261 posts tagged with academia.
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Bill Bowen, R.I.P.

A major figure in higher education has passed. William G. Bowen was president of Princeton, head of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and helped launch a variety of projects, including JSTOR, Artstor, and Ithaka Harbors. 2012 winner of the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal, Bowen also found time to write nineteen books, many influential, often on higher education.
posted by doctornemo on Oct 21, 2016 - 11 comments

“‘This is shit. I’m one of the other people who got the shit!’”

Shitstorm In Academia As Professors Receive Packets Of Poop [Buzzfeed News] Junk mail took on a new meaning when three philosophy professors received envelopes of feces last summer. Now, the hunt is on for the 'poopetrator'. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 10, 2016 - 59 comments

Bad Science

The Inevitable Evolution of Bad Science "Now, imagine you’re a researcher who wants to game this system. Here’s what you do. Run many small and statistically weak studies. Tweak your methods on the fly to ensure positive results. If you get negative results, sweep them under the rug. Never try to check old results; only pursue new and exciting ones. These are not just flights of fancy. We know that such practices abound."
posted by dhruva on Sep 26, 2016 - 15 comments

The attention of readers is not, she says "a boiled egg" but "an omelet.

On Not Reading by Amy Hungerford [The Chronicle Review] “The activity of nonreading is something that scholars rarely discuss. When they — or others whose identities are bound up with books — do so, the discussions tend to have a shamefaced quality. Blame "cultural capital" — the sense of superiority associated with laying claim to books that mark one’s high social status. More entertainingly, blame Humiliation, the delicious game that a diabolical English professor invents in David Lodge’s 1975 academic satire, Changing Places. ”
posted by Fizz on Sep 13, 2016 - 42 comments

The desired academy, nine years hence

“What change would you like to see in universities or in your academic field by 2025?” That's the question Heterodox Academy members answer, in honor of their initiative's first year anniversary.
(Previously)
posted by doctornemo on Sep 12, 2016 - 36 comments

Faculty locked out at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus

At midnight on Friday, Long Island University Brooklyn's campus locked out 400 fulltime and adjunct faculty. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry on Sep 4, 2016 - 48 comments

Teaching at the University of Dante

The Nine Circles of Hell for Adjunct Faculty
posted by dfm500 on Aug 21, 2016 - 64 comments

"We have to choose between silence and the acceptance of risk."

Even Doing Academic Research On Video Games Puts Me At Risk: On managing personal information in a risky field.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 11, 2016 - 29 comments

The unintended consequences of tenure timeouts

The bombshell finding was that, when comparing candidates for tenure, the success rate for male candidates increased by 19.4 percentage points after stopping the clock was offered. For women, the rate fell by 22.4 percentage points. [more inside]
posted by Dashy on Jun 28, 2016 - 59 comments

Legal Troubles

As the rich get richer, trouble continues to brew for law schools in the United States. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jun 28, 2016 - 66 comments

African and African American Studies: Introduction to Wakanda

"T’Challa emerged as the fictional representation of those countless dreams denied; the unbroken manhood that Ossie Davis famously invoked after the assassination of Malcolm X. Wakanda symbolized the dreams of black utopias like Ethiopia and South Africa that had grown as the Black Freedom Struggle grew over the twentieth century. In this moment when superheroes become a way to explore contemporary anxieties about activism and authority, the Black Panther provides an opportunity for global audiences to study the traditions of black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and the variety of African indigenous cultures. Dr. Walter Greason (Monmouth University) took a few minutes to suggest a collaborative exploration of these influences" in the Wakanda Syllabus.
posted by ChuraChura on Jun 19, 2016 - 6 comments

the best-educated low-wage workers in America

For the past month Gawker has been sharing true stories from behind the front lines of adjunct-dom: The Educated Underclass. [more inside]
posted by bq on May 31, 2016 - 85 comments

“failed to uphold the standards of ethical behavior”

Ethics and the Eye of the Beholder by Katie J.M. Baker [Buzzfeed] Thomas Pogge, one of the world’s most prominent ethicists, stands accused of manipulating students to gain sexual advantage. Did the fierce champion of the world's disempowered abuse his own power? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 20, 2016 - 46 comments

Assistant Deputy Provost for the Office of Dining Technology

University Title Generator. Includes estimated salaries.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 16, 2016 - 50 comments

The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.

