Category Archives: The Profession

News about faculty members across all disciplines.


Pitt Professors Are Wary of Signing Away Intellectual-Property Rights

Faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh are skeptical of a directive to “irrevocably assign and transfer to the university” their rights, title, and interest to all intellectual property produced during their employment, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Administrators say the rule, which also applies to nonclerical staff members, is necessary to keep the university eligible for federal research dollars because of the 2011 Supreme Court decision in Stanford v. Roche. That ruling, acco…


U. of Illinois Board Votes Down Salaita Appointment

The University of Illinois’s Board of Trustees voted on Thursday to deny the appointment of Steven G. Salaita to a professorship on the Urbana-Champaign campus, in the latest chapter of a month-old saga that has inflamed academe.

That Mr. Salaita’s appointment appeared on the list of proposed faculty hires to be voted on by the board came as a surprise. The campus’s chancellor, Phyllis M. Wise, who has been the subject of several no-confidence votes at the college, maintained in recent weeks tha…


Salaita Tells Supporters He Is Committed to Teaching at U. of Illinois

Steven G. Salaita told a crowd of about 200 supporters on Tuesday afternoon that he remains committed to teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, according to various media reports.

A lawyer representing Mr. Salaita said the professor was prepared to pursue legal action if he was not hired, according to a live blog from The News-Gazette. Mr. Salaita was hired last year to teach in the university’s program in American Indian studies, but the offer was rescinded after he drew co…


Breaking Public Silence, Salaita Will Speak on Rescinded Appointment

Steven G. Salaita, whose rescinded appointment to the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has sparked an outcry in academe, will speak publicly about the controversy for the first time on Tuesday, according to a news release from the Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal group that is representing him.

Mr. Salaita will visit the campus on Tuesday to speak about his situation, along with other “organized attacks on free speech on campuses and concerns about academic free…


AAUP Says ‘Trigger Warnings’ Threaten Academic Freedom

The American Association of University Professors has taken a formal stand in opposition to “trigger warnings,” or advance notices to students that instructional material might elicit from them a troubling emotional response.

In a report issued on Monday, the AAUP argues that trigger warnings threaten academic freedom and the quality of instruction, and says there are better means of helping students who are the victims of trauma.

The use of trigger warnings suggests “that classrooms should offe…


U. of Texas Cancer Center Intensifies Its Challenge of AAUP

The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, affiliated with the University of Texas, has escalated its challenge to the American Association of University Professors by rejecting the group’s assurance that any investigation of the center’s tenure practices will be fair.

Having turned the tables on the AAUP in July by demanding that the association answer a long list of questions justifying its authority in such matters, the cancer center last week made clear that it is dissatisfied with the answers provid…


Student Leader at Ohio U. Turns ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Into Protest of Israel

When the president of Ohio University challenged the president of the Student Senate to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, she decided to make a splash.

Of fake blood.

Or, rather, a combination of red paint, tomato juice, and water, she told The Post, the student newspaper.

On Tuesday, Megan Marzec responded to Roderick J. McDavis’s challenge by making a video in which she called on the university to cut ties with institutions in Israel over their country’s role in the Gaza conflict. ”This b…


Faculty Panel Accuses U. of Colorado of Neglecting ‘Rights’ of Professors

A group of faculty members at the University of Colorado at Boulder has accused the university’s administration of showing a “blatant disregard for the rights, interests, and well-being of its faculty,” the Daily Camera reports. The harsh statement, by the faculty-affairs committee of the Faculty Assembly, refers to a series of well-publicized disciplinary actions taken against three faculty members in the institution’s sociology and philosophy departments.

Last year Patricia A. Adler, a now-ret…


U. of Illinois Chancellor, Facing Faculty Outrage, Admits ‘Errors’ in Salaita Case

The chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has acknowledged that the hiring process that led to the controversial canceled appointment of Steven G. Salaita was flawed, The News-Gazette reports. Phyllis M. Wise told the newspaper that she would not reverse her decision not to put Mr. Salaita’s appointment before the Board of Trustees, but that “there have been some errors in the process” that the university is working to fix.

Controversy erupted last month when the universit…


American Historical Assn. Urges U. of Illinois to Reverse Salaita Decision

The leaders of the American Historical Association have urged the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to reverse its decision not to hire Steven G. Salaita, warning that the decision would “chill the intellectual atmosphere” at the university if allowed to stand.

The group’s leaders sent a letter to Urbana-Champaign’s chancellor, Phyllis M. Wise, urging her to reinstate the offer of a tenured professorship in the university’s American Indian studies program to Mr. Salaita. The offer h…