Category Archives: Graduate Students

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Caltech Students Protest Return of Professor From Suspension

A professor at the California Institute of Technology who was suspended for allegedly harassing his graduate students was back on the campus this month, prompting dozens of students to protest on Tuesday afternoon, reports BuzzFeed.

Christian Ott, a professor of theoretical astrophysics, had returned to the campus to observe a student’s thesis defense. The news website reports that dozens of students sat in silence in the astronomy department, and one carried a sign that declared, “To suppor…

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Demonstration by Grad-Student Union at Yale Furthers Tensions Over Hunger Strike

[Updated (5/12/2017, 11:23 a.m.) with more information on Yale's stated rationale for not negotiating with graduate students.]

As a hunger strike by Yale University graduate students moved into its third week, 23 demonstrators were arrested on Thursday for blocking three major intersections in New Haven, Conn., in a protest aimed at pressuring campus officials to negotiate with their union, the New Haven Register reports.

A press release from the union, Local 33, said Thursday’s action was also …

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Judge Rules Against Marquette Professor Over Public Rebuke of TA

Marquette University was justified in disciplining a professor who had publicly rebuked a graduate teaching assistant over her handling of classroom discussions of homosexuality, a state judge ruled on Thursday.

The judge rejected the argument by John McAdams, a tenured associate professor of political science, that academic freedom had given him the right to attack the graduate teaching assistant by name in a blog post. Noting that the student subsequently received threatening emails from the b…

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NLRB Extends ‘Microunit’ Concept to Efforts to Organize Faculty Members

The National Labor Relations Board has declared non-tenure-track faculty members at Vanderbilt University eligible to form separate collective-bargaining units for their respective schools, marking the first time that faculty members will be eligible to gain union representation in such a piecemeal manner.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, Lisa Y. Henderson, acting director of the NLRB’s regional office in Atlanta, held that non-tenure-track faculty members at separate Vanderbilt schools were n…

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Graduate Students in 6 Departments at Yale Vote to Unionize

After months of legal disputes, graduate students in six academic departments at Yale University have voted to unionize, joining the union of graduate employees, Local 33, on Thursday, the Yale Daily News reports.

The departments of English, geology and geophysics, history, history of art, mathematics, and sociology voted to join the union in the elections. Students in two other departments, East Asian languages and literatures and political science, are still waiting on the results of challenge…

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Grad Student Finds Lost Novel by Walt Whitman That Hints at ‘Leaves of Grass’

A graduate student at the University of Houston has discovered a previously unknown novel by the young Walt Whitman, reports The New York Times.

The 36,000-word Life and Adventures of Jack Engle was published anonymously in a little-known New York newspaper, The Sunday Dispatch, in 1852, when the writer was in his early 30s and worked at various newspapers. That was three years before the poet first published Leaves of Grass, which scholars say the lost novel foreshadows in various ways.

Careful…

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Colleges Scramble After Trump’s Executive Order Bans Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries

[Updated (1/28/2017, 9:52 p.m.) with news of the judge's ruling.]

Colleges across the United States are rushing to respond to the news on Friday that President Trump had signed an executive order suspending admission to the United States of all refugees as well as all citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations. The main message was one many institutions had been spreading well before Friday: Students and scholars, if you might be affected by such an executive order, don’t leave the country.

Late …

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Columbia U. Is Mostly Mum on Accusations of Plagiarism Against Top Trump Aide

Columbia University has declined to comment on recent reports that Monica Crowley, an appointee of President-elect Donald J. Trump, plagiarized portions of her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation at the university.

An examination of Ms. Crowley’s 2000 dissertation by Politico revealed more than a dozen instances of language and information that was either improperly cited or printed without attribution. Columbia University cited confidentiality concerns in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“We have no commen…

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In Milestone, Columbia U. Graduate Students Vote to Unionize

[Updated (12/9/2016, 5:16 p.m.) with comments from the university.]

Research and teaching assistants at Columbia University have voted to unionize as the Graduate Workers of Columbia, an affiliate of the United Auto Workers union, according to a news release issued on Friday by the union.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled in August that graduate students who serve as research and teaching assistants at Columbia were primarily employees, not students, and so could unionize under federal la…

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Student Is Arrested in Fatal Stabbing of U. of Southern California Professor

[Updated (12/3/2016, 1:40 p.m.) to include further details about the suspect.]

A graduate student has been arrested for allegedly stabbing and killing a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. The professor, Bosco Tjan, was stabbed multiple times in the campus’s Seeley G. Mudd building on Friday afternoon. Mr. Tjan was a co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center. He joined the USC faculty in 2001.

In a message to the campus, P…