Inspired by a column in Nature by Melanie Stefan, Princeton professor Johannes Haushofer keeps a CV of failures (PDF); he was interviewed by NPR about it this morning. Other examples of the form include: Bradley Voytek (PDF, skip to the end), Sam Lord (PDF), Alexandra Roshchina, and Sara Rywe (PDF). For non-academic examples, look at Srinivas Rao and Monica Byrne. Ironically, Melanie Stefan's CV page does not list failures.
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 29, 2016 - 25 comments

Unfriending the University of Northern New Jersey

The US Department of Homeland Security created a fake for-profit institution, the University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ), as part of a sting operation targeting student-visa fraud. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the demise of UNNJ's Facebook page, which featured photos of a mysterious cup of coffee and condolences for the fictional death of the fictional president's mother.
posted by yarntheory on Apr 6, 2016 - 46 comments

Digital Humanism

The Digital in the Humanities: An Interview with Franco Moretti - "the term 'digital humanities' (DH) has captured the imagination and the ire of scholars across American universities. The field, which melds computer science with hermeneutics, is championed by supporters as the much-needed means to shake up and expand methods of traditional literary interpretation and is seen by its most outspoken critics as a new fad that symbolizes the neoliberal bean counting destroying American higher education. Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes lies a vast and varied body of work that utilizes and critically examines digital tools in the pursuit of humanistic study. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 9, 2016 - 21 comments

She wanted to do her research; he wanted to talk feelings.

Sexual harassment in science generally starts like this: A woman (she is a student, a technician, a professor) gets an email and notices that the subject line is a bit off: “I need to tell you,” or “my feelings.” The opening lines refer to the altered physical and mental state of the author: “It’s late and I can’t sleep” is a favorite, though “Maybe it’s the three glasses of cognac” is popular as well.
posted by sciatrix on Mar 7, 2016 - 171 comments

Melissa Click has been fired.

Controversial prof booted by University of Missouri Board of Curators. Communication faculty member Click rose to fame and notoriety for her role in recent protests against Missouri's administration, where she called for two journalists, one a student, to be blocked or removed from a protest site. Images and video of her circulated widely.

Recently Click was suspended by Mizzou, and also charged with assault by local prosecutors. She ended her appointment with the university's journalism department. A group of state legislators wanted her gone. A similarly-sized group of faculty publicly supported Click. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Feb 26, 2016 - 155 comments

Where are the minority professors?

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: An interactive look at the demographics of more than 400,000 professors at 1,500 colleges, showing where those of each rank, gender, race/ethnicity, and tenure status can be found. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Feb 16, 2016 - 6 comments

Sexual harassment in science redux: now with paleoanthropology!

Loudly, and apparently without caring who heard her, a research assistant at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City charged that her boss—noted paleoanthropologist Brian Richmond, the museum’s curator of human origins—had “sexually assaulted” her in his hotel room after a meeting the previous September in Florence, Italy. At the meeting, one person who heard the allegations was Bernard Wood, 70, a senior paleoanthropologist originally from the United Kingdom. In St. Louis, Wood canvassed younger researchers about their experiences with Richmond. He asked everyone the same question: “Does this alleged behavior come as any surprise to you?” He didn’t get the “yes” he was expecting.
posted by sciatrix on Feb 10, 2016 - 86 comments

Academic Hiring Is Broken

At Brandeis University, students are petitioning the school to take well regarded adjunct sociology professor Jillian Powers on as a tenure-track professor, after learning how tenuous her status is. A Slate article on the matter discusses why the student petition will most likely fail, and the incredibly broken system used to hire new tenure-track professors without any real consideration for their ability to teach.
posted by NoxAeternum on Jan 20, 2016 - 157 comments

This Professor Fell In Love With His Grad Student, Then Fired Her For It

Christian Ott, a young astrophysics professor at the California Institute of Technology, fell in love with one of his graduate students and then fired her because of his feelings, according to a recent university investigation. Twenty-one months of intimate online chats, obtained by BuzzFeed News, confirm that he confessed his actions to another female graduate student. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 20, 2016 - 199 comments

The age of uncle books

Why do male authors and subjects dominate history books? Digging into bestselling history books in the United States. (SLS) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Jan 6, 2016 - 30 comments

No more men in gold suits

What's it like to be Noam Chomsky's Assistant?
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 23, 2015 - 8 comments

Reflections of a sellout; how diversity would strengthen social science

José L. Duarte is one author of an upcoming paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, "Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science." The authors review how academic psychology has lost its former political diversity, and explore the negative consequences of this on the field's search for true and valid results. Duarte has blogged about his own experience of bias when he was denied admission to a Ph.D program, possibly for for his perceived political views in another blog post. [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Dec 16, 2015 - 24 comments

