Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Utah is investigating allegations of plagiarism against Bahman Baktiari, director of the institution's Middle East Center, in an op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune, that newspaper reported. The newspaper has since removed the op-ed from its website. Faculty members and students identified several instances of unattributed material from sources such as The New York Times and The Economist and shared their analysis with senior university officials and the Tribune. Baktiari told the newspaper he didn't know attribution was needed for newspaper op-eds.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Yale University and the University of Cusco, in Peru, on Friday announced a final agreement to create a research center in Cusco to house a collection of artifacts from Machu Picchu that has been housed at Yale since they were excavated in 1912. Peru's government has for several years been pushing for the artifacts' return, arguing that they never should have been removed from the country. Under the agreement, the research center will include a museum to display some of the artifacts and appropriate facilities for scholars to conduct research. In addition, the center will loan a small number of the artifacts for display at Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History. Yale reached a general agreement with Peru on the artifacts last year, but that pact depended on the development of the agreement announced Friday.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Dyron Daughrity of Pepperdine University reveals the religious and cultural origins of Valentine’s Day. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Last week, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa was debating the use of a racial slur and the campus reaction to it -- and over the weekend racial incidents at other campuses became known:

  • At Georgetown College, in Kentucky, local police were summoned to the campus after a series of incidents, including the use of a racial slur, an offensive statement made in a classroom setting, and graffiti and symbols that appeared on parts of the campus, LEX18 News reported. Officials have condemned the incidents, but not provided details on what was said. A national fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Order, announced Saturday that it had suspended its Georgetown College chapter, pending investigations into whether its was involved in the use of racial slurs directed at a minority student, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
  • At the University of Missouri at Columbia, authorities discovered a racial slur on a sculpture outside a dormitory, and a suspect has been arrested, KMOX News reported. The incident came a year after students at Missouri were angered by a scattering of cotton balls -- seen by many as a reference to slavery -- in front of the Black Culture Center.
Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Philip H. Brown quit a tenured job teaching economics at Colby College last month amid allegations that he had set up a camera to shoot photographs of female students in the bathroom during a student trip he led to China, The Kennebec Journal reported. Brown could not be reached for comment. Colby officials said that Brown resigned after being told that the college was prepared to fire him over the incident.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

An economics professor at Loyola University Maryland, Thomas DiLorenzo, was criticized at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing where he testified last week because he previously gave a lecture at a meeting of the League of the South, a group that calls for the secession of Southern states from the United States, The Baltimore Sun reported. Representative William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) raised questions (in a hearing about the Federal Reserve) about DiLorenzo's testimony because "you work for a Southern nationalist organization that espouses very radical notions about American history and the federal government." DiLorenzo said that the talk was years ago, and did not mean that he backed the group. He told the Sun: "I don't endorse what they say and do any more than I endorse what Congress says and does because I spoke at a hearing on Wednesday."

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

"Extreme" origami is hot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Boston Globe reported, with students able to make extremely intricate designs (we're not talking about those paper cranes of your youth) in minutes. More information may be found on the website of OrigaMIT.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

New Hampshire's Public Employee Labor Relations Board has ruled that a majority of adjuncts in the Community College System of New Hampshire have signed authorization cards to have the State Employees' Association represent them for collective bargaining. As a result, the board declared that the association, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, now represents the adjuncts. The association already represents full-time professors, as well as clerical and maintenance employees, in the community college system.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 3:00am

Faculty members at Idaho State University have voted no confidence in President Arthur Vailas, according to Boise Weekly. A faculty report details what professors consider to be numerous problems with Vailas, raising issues about the accuracy of his statements, his leadership abilities and the way he has responded to budget challenges, among other issues. A statement from the president's office stated that he "enjoys widespread support from other constituencies."

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, John Baick of Western New England College takes a look at photographs of Abraham Lincoln and what those photos tell us about his experience as a wartime president. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

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