Category Archives: The Profession

News about faculty members across all disciplines.


Supreme Court to Consider Case That Could Upend Unions at Public Colleges

[Updated (6/30/2015, 4:43 p.m.) with more context.]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to take a case that could upend how unions are financed at public colleges. The New York Times reports that the court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was brought by public-school teachers in California who argue that being forced to pay union fees violates their First Amendment rights.

Public employees in states without right-to-work laws can be required to pa…


Jury Rejects Claim of Liberal Bias in Hiring at U. of Iowa Law School

A federal jury ruled on Monday that a former dean of the University of Iowa law school did not illegally discriminate against a conservative lawyer on the basis of her political beliefs when she declined to hire the woman for a teaching job, the Associated Press reports.

The long-running case stems from hiring decisions made in 2007, when the lawyer, Teresa Manning, then known as Teresa R. Wagner, was working as associate director of the law school’s writing center. Ms. Manning was one of three …


Princeton Rescinds Job Offer to Scholar Behind Discredited Gay-Marriage Study

Princeton University has rescinded its job offer to Michael LaCour, the graduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles who is accused of faking the data behind a much-publicized study of gay marriage. New York magazine’s Science of Us blog reports that Princeton said it had rescinded the offer of an assistant professorship “in recent days.”

Mr. LaCour was thrust into the spotlight last month when Donald P. Green, his co-author on a paper about changing minds on the issue of gay …


Supervisor’s Support of Adjunct Union Did Not Taint Election, NLRB Rules

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a unionization vote by adjunct instructors at a California college after determining that the election had not been tainted by a supervisor’s support for their organization.

The administration of Laguna College of Art and Design had asked the NLRB to invalidate the election as improperly influenced by the pro-union activities of James Galindo, a part-time instructor who also served in a supervisory role, as coordinator of an art program for freshmen….


After Student Complains About Novels, a Fiction Course Will Get a Disclaimer

A professor at Crafton Hills College, in California, will add a disclaimer to the syllabus for a course on fiction after a student and her parents complained about what they called violent and pornographic content in some of graphic novels on the reading list.

The Redlands Daily Facts reports the community college’s president, Cheryl A. Marshall, said in an email that it was trying to “avoid this situation in the future” and that the English professor, Ryan Bartlett, had agreed to add a disclaim…


Judges Award Back Pay to Chapel Hill Professor Imprisoned in Argentina

Paul H. Frampton, the physics professor whose bizarre saga of cocaine, a bikini model, and an Argentine prison became fodder for headlines worldwide, is entitled to back pay from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a panel of judges ruled on Tuesday.

The state’s Court of Appeals reversed a Superior Court judge’s ruling that Mr. Frampton was not owed back pay for the period during which he awaited trial for drug smuggling, The News & Observer reports. The university fired him last ye…


Philosophical Association Issues Letter on Sexual Harassment in the Discipline

The American Philosophical Association has issued a statement on the discipline’s well-publicized incidence of sexual harassment. In an open letter published on Tuesday, the group’s Board of Officers acknowledged the problem and outlined steps that those who experience sexual harassment in the field of philosophy can take to seek recourse.

“Some of you are silent victims,” the officers wrote. “Many of you have not received adequate support from your colleagues and redress from your institutions….


‘Colorism Has Its Limits’: Campuses React to Storm Over White Adjunct Who Posed as Black

An adjunct instructor at Eastern Washington University became the focus of a fierce debate about race and identity last week, when her parents asserted that she was white, despite having passed herself off for years as a black woman.

Rachel A. Dolezal, 37, earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Howard University and has worked as an adjunct in Eastern Washington’s Africana-education program, teaching such courses as African and African-American art history and “the Black Woman’s Struggle…


U. of Illinois Must Release Thousands of Documents to Salaita, Judge Rules

A state judge has ordered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to turn over thousands of documents to Steven G. Salaita, whom the college decided not to hire last year after his anti-Israel tweets came to light, The News-Gazette reports. The university told the newspaper it planned to comply with the order.

Asserting that the university’s administration had bowed to the demands of wealthy donors, Mr. Salaita requested public documents relating to the decision not to hire him. When the …


Two-Thirds of Older Tenured Faculty Members Will Work Past 67, Report Says

Two-thirds of tenured faculty members age 50 or older plan to work past the age of 67, a survey by the TIAA-CREF Institute has found.

A report on the survey, “Understanding the Faculty Retirement (Non)Decision: Results From the Faculty Career and Retirement Survey,” says that 49 percent of the faculty members surveyed said they wanted to work past 67, while 16 percent said they wanted to retire then but don’t expect to. The report also notes that 60 percent to 90 percent of those surveyed have n…