First Thought

Insights drawn weekly from Karin Fischer’s global-education newsletter, latitude(s). Subscribe here.

A federal judge has acquitted a former University of Tennessee professor accused of hiding his ties to China after the espionage case against him crumbled.

Federal prosecutors had planned to retry Anming Hu on charges of wire fraud and making false statements after his first trial ended in a deadlocked jury. But the opinion by U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan said that the government had failed to make the case that Hu had deliberately obscured his affiliations with a Chinese university when applying for grants from NASA. (Federal law prohibits NASA funds from going to projects in collaboration with China.)

Read more from Karin Fischer in this week’s latitude(s).

What’s the future of the previous administration’s “China Initiative”? Read the Chronicle story: “Has the Hunt for Chinese Spies Become a Witch Hunt?

The Reading List

  • A draft House budget bill includes language providing a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented students brought to the U.S. as children. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats made the case to the parliamentarian that immigration provisions should be allowed in the bill.
  • College students are back in the classroom in Afghanistan for the first time since the Taliban takeover, but male and female students are segregated. A Taliban minister has said women can attend university but not alongside men.
  • Higher-education aid programs in Afghanistan are at risk under the new government.

Featured on Chronicle.com

“People are fed up. The graciousness, the compassion, the ‘we do it for the students, we do it for the work’ — that’s gone.”

Winni Paul, a management consultant whose clients have included campuses and higher-education groups.

The Chronicle interviewed nearly 60 current and former higher-education professionals this summer about how the pandemic and the approaching fall term have affected their attitudes about work. Read the full story from Lindsay Ellis.