Category Archives: The Profession

News about faculty members across all disciplines.


Berkeley Astronomers Call for Professor’s Departure After Harassment Allegations

The University of California at Berkeley’s astronomy department has called on the university to expel the professor whose alleged sexual harassment of graduate students has roiled the discipline. In a letter, the department’s members said their goal of having a “supportive, open climate” had been “compromised” by the policies surrounding the university’s investigation of Geoffrey W. Marcy.

“We urge the UC Berkeley administration to re-evaluate its response to Marcy, who has been found in violati…


Charges of Harassment by Famous Astronomer Prompt Soul-Searching About Sexism in the Sciences

The University of California at Berkeley is facing fierce criticism over its handling of an internal investigation that found that a prominent astronomy professor had repeatedly violated the institution’s policies against sexual harassment.

The subject of the inquiry, Geoffrey W. Marcy, is widely considered one of the world’s foremost researchers of “exoplanets” — planets orbiting stars outside the solar system. Mr. Marcy has been mentioned as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Physics.

In a rep…


Purdue Says It Overreacted by Deleting Video of Journalist Who Showed Classified Slides

Purdue University says it overreacted when it took down a video of the journalist Barton Gellman’s recent presentation on national-security journalism because it contained classified slides released by Edward Snowden.

Mr. Gellman wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that the university confirmed it had deleted the video of his presentation after consulting with the Defense Security Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense. The episode amounted to “an overreaction while attempting to co…


Drury U. Cuts 12 Faculty Positions, Citing Lower Enrollment

Drury University will cut 12 faculty members’ positions, citing declining enrollment at the Missouri institution, the Springfield News-Leader reports. According to the newspaper, five faculty members (including three full-timers) will have their positions eliminated in May, while the other seven (all of whom work full time) will teach through the 2016-17 academic year.

The private liberal-arts college’s director of media relations, Mike Brothers, told the newspaper that the faculty members teach…


Louisiana State U. Faculty Censures Administrators for Firing Profanity-Prone Professor

Louisiana State University’s Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to censure three top administrators there over their dismissal of a tenured professor accused of creating a hostile environment in the classroom with obscene language and sexually explicit jokes.

The Faculty Senate voted, 39 to 5, to censure F. King Alexander, the university’s president; Stuart R. Bell, its provost; and Damon Andrew, the dean of its College of Human Sciences and Education, for the June dismissal of Ter…


Controversial Official Steps Down From Native American Post at Dartmouth

The recently hired director of Dartmouth College’s Native American program has stepped down amid criticism of what she claimed as her ethnic background and tribal affiliation, reports the Valley News, a Vermont newspaper.

A spokeswoman for the Ivy League college told the News that “the distraction” surrounding the appointment of Susan Taffe Reed “prevents her from effectively serving in this role.” Still, the spokeswoman said, the situation “does not prevent her from contributing to Dartmouth in…


U. of Iowa Faculty Censures New President Over Résumé Inaccuracies

Faculty members in the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences voted unanimously on Wednesday to censure the newly appointed president, J. Bruce Harreld, for inaccuracies on his résumé, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. The vote is the latest episode of faculty disapproval aimed at the choice of the former business executive, who was tapped this month to lead the university by the state’s Board of Regents.

The inaccuracies, which Mr. Harreld acknowledged in a public forum wh…


Over Objections, College in Florida Drops Tenure-Like System for New Hires

The State College of Florida will no longer offer continuing contracts to new faculty members, a change strongly opposed by professors at the Bradenton college as well as its president. The Bradenton Herald reports that the college’s trustees voted to end the tenure-like system for new professors, in part, they said, so the college would be able to fire misbehaving professors more easily.

“I support academic freedom,” said one board member, Craig Trigueiro, “but academic freedom is not academic …


American U.’s Faculty Senate Takes Stand Against Trigger Warnings

Washington — American University’s Faculty Senate has voted to reject the use of “trigger warnings” to shield students from instructional materials they might find disturbing.

The practice of warning students about controversial material in college syllabi or before lectures has become the subject of intense debate in academe as growing numbers of instructors have opted to give students such advance notices and the range of topics covered by the warnings has grown more varied.

Such warnings appe…


Accused of Ignoring Anti-Semitism, U. of California Moves to Rewrite Statement on Tolerance

The University of California’s leaders made plans to revisit the issue of campus intolerance on Thursday after their first crack at a statement against it was panned for ignoring a problem that had inspired their efforts, the harassment of Jewish students.

Monica C. Lozano, chairwoman of the university system’s Board of Regents, chose not to even discuss the wording of a proposed “statement of principles against intolerance” brought before the board by system administrators, instead announcing p…