Should academics encourage students to not attend certain schools?

The Washington Post offers an interesting question of ethics in this story.

More than 400 academics around the world are urging students to not attend a certain university because it continues to employ a man they say preys on female students.

Signatories of the boycott letter, posted online last week, said they “cannot in good conscience encourage our students to pursue educational or employment opportunities at …” More than 400 professors and instructors from around the world have signed the document. The letter’s authors delivered it to two board of trustees members Monday.

“We, as academics, engage in ongoing promotion of other institutions all the time. It’s part of our jobs,” said Robin Panneton, a psychology professor at Virginia Tech and one of the letter’s four co-authors. Professors often write letters of recommendation and suggest which graduate or postdoctoral programs their students might apply to.

What do you think?

Are these academics doing the ethical and right thing in encouraging the boycott? Or, have they overstepped the bounds of professionalism and potentially putting the health of a university in jeopardy?

Posted in academic administrations, college students, colleges and universities, faculty, higher education, protests, University of Rochester | Leave a comment

President Trump: Hammer the NCAA, secure your legacy

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post is one of the most astute chroniclers of college sports. And she argues that President Trump has a perfect opportunity to rein in the money-lusting NCAA and provide some fairness to college sports.

The thing to remember, as you watch Thanksgiving tournaments from the Virgin Islands to Cancun and the Caymans to Maui, is who the real culprits are. It’s not the low-level runners or assistant coaches ferrying cash. The real conspirators are the higher-ups on campus and in the NCAA who are engaged in a scheme to redirect billions of dollars earned by the athletes and funnel it to themselves.


Posted in College sports, NCAA, Trump administration | Leave a comment

Hey teacher, pay more tax at home?

The Washington Post reports House Republicans have a little-known plan to raise taxes on teachers by $2 billion.

The educator deduction gives a teacher earning about $55,000 a year an extra $40 to $50 in their pocket. Republicans in the House, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), argue that the time has come to simplify the tax code, even if it means getting rid of popular deductions.

“Keeping records of these expenses is often very burdensome for taxpayers, and this current-law deduction also poses administrative and enforcement challenges for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),” House Republicans wrote in a document explaining why they eliminated deductions for teacher expenses, medical expenses and others.


I see.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Ouch. Critics call him “Putin’s American apologist.”

Meet Stephen Cohen, a scholar extraordinaire about Russia.

But the Chronicle of Higher Education reports Cohen has many critics, who believe he is too soft on the Kremlin.

Writing in The New Republic, Isaac Chotiner called Cohen “Putin’s American apologist.” Jonathan Chait in New York magazine labeled him a “dupe” and “a septuagenarian, old-school leftist who has carried on the mental habits of decades of anti-anti-communism seamlessly into a new career of anti-anti-Putinism.” Cathy Young in Slate said Cohen was “repeating Russian misinformation” and “recycling this propaganda.” And there are many others who share those views, even at the magazine his wife runs.

Cohen’s ideas about Russia, which once got him invited to Camp David to advise a sitting president, now make him the most controversial expert in the field. His enemies and friends ask the same question: What happened to Stephen F. Cohen?

Read some of the comments at the bottom of the story. Some capture quite well the debate within this country about the power and credibility of ideas.

Posted in Cold War, colleges and universities, faculty, higher education, Mikhail Gorbachev, Putin, Russia, Soviet Union | Leave a comment

WATCH: North Korean army defectors escape caught on tape

The Guardian has the video and the details.

The release of the footage came amid news that the unnamed soldier, who was shot at least five times during his escape, was showing signs of recovery.

A government official said that the soldier had regained consciousness and had asked to watch television. He was being shown South Korean films for his “psychological comfort”, the official said.

Posted in military affairs, North Korea, South Korea | Leave a comment

BREAKING: WaPo: Three people who accompanied Trump to Asia in trouble

The Washington Post reports that something went wrong on Donald Trump’s recent trip to Asia. Specifically,

Three military personnel have been reassigned from their White House jobs amid allegations that they had improper contact with foreign women while traveling with President Trump on his recent trip to Asia, according to officials familiar with the situation.

The service members all worked for the White House Communications Agency, a specialized military unit that helps provide the president, vice president, Secret Service and other officials with secure communications.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

China jails another human rights lawyer

China under Xi Jinping lurches ever further right, and Donald Trump cares little about it.
The latest example — another human rights lawyer has been thrown in jail.

As the Washington Post reports,

Jiang Tianyong, 46, is the latest lawyer known for defending government critics to be jailed. More than 200 have been detained over the last two years in the ongoing crackdown on criticism in China.

The court in the central Chinese city of Changsha said Jiang tried to “overthrow the socialist system” by publishing articles on the Internet, accepting interviews from overseas media, smearing the government and over-publicizing certain cases.

His defenders maintain these are all normal activities of his job as a lawyer.

Posted in China, human rights, legal affairs | Leave a comment