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Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 3:00am

Junior faculty members at Israeli universities have announced an open-ended strike, saying that their negotiations with the Committee of University Presidents failed to result in a contract agreement, The Jerusalem Post reported. The presidents' committee responded by saying that the faculty union "has decided to hurt university students without any justification."

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Caleb Everett of the University of Miami explains the complicated relationship between numbers and words. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 4:25am

Some students are discovering that it is possible to play games in person, offline. The Boston Globe reported on a club at Northern Essex Community College whose members meet twice a month to play board games. "You really connect with people," said Angela Bowie, a club member. "You’re not in front of a computer or playing video games or getting yourself into trouble."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 3:00am

Barbara Woodlee announced in the summer of 2010 that she planned to retire as president of Maine's Kennebec Valley Community College, but she's not leaving any time soon. The Kennebec Journal reported that -- after two national searches failed to end with a successor -- Woodlee agreed to stay on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 4:27am

Villanova University has canceled a week-long workshop by Tim Miller, a gay performance artist whose planned visit had been set up by a professor, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Miller, who has previously appeared at other colleges, including Roman Catholic colleges, said that the university's decision reflected a "coercive, censorious time." The professor who organized the event said that she had been told by the university not to talk about what had happened, and to refer all questions to the press office. The university later issued this statement: "Villanova University embraces intellectual freedom and academic discourse. Indeed, it is at the very heart of our university and our Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition. With regard to the upcoming residency and performance workshops by Tim Miller, we had concerns that his performances were not in keeping with our Catholic and Augustinian values and mission. Therefore, Villanova has decided not to host Mr. Miller on our campus. Villanova University is an open and inclusive community and in no way does this singular decision change that."

Monday, February 20, 2012 - 3:00am

A federal jury on Friday awarded more than $1 million to three women who sued Alabama State University, charging their supervisor there with various forms of harassment, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. A supervisor -- who was black -- repeatedly used the word "nigger" in interacting with the three plaintiffs, two black women and one biracial woman, the suit charged. The supervisor also was accused of referring to one of the women as a "white bitch," and of suggesting that she strip to show how many tattoos she has on her body. The university is considering an appeal.

 

Monday, February 20, 2012 - 3:00am

The colleges in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I voted last week to uphold their ability to award multiyear scholarships to athletes, narrowly rejecting an effort by some of the division's members to block such grants. The multiyear scholarship rule was one of several that the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors approved in a burst of legislative activity last fall aimed at quelling concerns about rule breaking and about the association's treatment of athletes -- and one of two rules that significant numbers of Division I members sought to block because of concerns that they would favor wealthier programs and conflict with how most institutional financial aid is awarded, among other reasons. The NCAA's governance process provides a mechanism in which the division's members can formally vote to override decisions by the Division I board.

Last week's vote on the multiyear scholarship rule would have required a five-eighths majority of Division I members to block it from taking effect. But only 205 of the 330 participating colleges and conferences -- two short of the 207 needed -- opposed the scholarship plan. Twenty-five institutions and leagues did not vote. "I am pleased that student-athletes will continue to benefit from the ability of institutions to offer athletics aid for more than one year," said the NCAA's president, Mark Emmert. "But it's clear that there are significant portions of the membership with legitimate concerns. As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns."

Monday, February 20, 2012 - 3:00am

Fifty-nine percent of faculty members at the University of California at Davis voted to approve a resolution that they have confidence in the leadership of Linda P.B. Katehi as chancellor, The Sacramento Bee reported. The same resolution also expressed criticism of the university's use of pepper spray against nonviolent student protesters last year -- a move that galvanized campus critics of the chancellor. By a wider margin (with 69 percent voting no), faculty members rejected a resolution of no confidence in Katehi. The Bee noted that some faculty views on Katehi are not based on the pepper spray incident. Generally, her decisions as chancellor are seen as benefiting those in the sciences, and she has stronger support there than in the humanities.

Monday, February 20, 2012 - 3:00am

Curtin University, in Australia, is defending itself against criticism of an honorary degree awarded Friday to Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, AFP reported. The university says that the degree honored important work for early-childhood education. But critics say that Mansor is known for her expensive shopping, which is perceived as insensitive to the poverty faced by many people in her country. Following numerous critical postings about the honor on the university's Facebook page, officials blocked new comments.

Monday, February 20, 2012 - 3:00am

Sudanese police raided the University of Khartoum Friday morning and arrested hundreds of students, Reuters reported. The university was closed two months ago, following protests, but many students have remained on the campus, waiting for operations to resume.

 

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