Popular Research Articles of 2015

Altmetric's top 100 academic research articles of 2015. These are the articles that captured the most attention from the mainstream media, blogs, Wikipedia, and social networks this year, according to Altmetric.
posted by painquale on Dec 14, 2015 - 11 comments

What began as theory persists as style

When Nothing Is Cool is an insider critique of English academia's culture of critique. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Dec 8, 2015 - 38 comments

The evolution of JSTOR and chill

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. It also has a tumblr.
posted by kenko on Nov 21, 2015 - 21 comments

Rejecting the gender binary: a vector-space operation

“Word Embedding Models let us take a stab formalizing an interesting counterfactual question: what would the networks of meaning in language look like if patterns that map onto gender did not exist?” [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Nov 1, 2015 - 17 comments

Traces of Destruction: The emotional work of studying painful history

But people who decide to study this violent history, people who write it all down — we’re also people who need to mail in tax forms, or put on a pot of coffee, call our dads. This can be difficult work, this act of entering the pre when you live in the post, and then having to be a person, and hand something in by a deadline, and walk away and study and do it again. For writers of colour who choose to study or tell the stories of their own communities, this in-between space is made more stark by the fact that they work within a system that often speaks about them, for them, but not with them.
posted by sciatrix on Oct 12, 2015 - 3 comments

The consequences of sexual harassment at Berkeley

Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, a prominent exoplanet researcher employed as a professor at UC Berkeley, has been found to have repeatedly violated sexual harassment policy. The full report has not been made public, but according to a report by Buzzfeed, the result is that he is to be given "clear expectations concerning his future interactions with students" or risk further punishment. Dr. Marcy has put an apology letter on his web page. Dr. Michael Eisen, a biology professor at UC Berkeley, has posted an article about the contradictions between the Berkley sexual harassment training and institutional consequences. Dr. Janet Stemwedel writes in Forbes about the differences between institutional and community responses in this case.
posted by demiurge on Oct 11, 2015 - 93 comments

The improvised note ... some weird territory of you and me

Sofia Samatar's "Skin Feeling" evokes "What it is to be encountered as a surface, to be constantly exposed as something you are not." Samatar is an English professor, an SFF writer, and a person of color engaged in diversity work on her campus, and among other things, her essay reflects on multiple incidents of indecent exposure, Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and the university housed in what was once the largest mental hospital in the world, the book On Being Included, and being made a symbol of diversity (a topic that fellow SFF writer Kate Elliott recently addressed as well). [Samatar link via Savage Minds and Elliott link via N. K. Jemisin.]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Sep 27, 2015 - 4 comments

The battle between academia and business for research talent

Uber would like to buy your robotics department Today’s early-stage inquiry — so-called basic research, the Level 1 work, where scientists are still puzzling over fundamental questions — is financed almost exclusively by the federal government. It’s too far out, too speculative, to attract much investment; it isn’t clear if anyone will make any money on it. This wasn’t always the case.
posted by modernnomad on Sep 11, 2015 - 27 comments

naturally, it’s slated for demolition

This legion of bureaucrats enables a world of pitiless surveillance; no segment of campus life, no matter how small, does not have some administrator who worries about it. Piece by piece, every corner of the average campus is being slowly made congruent with a single, totalizing vision. Why We Should Fear University, Inc.
posted by gerryblog on Sep 10, 2015 - 56 comments

LSU, Tenure, and Profanity in the Classroom

Teresa Buchanan, associate professor of education at LSU, was fired for using profanity in the classroom and allegedly comparing women unfavorably to men. THe administration defends their actions by equating Dr. Buchanan's conduct to sexual harassment. Faculty at LSU and the AAUP have both objected to alarming administrative overreach in what they both see as grounds for censure rather than dismissal. Several media reports are linked off of this Language Log post.
posted by jackbishop on Sep 9, 2015 - 45 comments

The students and professors aren't the problem; the university system is

"The academy is no longer an investment of time worth making... I was a priest who had lost his faith, performing the sacraments without any sense of their importance." Yet another sad piece on academia, woe.
posted by pos on Sep 8, 2015 - 94 comments

"Seriously, fuck it," explains the paper’s abstract.

