All posts by Andrew Mytelka


U. of Louisville Is Said to Have Plied Basketball Recruits With Wine and Women

A top athletics official at the University of Louisville paid strippers and prostitutes to provide sexual services to prime recruits for the men’s basketball team in hopes of persuading them to enroll, according to a forthcoming book described on Friday in the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen, is by Katina Powell, a stripper and escort in Louisville who describes her experiences, citing hundreds of journal entries and thousands of …


Controversial Official Steps Down From Native American Post at Dartmouth

The recently hired director of Dartmouth College’s Native American program has stepped down amid criticism of what she claimed as her ethnic background and tribal affiliation, reports the Valley News, a Vermont newspaper.

A spokeswoman for the Ivy League college told the News that “the distraction” surrounding the appointment of Susan Taffe Reed “prevents her from effectively serving in this role.” Still, the spokeswoman said, the situation “does not prevent her from contributing to Dartmouth in…


13 Academics Are Among 24 Winners of 2015 MacArthur Fellowships

Thirteen scholars associated with universities are among the 24 winners of MacArthur fellowships, announced on Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The winners each receive $625,000 grants that are paid out over five years and come with no strings attached.

According to the foundation’s website, they were chosen for their “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction,” among other things. The fellowships are…


4 International Students at North Seattle College Die in Crash on Bridge

The four people who died in a collision on a Seattle bridge on Thursday were international students at North Seattle College who were on their way to an orientation program, reports The Seattle Times.

In a statement on its website, the college, a two-year institution, said several other students and an employee had suffered serious or critical injuries. The statement did not identify the dead students, saying that government officials were attempting to notify their next of kin. Some 50 people were injured over all.

The college has about 900 international students, many from Asia, and they constitute nearly a quarter of its overall enrollment, a spokeswoman told the Times.

The Times reports that the collision involved a tour bus and a charter bus in which the students were riding. The crash occurred on the Aurora Bridge, a narrow-laned span over Seattle’s Lake Union.

The bus was chartered by North Seattle College to transport 45 students and employees of the school’s international program, said spokeswoman Melissa Mixon. College President Warren Brown said the passengers were part of a new-student-orientation group that was heading to Safeco Field and potentially to Pike Place Market after that.

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Agents in Bloody Arrest of UVa Student Weren’t Unduly Aggressive, Report Says

A state investigation that followed a black University of Virginia student’s bloody arrest in March has concluded that the agents who detained Martese Johnson were not exceptionally aggressive in the incident, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Johnson, now a senior at UVa, suffered a head injury during his arrest that required 15 stitches to close. Charges against him were later dropped, and the incident drew widespread protests because it appeared to be another in a series of violent encounters in which police officers killed unarmed black men.

The incident, which occurred outside a bar in Charlottesville, Va., on St. Patrick’s Day, also drew protests because the officers were not members of a campus or local police department but were agents of the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which exercises police powers as part of its function of regulating the sale and use of alcohol in Virginia. The ABC agents had apparently staked out the bar in search of underage drinkers, and their treatment of Mr. Johnson received wide exposure in a cellphone video of the incident that went viral.

The state investigation, whose results were released on Tuesday, found that the agents had “only used physical force to detain and arrest Johnson” and did not resort to the more-aggressive means they are permitted to use on people resisting arrest, according to the AP.

The report does not assign blame for Mr. Johnson’s injury, saying only that it happened “when the agents and Johnson went to the ground,” according to the AP. The report concludes that the ABC department acted properly in allowing the agents, who had been transferred to desk jobs, to return to their normal duties.

A separate report, also released on Tuesday, says that the ABC should retain its police powers but should make alcohol regulation a higher priority among its duties. The reports call for better training for ABC agents and improved cooperation between the agency and colleges and universities.

The governor said in a statement that “the facts presented in this thorough report support the Virginia ABC’s decision to reinstate these agents.”

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Judge Orders Middlebury College to Reinstate Student Accused of Sexual Assault

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Middlebury College to reinstate a student who had been expelled over alleged sexual misconduct during a study-abroad trip last year, the Associated Press reports, citing court documents.

The student, identified only as John Doe, was initially exonerated by the School for International Training, which ran the study-abroad program, in an unnamed foreign country, in which both John Doe and his alleged victim took part. Unhappy with the school’s findings, the vict…


37 Fraternity Members Face Charges in Hazing Death of CUNY Student

A grand jury in Pennsylvania has recommended that charges be filed against 37 fraternity members for their alleged roles in the death of a pledge in 2013, The New York Times reports.

The students, all members of Pi Delta Psi at Baruch College of the City University of New York, were on an annual weekend retreat at a rental house in the Poconos when the activities that left 19-year-old Chun Hsien (Michael) Deng with a fatal head injury occurred.

Five members of the group as well as the fraternity itself face the most serious charge, third-degree murder, as well as lesser charges that include assault, hindering apprehension, and hazing. The other defendants also face lesser charges. A prosecutor told the Times that his office would follow the recommendations of the grand jury and had already started filing the charges.

The fraternity chapter was shut down amid an overall three-year moratorium on pledging and other such recruitment on the CUNY campus.

The authorities said Mr. Deng, 19, known as Michael, died on Dec. 9, 2013, after he was blindfolded and made to wear a backpack weighted with sand while trying to make his way across a frozen yard as others tried to tackle him. During at least one tackle, he was lifted up and dropped on the ground in a move known as spearing, according to the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department. He complained about his head hurting but continued participating and was eventually knocked out, the police said.

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Butler U. Rethinks Choice of Spokesman as Student Paper’s Adviser

Butler University announced late Friday that it had rethought its decision to remove its student newspaper’s adviser and replace her with a university spokesman. According to the newspaper, The Butler Collegian, the new adviser will be the director of the Indiana university’s journalism school, Nancy Whitmore.

The university’s original decision, to dismiss Loni McKown, a faculty member in the journalism school, and to replace her with Marc Allan, a university spokesman, drew swift and abundant criticism last week from professional journalists and press-freedom advocates. Ms. McKown had said that relations between the newspaper and the university were “hostile,” so her removal was widely interpreted as stemming from that situation.

Ms. Whitmore will serve as interim adviser until a permanent successor to Ms. McKown can be found.

Gary Edgerton, dean of the College of Communication, said the decision seemed appropriate at the time.

“Part of it is 20/20 hindsight,” he said. “I’m comfortable with the way we did the best we could in an uncertain situation that was a little bit of uncharted territory.”

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Academic Scientists Are Foot Soldiers in Battle Over Bioengineered Foods

In the vast lobbying campaign over the safety of genetically modified foods, academic researchers are turning up on both sides of the debate, paid by biotechnology and organic agribusinesses to provide “the gloss of impartiality and weight of authority that come with a professor’s pedigree,” according to The New York Times.

Citing emails obtained through open-records requests, the Times article describes how both sides, often at the urging of public-relations consultants, have used scientists’ r…


Lawrence Lessig, Professor at Harvard, Is Running for President

Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, announced on Sunday that he was running for president. Mr. Lessig, a leading copyright scholar and Internet-law expert, said last month that he would enter the 2016 presidential race if he could raise $1 million by Labor Day. Speaking on the ABC News program This Week, Mr. Lessig said he had exceeded that goal in a crowdfunding effort.

Mr. Lessig, who plans to run for the Democratic nomination, said that, if elected, he would serve as a “referendu…