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Apparently Some “Safe Spaces” Need to Be Preserved

ACADEME BLOG

Here are some excerpts from a scathing article in Roll Call on the Senate’s silencing of Elizabeth Warren. Written by Mary C. Curtis, the article is titled “GOP Seeks a Safe Space from the Words of Coretta Scott King,” highlighting the hypocrisy in the Far right’s absolute disdain for the creation of “safe spaces” on campus:

For a party and an administration that ran on being tough guys, afraid of nothing and no one, and disdainful of “PC culture,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, Republicans are, like President Donald Trump, proving to be poster boys (and, yes, the crew is testosterone-heavy) for the perpetually offended, perfect pictures of bullies who crumble when one of their targets dares talk back. . . .

Who would have thought that the words of human rights and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King could rattle the sensibilities of Senate Republicans, one of whom recently…

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The Answer to Campus Unrest—Another Kent State

ACADEME BLOG

Writing for the Detroit News, Michael Gerstein reports:

A northern Michigan Republican Party official resigned on Wednesday after landing in hot water for implying in a tweet that university protesters in California should be stopped violently.

Dan Adamini, the Marquette County Republican Party secretary, apologized for his tweet. It made national news because of its apparent call for a repeat of the Ohio National Guard’s shooting of four students at Kent State University in 1970, when nine other university students were also wounded amid a Vietnam War protest.

Adamini said Wednesday he has received hundreds of death threats over the uproar and that he resigned Wednesday because he’s hoping it will satisfy those outraged by his statement.

“Whenever you’re involved in an organization, you want to be an asset,” he said. “At the moment I’ve become a distraction, and that’s not helping anybody. I stepped aside so hopefully the…

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North Dakota Bill Bans “Safe Spaces”

ACADEME BLOG

What follows are some excerpts from an article written by Andrew Haffner for the Bismarck (ND) Tribune:

“A bill described by its sponsor as a means to ensure freedom of speech in North Dakota higher education by rejecting ‘political correctness gone crazy’ has passed in the state House.

“Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, sponsor of House Bill 1329, said the proposed legislation is a response to an ‘attitude that free speech is not free speech’ on campuses where he said expression is discouraged by university policy.

“Though the House Education Committee gave a ‘do not pass’ recommendation, the measure passed 65 to 25 on Monday. It needed 48 votes to pass the House.

“Becker defined the term ‘safe space’ as a designated location where ‘the rules guard each person’s sense of self-respect, dignity and feelings’ by restricting discourse on a litany of subjects ranging from LGBT identity to political affiliation.

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Institutions That Will Be Most Affected by Trump’s Ban

ACADEME BLOG

These lists are from an article written by Abby Jackson for Business Insider:

The first chart indicates those institutions with the most currently enrolled students who are citizens of the seven predominantly Muslim nations covered by Trump’s ban:

000000-10-universities-most-financially-vulnerable-to-muslim-ban-1

The second chart ranks the institutions by the loss of direct revenue that they will experience if those students are expelled from the U.S. Jackson notes that the calculations are based on undergraduate tuition and fees but that a significant percentage of these students are almost certainly graduate students whose tuition and fees will typically be higher:

000000-10-universities-most-financially-vulnerable-to-muslim-ban-2

Abby Jackson’s complete article is available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/colleges-potentially-most-affected-trump-immigration-ban-2017-2.

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Because Presidential Searches Should Be Even More Secretive

ACADEME BLOG

What follows is from an uncredited story published by the Northwest Florida Daily News:

“In a debate that has repeatedly flared in recent years, a House Republican on Monday proposed Sunshine Law exemptions for information about applicants for top jobs at state universities and colleges.

“The proposal (HB 351), filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, would shield from disclosure information about applicants for president, provost or dean positions at state universities and colleges. The exemptions would apply to records and to meetings held to discuss applicants. Information about finalists for the positions would be made available after lists of candidates are whittled down.

“Open-government advocates have fended off such proposals in the past. But Rommel’s bill said the exemptions are necessary because potential applicants might be worried about jeopardizing current jobs if their interest in other positions is made public.

“’If potential applicants fear the possibility of losing their…

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When the Haters Come to Campus

ACADEME BLOG

Writing for the Seattle Times, Benjamin Woodard provides a timeline of events that occurred in the city on the day of Trump’s inauguration, events that culminated in the shooting of a man involved in a protest outside of a hall where Milo Yiannopolous was speaking.

Perhaps it is simply a problem with the reporting, but the explanation offered by the shooter does not make sense:

“Police said a person of interest in the shooting turned himself in to UW police.

“But the man was released after telling investigators he fired in self-defense during a campus protest, according to two law-enforcement officials briefed on the case.

“One of the law-enforcement officials said the man who fired the gun claimed he had been assaulted before shooting the other man, whom he believed to be some type of white supremacist. Friends of the [victim], his attorney, and the socialist union he was…

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Not Taking No for an Answer

ACADEME BLOG

This is a follow-up to my December 29 post, “Court Blocks Mandatory Drug Screening at State College” [https://academeblog.org/2016/12/29/court-blocks-mandatory-drug-screening-at-state-college/].

Given the substantial reductions in state support very recently announced for the state colleges and universities in Missouri [https://academeblog.org/2017/01/25/ia-and-mo-proposals-to-eliminate-tenure-cut-higher-ed-allocations/], the pursuit of this appeal does not seem an especially prudent allocation of institutional resources.

The following excerpts are from an article written by Bob Watson for the News Tribune in Jefferson City, Missouri:

“State Technical College wants the U.S. Supreme Court to have the final say on the constitutionality of making some students take drug tests.

“On Dec. 20, the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the State Tech policy, in place since 2011, was unconstitutional. . . .

“Kent Brown, State Tech’s attorney, . . . thinks there is a possibility the U.S. Supreme Court will accept the school’s appeal.

“But Tony Rothert, the ACLU of…

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Global Survey of Academic Freedom Issues in 2015: [Post 20 of a Series]

ACADEME BLOG

This series covers the issues that surfaced in 2015. I had it done at the beginning of 2016, but I have been somewhat slow getting it posted.

Southwest Asia, Part 2

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is an Indian-American who has lived in Qatar for more than a decade. Initially, she held an administrative staff position with a branch campus of Georgetown University, but after she moved on to an editorial position with a British publisher, she began to write fiction about the complexities in Qatari life, in particular those complexities that young people face as they attempt to honor cultural and religious traditions while also embracing many features of modern Western life. Rajakumar’s enthusiasm for her own writing led her to organize writing workshops for Qatari women, who were culturally conditioned to be anything but self-expressive in much of their daily lives, never mind in print. Nonetheless, Rajakumar managed to produce a…

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Alaska-Anchorage Senate Votes No Confidence in President

ACADEME BLOG

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH

Writing for Alaska Dispatch News, Tegan Hanlon reports:

“The University of Alaska Anchorage Faculty Senate on Friday [January 20} voted no confidence in the leadership of the university system president, Jim Johnsen, saying faculty turnover had increased and morale had plummeted during Johnsen’s time in office.

“The resolution, a nonbinding expression of faculty sentiment, was approved 28-9.

“It said that faculty had been shut out of decisions during the massive, ongoing restructuring of the University of Alaska system, composed of three main campuses. The restructuring, ‘Strategic Pathways,’ started in early 2016 and involves evaluating the sprawling university system’s academic and administrative programs to cut costs, reduce duplication and focus on the strengths of each campus.

“UAA faculty members said Friday that while Strategic Pathways was advertised as ‘collaborative,’ Johnsen failed to take into account their concerns and issues. They also criticized the lack of financial…

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