All posts by Nick DeSantis


Emory U. Investigates Alleged Bias Involving Jewish Fraternity

Emory University said this week that it was investigating allegations of bias that was said to have occurred during an intramural flag-football game between members of a historically Jewish fraternity and a team of other Emory students. Some of those students accused members of the fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, of making offensive statements to their opponents, such as “go back to India.”

The incident came to light two weeks after swastikas and other graffiti were found painted on the fraternity’s house shortly after Yom Kippur.

“Incidents like this are a reminder that each of us is vulnerable to the nefarious acts of a few. Whether these acts are sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, or anti-Semitic, we cannot and will not tolerate harassment of any individual or group,” Ajay Nair, Emory’s dean of campus life, said in the statement. “We share the indignation and disappointment already conveyed by many members of the university community. Such expressions of bias are offenses against both the intended victims and our entire university family.”

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Tracking the 2014 Nobel Prize Winners

The 2014 Nobel Prizes are being awarded this week. Keep track of the winners here as they are announced.

Physiology or Medicine: Half of this prize was awarded to John O’Keefe, a neuroscientist and professor at University College London. The other half was awarded jointly to May-Britt Moser, director of the Centre for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Edvard I. Moser, director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, also at the Norwegian Unive…


‘U.S. News’ Says 2 Colleges Misreported Rankings Data

U.S. News & World Report said on Wednesday that two colleges had submitted inflated data that were used in the 2015 edition of the magazine’s “Best Colleges” rankings.

Robert J. Morse, U.S. News’s chief data strategist, and Diane Tolis, its director of data projects, wrote a blog post explaining the two cases, involving Lindenwood University, in St. Charles, Mo., and Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla. Several other colleges have been involved in cases of misreported rankings data in recent ye…


N.J. 2-Year College to Pay Ex-Professor $275,000 to Settle Disability Lawsuit

Mercer County Community College, in West Windsor, N.J., has agreed to pay a former assistant professor $275,000 to settle allegations that it failed to accommodate her disability.

The college hired the professor, Monique Simon, in 2006. She received a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and alleged that the college would not allow her to take on a reduced role as she coped with her medical condition. She also accused the administration of retaliating against her after she filed a grievance against the college.

The college admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.

In a statement, the college stated it is pleased that the parties have “have resolved their differences through mediation with no admission of liability or fault by either party in an agreement that amicably terminates the employee/employer relationship.”

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Johns Hopkins U. Says It Failed to Notify Students of Sexual Assault

The Johns Hopkins University said on Wednesday that it had failed to alert the campus to what it described as an alleged sexual assault at a fraternity house last year, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Ronald J. Daniels, the university’s president, wrote a letter to the campus that accompanied the release of the institution’s annual security report. In his letter, he called the university’s failure to report the alleged incident, which was said to have taken place at the off-campus house of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, “unacceptable.”

Mr. Daniels began an internal investigation into the matter after students protested the university’s handling of the allegations.

In August, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights launched a separate, continuing investigation of the university’s actions following the assault after a group of anonymous students filed a complaint arguing Hopkins violated the Clery Act and Title IX, both of which require disclosure of sexual assaults to the public.

Hopkins has since created a multidepartment team to provide consulting on timely warnings; added a 24/7 sexual assault hotline; and established a student advisory committee to give input on sexual violence, among other steps, “to reflect the imperative we place on addressing sexual assault,” Daniels wrote. It also hired someone to administer its compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law requiring disclosure of crimes on or near campus.

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Lehigh U. Reaches Pact With U.S. to Resolve Racial-Bias Complaint

Lehigh University has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to resolve a graduate’s complaint alleging that the university mishandled race-related incidents, The Morning Call reported.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights had been investigating a complaint of a racially hostile environment on the campus. The complaint was filed by a 1977 Lehigh graduate who asserted that the university had failed to report an incident of racially charged vandalism at Lehigh’s multicult…


U. of Arizona Reprimands Professor in Wake of Plagiarism Inquiry

The University of Arizona has reprimanded a professor after an investigation into allegations that she plagiarized the work of a former student, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The student accused Susannah Dickinson, an assistant professor in Arizona’s School of Architecture, of lifting material from his master’s thesis and presenting it as her own work. Ms. Dickinson was the faculty adviser for the student’s thesis.

A university committee reviewed three allegations of plagiarism. Andrew C. Com…


Salaita Will Give Lecture at Centenary College of Louisiana

Steven G. Salaita, the scholar at the center of an academic-freedom controversy that has rocked the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will give a public lecture on Monday at Centenary College of Louisiana, the college announced on Thursday.

Illinois had offered Mr. Salaita a tenured professorship in American Indian studies, but later withdrew it after the scholar attracted scrutiny for a stream of profanity-laced tweets that criticized Israel. Many academics have denounced the universi…


Police Officer’s Conviction in U. of Maryland Beating Case Is Overturned

A judge has overturned the conviction of a police officer in Prince George’s County, Md., who had been found guilty of second-degree assault in the 2010 beating of a student at the University of Maryland at College Park. The incident took place during a celebration following a Maryland win over Duke University in men’s basketball. The officer, James Harrison Jr., served 30 days of home confinement. A second officer had faced similar charges, but only Officer Harrison was convicted.

State’s attorney’s office spokesman John Erzen says prosecutors were disappointed that the judge set aside the jury’s verdict.

A message left Wednesday for Harrison’s attorney was not immediately returned.

A video that surfaced showed officers in riot gear beating McKenna. Charges were later dropped against him and many of the 28 arrested that night.

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Adjuncts at College in Louisiana Get Paychecks After Extra Delay

Adjunct instructors at Delgado Community College, in Louisiana, will no longer have to wait seven weeks to receive their first paychecks of the semester, The Times-Picayune reported.

Adjuncts at Delgado had complainted to the newspaper about the college’s decision to extend their wait for their first paychecks from five weeks to seven, two weeks later than the date listed in their contracts. College officials had blamed the delay on new compliance requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act, though many adjuncts at Delgado questioned that justification.

Delgado later announced that the instructors’ checks would be issued ahead of schedule, with pay deposited into their accounts on Tuesday.

“Our payroll personnel has been working diligently since the start of the semester to make sure all the data was entered correctly,” Stanton McNeeley, the vice chancellor for institutional advancement at Delgado, said by phone on Tuesday morning. “As a result of their efforts, the process was completed yesterday.”

McNeeley said he could not speak to whether the article or criticism from part-time faculty had influenced the expedited payments.

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