Scholar Says Pro-Democracy Activism Cost Him His Job at U. of Macau

[Updated (8/19/2014, 1:00 p.m.) to include a statement from the university.]

A professor at the University of Macau says he lost his job for speaking out in favor of increased democratization in the Chinese territory, The New York Times reported.

Bill Chou Kwok-ping, an associate professor of political science, says he was not told why his contract was not renewed, but he believes that the decision was related to his pro-democracy views. In June, the university suspended him without pay for 24 d…


Attending a For-Profit College Offers Little or No Advantage in Hiring, Study Finds

Report: “Do Employers Prefer Workers Who Attend For-Profit Colleges? Evidence From a Field Experiment”

Organization: National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research

Summary: The authors, who sent 9,000 résumés of fictitious applicants to employers in seven cities, found no evidence that job applicants who attended for-profit colleges attract more interest from employers than those who attended public community colleges.

They caution, however, that their results don’t capt…


Fordham Theologian Criticizes Church’s Investigation of Women’s Orders

A theologian and nun who drew the ire of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops with a book they considered radical and flawed fired back on Friday, saying the church’s investigation of women’s orders was “unconscionable” at a time when the hierarchy’s moral authority has been eroded by financial and child-abuse scandals, the Religion News Service reported.

Speaking in Nashville, Tenn., as she accepted an award from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a professor of t…


UCLA Offers Help to Students and Workers Whose Cars Were Damaged in Flood

The University of California at Los Angeles is offering emergency assistance, in the form of interest-free loans, to students and staff whose cars were damaged in a July 29 flood caused by a water-main break. The Los Angeles Times reports that loans of up to $5,000 will be available, and recipients will have two years to pay them back. In addition, a relief fund of more than $55,000—raised through crowfunding—has been established by the UCLA Foundation. Nearly 1,000 cars were damaged in the …


Students, Faculty, and Alumni Challenge Cooper Union in Court

Advocates for the no-tuition policy established by Peter Cooper, founder of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science, on Friday asked a state judge in Manhattan to block the institution’s plan to start charging tuition this fall, The New York Times reported. The Committee to Save Cooper Union says the policy was part of the trust the founder established in 1859 and requires court approval to be changed. Lawyers for the trust say that it requires the college only to offer free nigh…


Notre Dame Football Players Are Questioned in Academic-Fraud Inquiry

The University of Notre Dame said Friday that it had begun an investigation into suspected academic fraud involving several students, including four members of its football team.

Notre Dame officials said that a member of the university’s academic staff had raised suspicions that students had submitted papers and homework that were written for them by others. Notre Dame said it had informed the NCAA because of potential rules violations, and said the four players would be held out of practices …


President of St. Joseph’s U. Will Step Down

The president of St. Joseph’s University will resign next year at the end of his three-year term, bringing an end to a tenure that saw him butt heads with faculty over, among other things, his plan to remedy a budget shortfall.

The Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie announced on Friday he will resign next June. The university also announced Friday that its senior vice president, John Smithson, will resign at the same time.

Business faculty at the university voted no confidence in Father Gillespie earlier this year, and the Faculty Senate voted no confidence in Mr. Smithson in February.

In a telephone interview, Gillespie said that while he was disappointed in the complaints about his leadership, they did not play a significant role in his decision to leave. Gillespie, 63, said he made his decision in consultation with his Jesuit superiors.

He acknowledged that “at times, we could have done a better job responding to concerns,” and said he intended to be more proactive in responding and communicating with faculty and students in the year ahead.

A university official said that the school was no longer running a shortfall, but now had a $7-million surplus.

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Insurer of Louisiana College Can Refuse to Cover Contraception, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a Christian college in Louisiana does not have to comply with the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, reports The Town Talk, a newspaper in Alexandria, La.

U.S. District Court Judge Dee D. Drell ruled that Louisiana College’s insurance provider does not have to cover contraception methods that the institution deems “religiously offensive.”

The ruling reads, in part: “In the present case, Plaintiff has established a sincere religious belief th…


Birds Prey on Pedestrians at New Mexico State U.

Students at New Mexico State University would be wise to watch the skies as they return to campus, with officials warning pedestrians to be wary of a pair of Swainson’s hawks trying to protect their young.

Five people have been injured in recent weeks by the hawks, who are nesting on campus grounds as their offspring learn to fly. One person exhibited post-concussion systems after taking what the Campus Health Center’s medical director called “a pretty good blow” to the head.

Al Flores, director of Facilities and Maintenance, said he was walking from his office to the Activity Center about two weeks ago when two hawks swooped down at him near the track. “I kind of high-tailed it after that,” Flores said. “We had heard about (the hawks) but we didn’t know how aggressive they were in that area.”

The hawk parents, which have built their nest in a tree outside the gym, are being hostile toward pedestrians who they may see as threats to their offspring, according to Martha Desmond, an NMSU professor who specializes in ornithology, the study of birds.

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Professor Plagiarized ‘Plagiarism’ Definition in Textbook, Co-Author Says

This may be the plagiarism brouhaha to end all plagiarism brouhahas.

A professor at Miami Dade College and co-author of the textbook The Freedom to Communicate is accusing a colleague and fellow author of plagiarizing portions of the book, the Miami Herald reports. What makes this plagiarism spat distinctive amid the recent spate of high-profile cases is the allegation that Adam Vellone, a communications professor, plagiarized the definition of plagiarism in the textbook, lifting it nearly word…