All posts by Nick DeSantis


U. of Minnesota Says Scientists May Not Take Fees From Research Sponsors

The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents on Friday endorsed a new ethics policy that will bar researchers from accepting consulting fees from companies that sponsor their work, the Star Tribune reported. In the past, researchers were allowed to do research for drug companies while serving as their paid consultants.

Eric W. Kaler, the university’s president, asserted that the new policy — which is designed to guard against conflicts of interest — is one of the strongest among academic research centers nationwide.

The board’s endorsement followed widespread criticism of the university’s handling of human research subjects, prompted in part by the 2004 suicide of a schizophrenia patient who was participating in a drug trial.

The Regents unanimously endorsed the 75-page plan, which recommends a series of changes to tighten safeguards for patients who volunteer in university research trials.

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Faculty Group Blasts University Over Handling of Sculpture Satirizing President

Capilano University violated an instructor’s academic freedom by seizing his satirical sculpture about the Canadian institution’s president, concludes a report released on Thursday by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

The instructor, George Rammell, made an unflattering sculpture of Capilano’s president, Kris Bulcroft, and her poodle, wrapped in an American flag. Last year Mr. Rammell learned that his artwork had been removed from the campus, and it was destroyed in the process of being moved.

The faculty group’s report asserts that the sculpture, while unflattering, was a form of “legitimate expression, not bullying or personal harassment.” It called on the university to apologize to Mr. Rammell, who told The Globe and Mail that his work was “a cheeky satire” and “an anti-monument.”

Shelley McDade, chair of Capilano’s board, issued a statement that said the Canadian Association of University Teachers has no “relationship, authority or jurisdiction” when it comes to the university, which considers the matter closed.

The CAUT can, however, censure the university and recommend that professors avoid teaching there.Mr. Rammell, now working out of his small studio in Vancouver’s hip Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, said he was “absolutely enamoured” by the CAUT’s findings.

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Charges Are Dropped Against Black UVa Student Bloodied in Arrest

Prosecutors in Charlottesville, Va., have decided to drop charges against Martese Johnson, a black University of Virginia student whose bloody arrest by state alcohol officials roiled the campus this spring, The Washington Post reported.

A video of Mr. Johnson’s arrest, which took place outside a bar during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, quickly went viral. The video showed Mr. Johnson being held down and handcuffed, and images of his bloody head were circulated widely online.

David Chapman, th…


NLRB Official Says Duquesne U. Adjuncts Can Unionize

A regional official of the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that adjunct faculty members at Duquesne University who have been seeking to form a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers may do so, after rejecting the university’s request for an exemption from the board’s jurisdiction on religious grounds.

Nancy Wilson, the NLRB’s regional director for the Pittsburgh area, issued an order stating that the Roman Catholic university had failed to demonstrate that its adjuncts perf…


City College of San Francisco’s Chancellor Steps Down

Arthur Q. Tyler, who guided the City College of San Francisco during a rocky period in which the two-year institution struggled to remain open and accredited, has stepped down as chancellor, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Mr. Tyler was appointed in 2013 and served 19 months in office. During his tenure, the college was mired in a bitter dispute with its accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which voted to strip the college of its accreditation. The coll…


NLRB Official Says Adjunct-Union Drive at Saint Xavier U. Can Proceed

A regional official of the National Labor Relations Board on Monday ordered the ballots to be counted in a union election for adjunct faculty members at Saint Xavier University, after finding that the Roman Catholic institution had failed to demonstrate that those adjuncts played a specific role in creating its religious educational environment.

The decision in the case follows a ruling last year involving Pacific Lutheran University, in which the full labor board refined its standard for determ…


Drew U. Makes Standardized Tests Optional — Again

In recent years, many colleges have dropped requirements that prospective students submit standardized-test scores as part of their applications. And now Drew University, in New Jersey, is making that move once again.

According to, the university spent seven years as a test-optional institution before reinstating a requirement that students submit the scores, in 2013. The university announced on Wednesday, however, that it was again dropping the requirement that students submit SAT or ACT…


Wis. Lawmakers Reject Governor’s Plan to Scrap For-Profit Oversight Agency

State legislators in Wisconsin have voted down a controversial proposal by Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate an agency that oversees for-profit colleges, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The proposal to eliminate the state’s Educational Approval Board was part of Mr. Walker’s budget, which also drew controversy for proposing steep cuts in the University of Wisconsin system in exchange for giving the system more independence.

The Wisconsin Legislature rejected the governor’s autonomy proposal t…


W.Va. Court Shields Researcher’s Records on Health Effects of Mining

The West Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday shielded from disclosure a former West Virginia University researcher’s records of his work concerning the health effects of mountaintop-removal mining, The Charleston Gazette reported.

The scholar, Michael Hendryx, who is now a professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, led research that found that people living near mountaintop-removal mines faced higher risks of cancer and premature death. A mining company had sued the university for access to …


Temple U. Professor Is Charged With Offering China Sensitive Technology

The chairman of Temple University’s physics department has been charged in connection with an alleged scheme to provide China with sensitive U.S. defense technology, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release that the professor, Xi Xiaoxing, had been indicted on four counts of wire fraud. He allegedly sought prestigious appointments in China in exchange for providing information about a device invented by a private American company.

The charges were announced …