Nuance is revered in higher education. That’s especially true in sociology, where scholars spend their lives digging into the fine grain of human social behavior, often finding even finer grain underneath. Which is why it came as such a surprise — and perhaps a relief — when Kieran Healy, an associate professor of sociology at Duke University, last week brought a blunt message to the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting: "Fuck Nuance."
[more inside] posted by nebulawindphone on Sep 1, 2015 - 48 comments

Goscelin, patron saint of academics on contingent, short-term contracts

Eleanor Parker of A Clerk of Oxford writes Public Engagement and Personal Enthusiasm, St Mildred and Me
I can't say how far the personal inspired the scholarly interest, or the other way around - perhaps I was drawn to Mildred because I'm from Thanet, or perhaps studying Mildred has made me more interested in Thanet's Saxon history, which I didn't really know about or think about when I actually lived there. It's probably a bit of both. Who can explain why they're drawn to the subject they study?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 20, 2015 - 3 comments

This is why we can't have nice things

All Possible Humanities Dissertations Considered as Single Tweets
posted by nebulawindphone on Jun 10, 2015 - 45 comments

There's No Crying in Graduate School

The dark side to academia's "suck it up" culture. Rachel Vorona Cote discusses the harm in academia's stoic ethos.
posted by chainsofreedom on Jun 7, 2015 - 42 comments

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition

I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me. Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones. Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.
posted by hank_14 on Jun 3, 2015 - 157 comments

Can a single conversation change minds on divisive social issues? No.

A field experiment conducted by UCLA Political Science graduate student Michael LaCour made big news (including a This American Life Episode) when LaCour and Columbia professor Donald Green published their paper in Science about how a 20 minute conversation with gay canvassers change many people's minds and led them to support same-sex marriage. It turns out though, that LaCour made the whole thing up. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on May 20, 2015 - 196 comments

"My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you."

Michelle Obama's painful discussion of America's racial inequality and deep misogyny exists, for many, on the same spectrum as [Saida] Grundy's blunt remarks about race, power and privilege. Where the first lady used her commencement speech at one of the nation's premier HBCUs to deliver a seminar on institutional racism and our nation's anti-black culture, Grundy's social media commentary dispensed with complexity to deliver screams, sometimes angry, other times humorous, that reflect equally important truths about contemporary race relations, black women's activism and the limits of freedom of expression in the 21st century.
Peniel E. Joseph for The Root: What Happens to Black Women Who Boldly Speak Truth About Racial Inequality [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on May 19, 2015 - 24 comments

AAUP Salaita report

"The administration of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, in rejecting Professor Steven Salaita’s appointment without demonstrating cause, and in doing so only after the appointment had been approved and courses had been assigned to him, acted in violation of the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the university’s own stated policies on the subject." The American Association of University Professors has issued its report on the Salaita case. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on May 5, 2015 - 87 comments

Hire a typist

Robert Eaglestone reviews the first English translation of Umberto Eco's How To Write A Thesis:
Into this bleak picture comes the first English translation of Eco’s How to Write a Thesis, continuously in print in Italy since 1977. That was a long time ago in academia, and, at first sight, lots of this book looks just useless, rooted in its historic and specific Italian context. Who uses index cards any more? (I mean, I used to, but I wrote my PhD on a computer with no hard drive, using 5¼-inch diskettes, when the internet was still for swapping equations at Cern or firing nukes at Russia.) Who has typists copy up their thesis? The sections on using libraries and research sources sound like an account of a lost, antediluvian culture. But.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 18, 2015 - 5 comments

Women in STEM fields

An empirical study by Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci at Cornell University found that when using identical qualifications, but changing the sex of the applicant, "women candidates are favored 2 to 1 over men for tenure-track positions in the science, technology, engineering and math fields." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 14, 2015 - 67 comments

I was completely embarrassed by it at the time

There is crying in science. That’s okay. People cry. Scientists are people. Therefore, scientists cry. So why is it that scientists and academics can get so freaked out by a colleague or student crying?
posted by sciatrix on Apr 2, 2015 - 81 comments

Criticism vs. Attack?

Last week, two critiques of Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, coincidentally appeared on the same day in Inside Higher Ed: one by Joshua Kim and the other by Audrey Watters and Sara Goldrick-Rab. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Mar 30, 2015 - 58 comments

Five Biases Pushing Women out of STEM

By now, we’ve all heard about the low numbers of American women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). My own new research, co-authored with Kathrine W. Phillips and Erika V. Hall, indicates that bias, not pipeline issues or personal choices, pushes women out of science – and that bias plays out differently depending on a woman’s race or ethnicity.
posted by sciatrix on Mar 28, 2015 - 24 comments

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