Category Archives: The Profession

News about faculty members across all disciplines.


Russia Questions 2 U.S. Journalism Professors Who Led Workshops There

Joe Bergantino, executive director of Boston University’s New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and Randy Covington, who directs the Newsplex journalism training facility at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, were detained and questioned in Russia for about five hours on Thursday, according to reports by BU Today and The Boston Globe. The two had been teaching journalism workshops there.

Beth Daley, a reporter for the New England Center, told the Boston University news site …


Free-Speech Lawsuit About Student’s Remarks on Lesbianism May Proceed

A free-speech lawsuit in which a former student at the University of New Mexico has accused it of blasting her views on lesbianism may proceed in court, a federal judge ruled last month. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Judge M. Christina Armijo of the U.S. District Court in Albuquerque denied the university’s motion to dismiss the case, which was filed last year by Monica Pompeo.

The case stems from a film critique Ms. Pompeo completed as part of a class in 2012. In the critique, she called…


Philosophy Dept. Roiled by Claims of Sex Harassment to Resume Admissions

The University of Colorado at Boulder’s philosophy department will resume graduate admissions for the 2015-16 academic year. The move comes eight months after allegations of sexual harassment spurred the removal of the department’s chairman and the suspension of admissions. According to a news release from the university, the department has carried out a series of reforms that “address issues of harassment and discrimination.”

“I believe the department has had difficult conversations, worked thr…


Feminist Speaker’s Cancellation Spurs Protest of Misogyny in Video-Gaming

A prominent critic of misogyny in video-gaming culture canceled a speech she was scheduled to give at Utah State University on Tuesday after she drew death threats. But the threats weren’t what prompted Anita Sarkeesian to cancel the talk, she said on Twitter:


Steven Salaita Will Get $5,000 From AAUP’s Academic Freedom Fund

The American Association of University Professors Foundation will give $5,000 to Steven G. Salaita, who was offered a professorship by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but then saw it revoked after he wrote tweets critical of Israel. The money comes from the foundation’s Academic Freedom Fund, which provides “temporary financial aid” to “faculty members whose means of support are reduced or cut off because of their involvement in academic-freedom controversies.”

Mr. Salaita has thr…


Chinese-American Scholar’s Books Are Banned Amid Protests in Hong Kong

Chinese officials have blocked the sale of books by Yu Ying-shih, a Chinese-American scholar who has supported pro-democracy movements playing out in Hong Kong, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Yu, an emeritus professor of East Asian studies and of history at Princeton University, has publicly backed protesters who for weeks have been sparring with the police in Hong Kong over more autonomy.

“If you keep following the orders” of the Communist Party, “don’t you become 100-percent slaves eventual…


Controversial Philosopher Will Step Down as Editor of Influential Rankings

Brian Leiter, the philosopher who has come under intense criticism in recent weeks for his caustic rhetoric, will step down as editor of The Philosophical Gourmet Report, an influential ranking of philosophy departments.

Mr. Leiter, director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, announced the change in a blog post on Friday, after the publication’s advisory board voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move. Mr. Leiter will remain the publication’s editor unti…


Princeton Faculty Scuttles Policy That Sought to Check Grade Inflation

Ten years after Princeton University adopted a “grade deflation” policy, faculty members voted on Monday to reverse the policy and allow each department to determine its own grading standards, The Daily Princetonian reported. The repeal of the policy is effective immediately.

The policy, adopted in 2004, had recommended that A’s make up no more than 35 percent of any department’s grades. An ad hoc committee, convened last year to review the policy, had encouraged its repeal.

“The ad hoc commit…


50 Faculty Positions Will Be Eliminated at U. of Southern Maine

The University of Southern Maine will cut 50 faculty positions and two academic programs to try to close a $16-million budget deficit, the Portland Press Herald reports. The changes, announced on Monday, represent only the first of three steps to drastically reduce expenses at Southern Maine.

The university will cut its master’s program in applied medical sciences, which has five faculty members, and the undergraduate French program, which has three faculty members. In an email to the faculty on…


250 Anthropologists Call for Academic Boycott of Israel

A group of more than 250 anthropologists has signed a pledge not to cooperate with Israel’s academic institutions. The anthropologists represent the latest group to support an academic boycott of Israel since the nation began a military campaign in the Gaza Strip in July.

“As a community of scholars who study problems of power, oppression, and cultural hegemony, we have a moral responsibility to speak out and demand accountability from Israel and our own governments,” wrote the anthropologists.