Category Archives: Teaching

News from inside the classroom.

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Marygrove College to Eliminate All Undergraduate Programs

Experiencing enrollment and financial problems like other liberal-arts colleges across the country, Marygrove College announced on Wednesday that it would discard all of its undergraduate programs this winter, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“Vigorous marketing and recruitment efforts have failed to provide sufficient revenue from our undergraduate programs to continue operations as usual,” the Michigan college’s president, Elizabeth A. Burns, said in a news release. To keep the institution viab…

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UC-Berkeley’s Former Chancellor Will Be Paid $434,000 on Leave

Nicholas B. Dirks, a former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, will be paid $434,000 during his coming year on leave, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Mr. Dirks announced in August 2016 that he would step down from his leadership position.

Under the university’s policy, Mr. Dirks qualifies for a year off with pay before returning to the classroom as a history professor. Executives must work in the university system for at least five years to receive full pay during a yea…

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U. of North Carolina Chancellor Criticizes Board’s Proposal to Hamstring Civil-Rights Center

Carol L. Folt, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has publicly proclaimed her support for an embattled civil-rights center’s ability to pursue litigation, The News & Observer reports.

The university system’s Board of Governors is considering a proposal to prevent the UNC Law School’s Center for Civil Rights from engaging in any litigation. In the past, the center — which was founded in 2001 by the civil-rights lawyer Julius Chambers — has taken on cases involving …

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Nashville State Is Accused of Spying on Investigation of Its Oppressive Climate

Nashville State Community College maintains such an oppressive climate for its faculty members that it sought to monitor and interfere with efforts to ask them about it, according to a report commissioned by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Nashville State’s executives sought to surreptitiously identify which faculty members were being confidentially interviewed by investigators from Middle Tennessee State University. Several administrators, including George H. Van Allen, the college’s presid…

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Mills College Declares Financial Emergency and May Cut 30 to 35 Jobs

Mills College, a liberal-arts institution for women in Oakland, Calif., declared a financial emergency on Tuesday as a first step toward dealing with financial challenges, including a projected $9.1-million deficit in the coming fiscal year.

In a news release and in a statement emailed to faculty, staff, and students on Tuesday afternoon, the college described the Board of Trustees’ approval of the declaration of emergency as a step that authorizes Mills to restructure all of its expenses in p…

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Students Don’t Always Recognize Good Teaching, Study Finds

Effective teaching has a lasting impact on students but is rarely recognized in their course evaluations, according to an analysis, released on Tuesday, of nearly 340,000 mathematics students at the University of Phoenix.

A skilled instructor affected his or her students’ performance in a course on a scale equal to moving their grade from a B to a B-plus, say researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in a report on their study, “Measuring Up: Assessing Instructor Effectiveness in Hi…

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Rollins College Student Is Reinstated Following Religious Dispute With Professor

Rollins College has reinstated a student who was suspended following a disagreement with his professor over religious discrimination, the student’s lawyer told the Orlando Sentinel.

Marshall Polston, a Christian student at the small liberal-arts college in Florida, was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing after his Muslim professor made a “protection against stalking” request to the Orange County Circuit Court. News of Mr. Polston’s suspension quickly gained national attention. Grant H…

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Christian Student in Florida Is Suspended After Dispute With Muslim Professor

A small liberal-arts college in Florida has suspended a Christian student who has been clashing with his Muslim professor for weeks, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., suspended 20-year-old Marshall Polston after his religious-studies professor filed a “protection against stalking” request. Mr. Polston told the Sentinel he felt discriminated against by his professor, Areej Zufari. Mr. Polston received a failing grade on an essay for a course in Middle Eastern h…

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Iowa State U. Defends 9/11 Assignment Against Lawmaker’s Criticism

When an Iowa State University lecturer assigned students to write about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, from the perspective of a terrorist group, he drew harsh criticism from an Iowa legislator, but campus administrators have defended the assignment.

The 500-word paper was part of an online course taught by James Strohman for the university’s department of world languages and cultures, The Des Moines Register reported. The assignment has been part of the course for years, but it r…

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Adjuncts at Colorado Community Colleges Lack Academic-Freedom Protections, AAUP Says

The American Association of University Professors is citing the firing of a Colorado adjunct instructor as evidence of a broader lack of academic freedom for part-time faculty members throughout that state’s community-college system.

The case of Nathanial Bork, who lost his job at the Community College of Aurora last fall after he complained to its accreditor about a new curriculum there, “exposes the absence of adequate procedural protections for the adjunct faculty in the regulations of the …