the North Dakota University System that he resign, The Dickinson Press reported. McCallum is under fire because of an investigation indicating that some of those listed as enrolled at the university are not actually students. In a statement issued Saturday, he said he would not resign and has retained a lawyer.
Higher Education Quick Takes
McGill University has formally reprimanded Barbara Sherwin, a professor of psychology, obstetrics and gynecology, for not revealing that a ghostwriter contributed to an article she published in 2000, The Montreal Gazette reported. The ghostwriter was hired by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Sherwin was listed as the paper's only author. Sherwin is continuing her work at McGill. After the use of the ghostwriter was revealed, she issued a statement in which she said it was "an error" to fail to make clear there was a second author on the paper, but she added that she believed the peer-reviewed article "represented sound and thorough scholarship, and in no way could be construed as promotion for any particular product or company."
The chancellor of the North Dakota University system has asked the president of Dickinson State University, Richard McCallum, to resign after an inquiry found about 180 people listed as enrolled at the institution even though they were not enrolled, The Dickinson Press reported. The investigation started after people complained about receiving surveys for Dickinson State students when they were not enrolled. McCallum did not respond to requests for comment.
Corn grown on the farm of California State University at Fresno has become incredibly popular, with people lining up for hours to make purchases, The Los Angeles Times reported. The university expects to sell 1 million ears.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management on Thursday proposed regulations for the Pathways Program, which is designed to create simpler paths for students and recent college graduates to seek internships and positions with federal agencies. Politicians and educators have been pushing for the new program, saying that standard federal hiring process is so daunting that it can discourage many students.
The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration issued a statement Thursday praising OPM for moving ahead with the program. The statement stressed the importance of "the full inclusion of highly skilled graduate students in the Internship and Recent Graduates programs, letting market demand set the programs’ size." The statement added that "what will truly make or break the success of Pathways is its implementation. NASPAA urges federal agencies to begin planning substantive programs that will attract, recruit, develop, and retain students and recent graduates to become future agency leaders. We urge OPM to use its resources to support agencies throughout this process, but to exert its oversight where necessary."
The bookstore at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has stopped selling mints that poke fun at President Obama, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The mints feature an image similar to Obama's '08 campaign posters, with the tag line: "This is change? Disappoint/Mints." The mints were pulled from sale after State Representative Joe Armstrong complained about them. While Armstrong is a Democrat, he said he would have complained about mints mocking Republicans too. He told the News Sentinel that there were no First Amendment issues at play. "With a book or something of that nature, then fine, but that [the mints] is sort of a discretionary product they have," Armstrong said. "It wasn't viewpoint neutral. Very specifically insulting to the president."
Others disagree about the free speech issues. Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the university, said: "Let me make very clear, there is no candy exception to the First Amendment," he said. "Free speech is free speech. If you make fun of the president in a mint, it is just as much free speech as it is if you make fun of the president in a political cartoon."
In today’s Academic Minute, Peter Kelemen of Columbia University conducts a thought experiment
around the political economy of climate change. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has started a new fellowship for international graduate students, awarding funds to 48 individuals from 22 countries. The funds will support research in science and engineering during the third, fourth and fifth years of graduate school. The institute originally planned to award 35 fellowships (worth $43,000 a year) but upped the total due to the quality of applicants.
Unusually high numbers of Italian academics share the same last names, suggesting nepotism is widespread, according to a new study by Stefano Allesina, an assistant professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago. Allesina's work was prompted by Italian journalists' reports on apparent nepotism in academe, such as one university where nine relatives from three generations of a single family are in the economics department. Allesina examined a database with the names of 61,000 Italian academics, and found clusters of names in single departments most prevalent in industrial engineering, law, medicine, geography and pedagogy. The analysis of names found that nepotism was the least likely (names were closest to random in various fields) in linguistics, demography and psychology.The research is being published in the journal PLoS ONE.