The American Anthropological Association has released guidelines for evaluating faculty members who work in applied anthropology, including public interest and community work. The guidelines suggest that faculty members can be evaluated on grounds beyond traditional research publications, while still applying rigor to reviews. Similar discussions in the fields of history and sociology have encouraged broader definitions within tenure reviews of contributions to a discipline.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The University of Regina planned with a local business group to sponsor a series of lectures by professors in a public park during the summer, but the faculty members have all called off their talks after the business group objected to one of the topics planned for discussion, Global Regina reported. The lecture topic was the movement to boycott Israel as a means of helping the Palestinians. When Emily Eaton, the geography professor who planned that topic, said that she was uninvited to speak, her colleagues decided they would not speak either.
The W.M. Keck Foundation will today announce a $150 million gift to the University of Southern California medical school and its affiliated hospitals, The Los Angeles Times reported. The money will be used to recruit top faculty members and to promote their research efforts. The gift is the university's third 9-figure gift in 2011.
In today’s Academic Minute, James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame explains the limitations of how poverty is measured in the United States. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
Authorities in South Korea report that they have found the body of Lim Sang-gyu, president of Sunchon National University, dead in an apparent suicide, the Associated Press reported. Lim, a former government officials, was reportedly facing a corruption investigation.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a legal challenge to New Jersey's rejection of the state grant application of a U.S.-born student whose parents immigrated to the United States illegally, the Associated Press reported. The ACLU says that New Jersey's Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, the state's aid agency, appears to be deviating from the legal norm of recognizing the rights of those born in the United States as citizens. The authority did not respond to questions, citing the ongoing litigation.
Remember how the Republican-led House of Representatives was going to eliminate earmarks? According to The Boston Globe, the House has allowed hundreds of millions of special authorizations (which in many ways resemble earmarks and which in many cases could benefit individual colleges and universities) to be inserted into the military spending bill. The authorizations are not as specific as earmarks and theoretically are open to competitions. But the Globe noted that many are written with language used by lawmakers to previously insert earmarks into the bills to benefit institutions in their districts, and that the language gives those institutions an apparent advantage, should the measures become law.
John Wendell, an accounting professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, suspects that the institution is spending too much on outside law firms, so he filed an open records request for three years of legal invoices. The Star-Advertiser reported that the university told him it would cost him $40,000 in fees -- and officials later said that the real bill might be $100,000. The university says that it faces real expenses in producing the records. But Wendell and other faculty critics say that the university is using the fees to discourage requests. "The university administration wants autonomy but not accountability. It's as simple as that," he said.
Medical students at the University of Alberta were thrilled with the speech their dean, Philip Baker, gave at a convocation banquet Friday -- at least until they found the speech online and apparently written by someone else, CBC News reported. A few phrases in the speech prompted students to do Internet searches and they say they found a nearly identical speech by Atul Gawande, a surgeon who spoke to Stanford University medical students last year. Gawande's speech was subsequently republished in The New Yorker and students said that one of the few changes made by Baker was leaving out a few lines about the U.S. Medicare system. Baker has not commented.
Robert Holub is not going quietly from the chancellor's position of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A university committee recommended that his contract not be renewed and news of that decision was leaked to The Boston Globe in May. Now, the Globe reported, Holub is demanding an investigation by the state attorney general into the leak, which he argues violated university regulations about confidentiality.