Category Archives: The Profession

News about faculty members across all disciplines.


Will the NLRB’s Columbia Ruling Tarnish the ‘College Experience’? A Closer Look

The National Labor Relations Board’s decision on Tuesday declaring that graduate-student assistants at Columbia University are employees with the right to unionize could have stark and unwelcome effects on private campuses where such unions are formed. Or so said the lone board member who voted against the majority, Philip A. Miscimarra, in his dissent.

First and foremost among those effects are the “economic weapons” now available to both the assistants and their universities in the course of c…


In Victory for Union Efforts, NLRB Rules Columbia U. Grad Students Are Employees

In a long-awaited decision, the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday ruled that graduate students at Columbia University are employees and can form a union. The decision reverses a previous board decision involving a case at Brown University, which, a majority of the board said on Tuesday, “deprived an entire category of workers of the protections of the [National Labor Relations Act] without a convincing justification.”

The decision, by a vote of 3 to 1, has big implications for graduate s…


Judge Rejects Texas Professors’ Bid for Injunction to Block Guns From Classrooms

A federal judge on Monday denied a request by three faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin for a preliminary injunction to keep concealed guns out of their classrooms, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The ruling, by Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court in Austin, came just two days before the start of fall classes at the state’s flagship. The university has been roiled by the August 1 imposition of a state law allowing the licensed carry of concealed handguns in most p…


Ken Starr Resigns Faculty Position at Baylor

Kenneth W. Starr is leaving Baylor University, the university announced Friday in a news release.

The former president gave up his faculty position at Baylor’s law school after a semester of turmoil at the university.

In May, after an investigation determined that the university had mishandled sexual assaults to protect the college’s football team, Baylor’s Board of Regents fired the head football coach, Art Briles, placed the athletic director, Ian McCaw, on probation, and demoted Mr. Starr to …


Study Finds More Faculty Diversity at Public Institutions Than at Private Ones

Members of underrepresented minority groups are working largely at research universities, according to a study by the TIAA Institute.

The report measured faculty diversity for a forthcoming book with the Johns Hopkins University Press, some 50 years after Title IX and affirmative-action policies were designed to change faculty demographics.

Since 1993 the ratio of white to underrepresented-minority tenured faculty members has been halved, from a 15:1 ratio in 1993 to 7.8:1 in 2013, the report sa…


Missouri State Instructor Is Charged in Stabbing Death of Professor

An instructor at Missouri State University was being held on murder and other charges on Thursday after a retired professor of the same university was found dead in his home on Wednesday night, the Springfield News-Leader reported, citing documents filed by prosecutors and the Springfield, Mo., police.

The victim, Marc F. Cooper, was an emeritus professor of history and a scholar of ancient civilizations.

According to a police statement, the suspect, Edward M. Gutting, an instructor of modern an…


California Bill Would Give Community-College Adjuncts New Workplace Rights

A bill moving through the California Legislature would require the state’s community-college districts to contractually guarantee seniority and due-process rights to adjunct instructors.

The measure, Assembly Bill 1690, would make California the first state to legally require colleges to give part-time instructors such rights. It has received strong support in California’s Democratically held Legislature, where the Senate Appropriations Committee approved it last week and the Assembly overwhe…


What Is a ‘Serious Academic’? Social-Media Critique Provokes a Backlash

“I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer,” read the headline of an anonymous article in The Guardian on Friday. Embracing social media, as many academics are encouraged to do, amounts to little more than a dog-and-pony show, the author writes, and is more about demonstrating an exaggerated enthusiasm than anything else.

“I do not — and should not — have to parade myself online to please my employer or to stake my claim as a good researcher,” the author writes. “Can’t we save th…


CUNY Union Ratifies Contract to Provide Pay Raises and Multiyear Contracts

Faculty and professional-staff members at the City University of New York are getting raises after a new union contract was ratified on Thursday, according to an announcement by the union.

As a result of the Professional Staff Congress’s agreement with CUNY’s administration, about 25,000 employees will get a 10.41-percent raise over about seven years, including retroactive pay. Adjuncts, some of whom have complained that the new contract doesn’t do enough for them, will receive health insurance …


Professor Who Battled College of Charleston Over Syllabus Is Suing

Robert T. Dillon, the biology professor at the College of Charleston who resisted administrators’ requests that he update his syllabus with learning outcomes, is suing the South Carolina college and says he will retire, The Post and Courier reports.

Mr. Dillon’s odd saga was described in a Chronicle article in March. In short: Mr. Dillon, who had been a thorn in the side of administrators for some time, responded to their requests by adding a quotation from Woodrow Wilson to his syllabus. That d…