Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category

ebolaThere is a chilling international report out of this week on the origins of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Researchers from the United States and Africa were able to trace the origins of the outbreak to a funeral in Guinea. The report expanded the data on Ebola by 400 percent. However, the standard listing of authors on the study have a chilling notation, a “‡” designation for “Deceased.” Five team members died in the effort to trace this Ebola stain and the release of the report honors their extraordinary sacrifice.

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Screenshot (YouTube)

Screenshot (YouTube)

There is an interesting, and sad, scandal at the University of Southern California. Football star and NFL prospect Josh Shaw has been indefinitely suspended after admitting he made up a story that turned him into a national hero after he claiming to have injured both ankles jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew. He was heralded by the school and national media until the Los Angeles Times debunked the story in a scandal reminiscent of Manti Te’o controversy.

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Now In Cartoon Form . . .

Professors-JonathanTurleyDr. G. Tod Slone, Founding Editor of the The American Dissident (aka P. Maudit), has sent us this cartoon. (I never realized that I looked so much like Ted Cruz in cartoon form). It is a response to the blog on the “Yield For Sneaker’s Bacon” sign controversy. The cartoon shows, in addition to my need for better fitting suits, that academics make for lousy cartoon characters because we can only speak in 100 word increments. It does contrast the pro-free speech statement with a caution posting about George Washington University’s policies by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) that I was not aware of.

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milleryoungincident2 We have been following the controversy surrounding the confrontation of Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Younga with pro-life advocates on campus. Miller-Young led her students in attacking the pro-life display, stealing their display, and then committing battery on one of the young women. Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, filed complaints and Miller-Young was charged with criminal conduct including Theft From Person; Battery; and Vandalism. To the surprise of some of us, faculty and students rallied behind Miller-Young. She remains employed as a faculty member. Miller-Young initially pleaded not guilty but later entered a guilty plea with an apology. She has now been sentenced to sentenced to three years of probation, 108 hours of community service, 10 hours of anger management, $500 in restitution and a small fine. While her actions (and absence of serious university punishment) remain highly disturbing, some of the letters written on her behalf raise new questions over the commitment of University of California faculty to free speech and core academic principles. Miller-Young has been defended by faculty as the victim of a media campaign to portray her as “an Angry Black Woman” and her seemingly happy demeanor on the videotape has been dismissed as a “mask” that she wears as part of a “cultural legacy of slavery.”

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

dubuque-schools-logoBeginning this school year, Dubuque, Iowa public school students in middle and high school are to be required to wear heart rate monitors to determine their activity levels in gym class. The heart rate will apparently be part of the grade they receive.

In an almost unbelievable new standard of measuring grades, the public school district in Dubuque believes that their cardio-vascular knowledge is of such expertise, that they can fully translate it somehow into a measure of a student’s progress.

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dJZiSXft_400x400There is a controversy at the University of Illinois over the right of faculty to express views on social media outside of their positions. Steven Salaita had already been offered a tenured position in the American Indian studies program on the Champaign-Urbana campus and was just waiting for approval by the university’s Board of Trustees, usually a perfunctory stage. However, Salaita posted strongly anti-Israeli sentiments after the start of the recent war in Gaza. After those postings, he was informed that the university was rescinding its offer due to opposition on the board.

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planecaseEun-jong Lee, 47, a visiting professor of Human Ecology Design at Cornell University has been arrested after he allegedly groped a sleeping woman’s breast on a flight from Tokyo to Newark, New Jersey. He has been charged with abusive sexual contact, a felony carrying a maximum two-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.

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