All posts by Andrew Mytelka

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U. of Southern California Rejects $5-Million Pledge From Harvey Weinstein

The allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the movie magnate Harvey Weinstein were enough to make the University of Southern California on Tuesday reject his pledge of $5 million for a scholarship program for female directors, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The USC School of Cinematic Arts will not proceed with Mr. Weinstein’s pledge to fund a $5M endowment for women filmmakers,” the university said in a statement to the Reporter.

The decision followed explosive revelations …

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U. of Southern California Removes Medical-School Dean as Newspaper Reports Sexual-Misconduct Claim

Another medical-school dean has toppled at the University of Southern California amid the disclosure of alleged unsavory behavior.

The university on Thursday removed as dean Rohit Varma, an ophthalmologist, as the Los Angeles Times was about to publish an article describing his alleged sexual harassment of and alleged retaliation against a young woman he supervised in 2003, an episode that only briefly deflected his career.

The news broke just two and a half months after the Times published its …

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David Boren Will Retire as U. of Oklahoma’s President

David L. Boren, president since 1994 of the University of Oklahoma, announced on Wednesday that he planned to retire on June 30, 2018, unless his successor had not been named by that date.

Mr. Boren, a centrist Democrat, has engaged in public service for more than 50 years, including terms in the Oklahoma Legislature, as governor of Oklahoma, and as a U.S. senator from his home state before he became the university’s president.

His years as president were noted for the creation of 30 academic pr…

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Boston-Area Professors Are Arrested in Protest of Trump’s Move Against DACA

Some two dozen professors from Harvard and other universities in the Boston area were arrested on Thursday after they blocked traffic in Cambridge, Mass., to protest the Trump administration’s decision to rescind an Obama-era program that has protected thousands of young people from deportation because of their immigration status, The Harvard Crimson reported. Many of them are college students.

The program, known as Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, allowed people who had been brought to th…

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U. of Illinois Ex-Grad Student Is Arrested in Disappearance of Chinese Scholar

Updated (7/1/2017, 1:27 p.m.) with news that the suspect is a former graduate student in physics at the university.

A visiting scholar from China who has been missing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for three weeks is believed to be dead, said law-enforcement authorities on Friday as they announced the arrest of a suspect in the scholar’s disappearance, according to The News-Gazette, a local newspaper.

The suspect, a 28-year-old former graduate student in physics at the unive…

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Trinity Professor Whose Comments Drew Threats Is Put on Leave

The Trinity College professor whose online comments about racial issues and the police drew national attention, including threats that led the Connecticut institution to shut down briefly, has been placed on paid leave, the college announced late Monday.

Trinity’s president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, wrote that “a leave is in the best interest” of both the college and the faculty member, Johnny Eric Williams, an associate professor of sociology. Ms. Berger-Sweeney added that the dean of the faculty…

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Jury Convicts 3rd Former Vanderbilt U. Athlete in 2013 Gang Rape

A Tennessee jury on Friday found a former football player at Vanderbilt University guilty of two of seven charges, including aggravated rape, in connection with the gang rape of an unconscious student in 2013, The Tennessean reports.

The former athlete, Brandon E. Banks, is the third teammate to be convicted in the case. He faces a possible 15-year prison sentence for the aggravated-rape charge. Two members of the team, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, were sentenced to 17 years and 15 years, …

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New Mexico’s Public Colleges Breathe Easier, as Governor Signs Budget Bill

Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico signed into law on Friday a bill to provide state funds to public colleges and universities in the next fiscal year, nearly two months after her veto of a spending bill jeopardized such funding, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The veto, of nearly $745 million in support for higher education, appeared to cast New Mexico as the next fiscal battleground, after Illinois, in which a  deadlock between a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature resulted…

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Trump Administration Is Expected to Propose 18% Cut in NIH Budget

The National Institutes of Health would see its budget slashed by 18 percent, from $31.8 billion to $26 billion, under a spending plan for the 2018 fiscal year that the Trump administration is expected to release on Tuesday. Details of the budget were under wraps, but The Washington Post noticed on Monday that the spending plan for the Department of Health and Human Services, of which the NIH is a part, had been posted online early. (The document was later taken down.)

The NIH, the largest sourc…

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Hoax Article in Social-Science Journal Gets a Rise Out of Some Scholars

A fresh attempt to poke fun at — and poke holes in — cultural-studies scholarship was revealed this week, with the disclosure that a recently published article in Cogent Social Sciences was a hoax. The article, “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” was the work of two people — Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University, in Oregon, and James A. Lindsay, an independent scholar. They describe their exploit on the website of Skeptic magazine.

Like the…