Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.


Tenured Professor Says Blog Post Cost Him His Job

A philosophy professor at Dickinson College who says he was fired for a post on his personal blog was not dismissed but is no longer employed there, the institution said on Monday. Crispin Sartwell, who was tenured, was not terminated, according to the Pennsylvania college’s director of media relations, Christine Baksi. She would not elaborate further, saying it was a personnel matter.

Mr. Sartwell was placed on temporary leave last month, The Dickinsonian reported. Through posts on his blog, Mr…


More Professors Say Undergraduates Need to Hone Research Abilities, Survey Finds

Report: “Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey”

Authors: Christine Wolff, Alisa B. Rod, and Roger C. Schonfeld; Ms. Wolff and Mr. Schonfeld are at Ithaka S+R, the consulting-and-research arm of the nonprofit group Ithaka, which focuses on technology in academe; Ms. Rod is associate director of the Empirical Reasoning Center at Barnard College

Summary: This latest edition of a survey that is conducted every three years found an uptick in faculty members who believe undergraduate students are arriving at …


U. of Maryland Backs Away From Maligned Study on Chocolate Milk and Concussions

The University of Maryland has acknowledged “shortcomings” in its handling of a highly criticized study that prompted news releases claiming that athletes could see benefits from a brand of chocolate milk produced by a company that helped fund the research.

Following public criticism of the news releases, the university convened a panel to examine how the study had unfolded. In a news release on Friday, Maryland said it had found no wrongdoing by the company. But it said it was returning the mo…


Controversial Researcher With Ties to Coke Steps Down as Head of University Wellness Center

The director of a University of Colorado-affiliated wellness center, who came under fire last year for a lucrative connection to Coca-Cola, has stepped down from that position, The Denver Post reports.

James O. Hill drew scrutiny last year, when The New York Times published an article stating that the organization he led, which sought to shift the blame for obesity from excessive consumption to lack of exercise, had received a $1.5-million donation from Coca-Cola. Mr. Hill, then president of the…


Graduation Rates for Black Students Aren’t Increasing at Same Pace as for Other Students

Report: “Rising Tide II: Do Black Students Benefit as Grad Rates Increase?”

Authors: Andrew Howard Nichols, Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré, and Meredith Welch

Organization: The Education Trust

Summary: Graduation rates at higher-education institutions are broadly on the rise, but overall data do not take into account completion rates among students of different races. Of the 232 four-year, public institutions that improved their overall graduation rates from 2003 to 2013, 70 percent also had increased…


Here Are 15 Indispensable Academic Twitter Accounts

Twitter. It’s great for yelling at airlines, executing flawless DM slides, and keeping tabs on the Republican presidential debates after promising yourself you wouldn’t turn on the TV. But can it be used for good?

It depends on whom you follow. On the occasion of Twitter’s 10th birthday, I asked others here at The Chronicle as well as my Twitter followers to name that one tweeter in academe whom they just can’t live without. Here’s a selection of their responses, listed in no particular order:



Is Scientific Publishing About to Be Disrupted? ASAPbio, Briefly Explained

A group of biologists gathered last month outside Washington, D.C., for a conference that could help spur change in how the discipline publishes its work. United under the name ASAPbio, attendees discussed how they might upend the traditional publishing structure in the interest of speeding up scientific discovery and making scholarship more publicly accessible.

The New York Times published an article about ASAPbio on Tuesday, effectively lending it more visibility. Here’s what you need to know:


EPA Hits Oregon State U. With $275,000 Hazardous-Waste Fine

Oregon State University was hit with a $275,000 fine on Monday for improper handling of hazardous wastes. According to a news release issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the wastes — nearly 2,000 containers of laboratory chemicals and other substances — were unsafely stored and inadequately identified, endangering students, faculty members, support-staff workers, emergency responders, truck drivers, and landfill employees. In a settlement announced by the EPA, the universi…


In Describing a Pattern to Harassment of Female Scientists, Professor’s Op-Ed Strikes a Chord

The New York Times published an op-ed on Friday night by A. Hope Jahren, a professor of geobiology at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, entitled “She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings.’” The piece landed with a bang — it has been shared widely among academics and nonacademics alike — and has since reverberated well beyond the sciences.

(A portion of this post is devoted to synthesizing the arguments in Ms. Jahren’s op-ed. You should read it here in full.)

Much of the recent at…


After 10 Days on the Lam, Wayward Goat Is Back at U. of Iowa

The tumult and drama of recent weeks finally drew to a close in Iowa City on Monday. No, it wasn’t the departure of the last presidential candidate or TV crew. It was the recapture of the University of Iowa’s lost goat, missing since late January and the subject of endless speculation, not to mention extensive coverage in the local press.

“We are very happy to report that William the Goat is in custody and back home in a nice warm pen out at the University Research Park,” tweeted the university’…