Category Archives: Global

What’s happening abroad—and how it affects U.S. colleges.


Citing Libel Fears, Cambridge U. Press Won’t Proceed With Book on Putin

Cambridge University Press has decided not to go forward with the publication of a Miami University professor’s book exploring corruption in Russia, citing fears that the book could become the subject of a libel lawsuit in the British courts, according to The Economist.

In the proposed book, Karen L. Dawisha, a professor of political science and a Russia expert, writes about President Vladimir V. Putin’s alleged links to organized crime. Last month she received a letter from John Haslam, the p…


Bombings Near Egyptian University Leave Police Official Dead

A series of bomb blasts near Cairo University on Wednesday left a senior police official dead and several others wounded, in the latest episode of violence to take place on or near Egyptian campuses in recent weeks, The New York Times reported.

Two explosive devices were detonated on Wednesday morning, and a third went off hours later. Egypt’s Interior Ministry identified the slain officer as Brig. Gen. Tarek el-Mergawi, and said the explosives had been hidden in trees. At least five other off…


Days After Rally, Palestinian University President Announces Retirement

Sari Nusseibeh announced his retirement as president of Al-Quds University on Wednesday, days after supporters of Hamas reportedly took part in a raucous protest on the institution’s campus, Haaretz reported.

A similarly controversial rally last fall led Brandeis University to sever its ties with Al-Quds over how it had handled that demonstration. A group of Brandeis faculty members later issued a report urging their institution to resume that partnership. The report said that Al-Quds had respon…


Boston College Oral-History Project Leads to Arrest in Murder Investigation

Interviews from a Boston College oral-history project that became embroiled in a murder investigation have led to the arrest of an alleged former Irish Republican Army leader in Northern Ireland.

Ivor Bell, now 77, was charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 who was abducted and killed in 1972, allegedly for being an informer for the British Army.

Boston College’s Belfast Project collected interviews with former members of the IRA and other paramili…


Founder of Defunct ‘Sham University’ in California Is Convicted of Fraud

A federal jury in California on Monday convicted the founder and former president of Tri-Valley University, a shuttered institution that the authorities once called a “sham university,” of dozens of fraud charges stemming from an alleged scheme to exploit student-visa rules and make money off of foreign students, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

After a two-day trial, the jury convicted Tri-Valley’s former president, Susan Su, of all 35 counts against her, which included charges of conspira…


Russian Professor Is Fired Over Criticism of Actions in Ukraine

A professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations has been dismissed after writing an op-ed that compared Russia’s actions in Ukraine to the Nazi annexation of Austria, in 1938, Reuters reported.

“We must not behave the way Germans once behaved, based on the promises of Goebbels and Hitler,” wrote the professor, Andrei Zubov, in an op-ed in a Russian-language newspaper this month.

Mr. Zubov said previously that the institution notified him of his dismissal on March 5, shortly …


In Talk at Peking U., Michelle Obama Extols Free Speech and Study Abroad

In a speech at Peking University on Saturday about the value of studying abroad, Michelle Obama also delivered a strong endorsement of freedom of speech, saying it provided the foundation for a vibrant society, The New York Times reported. “Time and again, we have seen that countries are stronger and more prosperous when the voices and opinions of all their citizens can be heard,” she said.

The first lady’s remarks came during an appearance at the Stanford University complex at Peking University…


U.S. Permits Academic Exchanges With Iran, Including Providing MOOCs

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Thursday issued a license that authorizes academic exchanges between the United States and Iran, and allows Iranian students to participate in U.S.-based massive open online courses, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control is the agency responsible for administering economic sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy. Under a document it released on Thursday, Iran General License G, accredited Am…


Scholars Join New Academic Council of Group That Opposes Boycotts

More than 50 scholars at colleges and universities across North America have joined an initiative that opposes actions like the American Studies Association’s recent vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions, as well as efforts to punish scholars who support such actions.

The scholars, who will serve as the Academic Advisory Council of a group called the Third Narrative, say academics should play a positive role in promoting critical thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “To ac…


Virginia Commonwealth U. Professor’s Novel Is Banned in Qatar

A novel written by a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus in Qatar has been banned there with little explanation, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, an English professor who has taught at VCU’s Qatari campus for three years, said her new book, Love Comes Later, features themes such as “the dilemmas facing those from traditional societies with modern ambitions.”

She told the newspaper she had been informed of the decision to ban the book by a d…