Month: January 2017

When the Haters Come to Campus


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


This is a follow-up to my December 29 post, “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 [], 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]


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



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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IA and MO: Proposals to Eliminate Tenure, Cut Higher-Ed Allocations



Last week, I posted an item on the proposals to eliminate tenure in Iowa and Missouri. Hank Reichman subsequently posted the AAUP’s statement on those proposals.

Those proposals were made by Republican members of the state legislatures. In the intervening week, the Republican governors of both states have proposed substantial cuts in higher-ed funding to close budget gaps.

Writing for the Des Moines Registar, Jeff Charis-Carlson reports:

“Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed cutting more than $25.5 million from the Iowa Board of Regents and $8.7 million from the state’s community colleges during the current fiscal year.

“If the cuts are approved by the Iowa House and Senate budget committees, higher education would shoulder the highest portion of about $110 million in cuts that Branstad proposed Tuesday in response to lower-than-projected revenues.

“Democrats responded by saying tuition at Iowa’s community colleges and universities will certainly go up…

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Closing a University Gold Course; Monetizing Institutional Assets


Writing for, Karen Farkas reports

“Kent State University is closing its golf course because of declining revenues and increasing operating costs. . . .

The university bought the 18-hole par 70 course on Ohio 59 in Franklin Township, in 1966. The course includes a putting green, chipping area, snack bar, banquet room and pavilion.

“For much of its longevity, the course played an important role in the local golf community – from university and community leagues to a training ground for high school teams,” the university announcement said.

“As the Northeast Ohio golf industry continues to experience financial challenges, the university determined that the Kent State Golf Course could not reverse a five-year trend of declining revenues and mounting operating losses,” the [university’s] announcement said.The university’s budget for the course this year is about $500,000. . . .

“The university assessed the viability of the 40-acre course in response…

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