All posts by Nick DeSantis


Political Ad Featuring Kansas State U. Football Coach Sparks Controversy

A political advertisement in which Kansas State University’s head football coach voiced support for a U.S. senator in his bid for re-election has sparked a controversy at the university, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Sen. Pat Roberts’s re-election campaign filmed a television commercial in which Bill Snyder, the Wildcats’ head coach, expressed support for Mr. Roberts, the Republican incumbent in the race.

Kirk H. Schulz, the university’s president, reportedly sent an email to campus le…


Jury Clears Ex-Official at East Stroudsburg U. in Sex-Harassment Suit

A federal jury in Pennsylvania on Friday found that a former East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania official who had been accused of sexually harassing students is not liable for those allegations, the Pocono Record reported.

Former students at the university had accused Isaac W. Sanders, a former East Stroudsburg vice president, of using his position of power to make unwanted advances toward them. He has never been charged with a crime. Six students filed a civil lawsuit against him in 200…


UCLA Faculty Members Approve Diversity-Course Requirement

Faculty members in the University of California at Los Angeles’s College of Letters and Science have voted to require future undergraduate students to take a course on diversity, after three previous efforts to add such a requirement failed in the last two decades.

Faculty members at the college, which enrolls about 85 percent of UCLA’s undergraduates, approved the requirement by a vote of 332 to 303, with 24 blank ballots. It will affect incoming freshmen in the fall of 2015 and transfer students in 2017.

UCLA’s chancellor, Gene D. Block, said he was pleased by the faculty vote.

“A diversity-related course requirement for UCLA College undergraduates is an important component of our commitment to expose students to beliefs and backgrounds other than their own,” he said.

The courses are expected to be offered by many academic departments, ranging from sociology to statistics, and students will be required to choose one for an academic quarter.

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Yale Faces Questions Over Handling of Sexual-Harassment Allegations

An article in The New York Times has raised questions about Yale University’s handling of sexual-harassment allegations against a former head of cardiology at its medical school.

The physician, Michael Simons, drew scrutiny for making advances toward a young Italian researcher. In 2010, Dr. Simons wrote the researcher a handwritten love letter in Italian that she said was unwelcome and insulting. The following year, the researcher moved to Cornell University, but her boyfriend at the time—who …


Professor Quits U. of New Mexico Over Its Award to Governor

A faculty member at the University of New Mexico’s law school said she would cut ties with the institution in protest against a decision by its president to honor the governor little more than a week before the election, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

The professor, Maureen A. Sanders, worked full time for 10 years and now teaches as an adjunct faculty member. She is also a longtime donor to the university.

She said she was troubled by President Robert G. Frank’s choice to select Gov. Susana…


Pa. University Cancels Football Game After 5 Players Are Arrested

California University of Pennsylvania has canceled Saturday’s home football game and suspended five players from the university after the players were arrested and charged in connection with an incident that the institution suggested involved violence, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The university did not identify the players, nor did it release details about the incident. It said the Vulcans’ home football game on Saturday against Gannon University had been called off.

Geraldine M. Jones…


Cal State-Northridge Suspends Pledging Amid Fraternity-Hazing Inquiry

California State University at Northridge has halted fraternity-pledging activities amid another investigation into possible hazing, following the death of a pledge at a different Greek organization this past summer. The university recently revised its rules for Greek organizations and student clubs after Armando Villa, a 19-year-old student, died on a fraternity-pledge hike.

The national office of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity shut down the Northridge campus’s chapter after the student’s death. And now the university has suspended pledging activities after another fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, drew scrutiny for possible hazing. That organization was placed on interim suspension pending the outcome of the university’s inquiry.

William Watkins, the university’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students, announced the decision to halt pledging activities in a letter this week.

School President Dianne F. Harrison was expected to address the leaders of CSUN’s Greek system to discuss the university’s expectations and intent to end hazing.

“It is shocking and disappointing that this conduct persists after all the efforts undertaken by so many this fall to ensure a recruitment and intake process that conforms to the university’s zero tolerance policy on hazing,” Watkins said.

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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…