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Russia invites students in ‘unfriendly’ nations back home

The PIE News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 08:05

The Russian government has launched a plan to attract Russian students in nations seen as “unfriendly” to the Russian Federation back home.

The Federal Agency for the commonwealth of independent states affairs, compatriots living abroad, and international humanitarian cooperation, or ‘Rossotrudnichestvo’, is understood to have made the policy in reaction to the accusations from the British government that Moscow was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. 

The plan is called “Highly Likely Welcome Back, OR it’s time to go home!” referencing the words of British PM May, who said it was “highly likely” Moscow was behind the poisoning.

“Most people want to keep politics out of student mobility”

A representative of the agency confirmed to the Russian media that the name was not an accident, and was indeed referencing May’s words in parliament.

According to Novaya Gazeta, the project’s creators at the agency believed the plan was necessary as students are pressurised in the UK “for political reasons”.

“There are serious fears that young Russians may suffer from provocations in countries that show unfriendly attitude towards our country,” the policy presentation said.

“As we know, the domestic politics in a host of countries, and in Europe in particular, have increasingly taken on a harshly expressed anti-Russian character. We are obligated to highlight the negative influence of Russophobic attitudes on the activity of our compatriots,” an unnamed official told Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

Around 60,000 Russians studied outside the country according to the Education and Science Ministry’s latest data.

The PIE News understands that Russian government agencies are making physical steps to prepare for the potential return of Russian students, and MGIMO University (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) is said to be prepared to accept at least 100 new students as a matter of urgency, if needed. 

“There are serious fears that young Russians may suffer from provocations”

The Kremlin is also reportedly preparing to help returning students find jobs if and when they arrive in Russia. It is also understood that mobile study opportunities in regions which may be more receptive to Russian students, such as Asia, may be offered to returnees.

However, the UK industry does not seem to have been affected by the policy – at least not yet.

Dominic Scott, chief executive of UKCISA, said international students tend to be more focused on their studies than international politics, and it remains unlikely that Russian students would want to leave the UK over this issue.

“Most people want to keep politics out of student mobility and educational exchanges – and we hope they do!” he said. 

“Regardless of the politics, students won’t want to uproot mid course and go home. And most who are privately sponsored, may not take much notice of official government ‘invitations’ – choosing to make up their own minds on what is best for their future careers,” Scott added. 

 A spokesperson for the British Council, which was recently expelled from the Russian Federation, told The PIE that educational opportunities should be seen as a vital route for dialogue – and even more so when diplomatic tensions rise. 

“It is our view that when political or diplomatic relations become difficult, cultural relations and educational opportunities are vital to maintain on-going dialogue between people and institutions.

“We remain committed to the development of long-term people-to-people links with Russia as we do in over 100 other countries,” they added. 

However, in the immediate wake of the attack on the Skripals, a number of Russian education agents told The PIE they were concerned by the breakdown in diplomatic relations. Others said they have already had to persuade Russian parents that the UK is safe, following public fears of Russophobia.

Neither the British Embassy in Moscow, the UK Foreign Office, or the Russian agency in question have responded to further requests for comment.

The post Russia invites students in ‘unfriendly’ nations back home appeared first on The PIE News.

The Colombian guerrillas who won’t give up their guns

Economist, North America - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:48

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS chose his words carefully after signing a peace deal with Colombia’s FARC guerrillas in 2016, officially ending a 50-year-long conflict. “Today marks the beginning of the end of the suffering, the pain and the tragedy of the war,” the president said, well aware that reintegrating the FARC into society would bring its own travails. Overall, the peace process has succeeded; the Colombian countryside is safer than it has been in generations. But a few holdouts still trouble Mr Santos, whose presidency ends on August 7th, and will test his successor as well.

On April 13th Lenín Moreno, the president of Ecuador, announced that two of his country’s journalists and a driver had been killed near the Colombian border. They had been kidnapped on March 26th by the Oliver Sinisterra Front, a gang of 70-80 former FARC guerrillas who refused to demobilise and broke off from the organisation. Led by an Ecuadorean named Walter “Guacho” Artízala, the...

Anti-elitist politicians in Canada are courting immigrants

Economist, North America - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:48

EVER since Doug Ford became the leader of Ontario’s centre-right Progressive Conservative Party on March 10th, he has been asked if he is Canada’s Donald Trump. The two have much in common. Big, beefy and blond, Mr Ford inherited a large product-labelling company, yet campaigns against elites who “drink champagne with their pinkies in the air”. He loathes regulation and taxes, and vows to repeal Ontario’s carbon cap-and-trade system. Two books about his late brother Rob, Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor, paint the surviving Ford as impulsive, undisciplined, indiscreet and a bully.

However, the comparison falls apart when it comes to immigration. Mr Ford bemoans the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs from Ontario, but blames an incompetent Liberal Party, not foreigners. Far from bashing immigrants, he aims to woo socially conservative ones. For example, he wants to repeal a sex-education curriculum for primary schools that lists six genders and four sexual orientations. Many immigrant parents...

Guatemala votes to demand 53% of its neighbour’s territory

Economist, North America - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:48

IT SOUNDS like an outrageous act of provocation. In a referendum on April 15th, Guatemalan voters chose to file a claim at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) demanding sovereignty over 53% of Belize, their eastern neighbour. The Belizean government, however, responded with congratulations, saying the result “contributes further to the strengthening of democracy, peace and security”. It had reason to be sanguine: the most likely outcome is that nothing will happen.

Guatemala’s demand for a bigger chunk of Central America’s Caribbean coast is far older than Belize itself. In the 1700s Spain agreed to let Britain cut timber in the northern half of modern Belize. Britons searching for mahogany crept southwards. After Spain retreated from Latin America in the 1800s, Britain formally took over the entire territory, naming it British Honduras. The new state of Guatemala said it had “inherited” the region from Spain. Guatemala gave up its claim in 1859, in exchange for Britain...

How long will Latin America support “American values”?

Economist, North America - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:48

THE last time the leaders of 30-odd countries from the Americas met, in Panama in 2015, the presidents of the United States and Cuba, longtime enemies, shook hands. When the group reconvened in Lima this month, the bonhomie was gone. Raúl Castro, who is due to step down as Cuba’s president on April 19th, did not come. His foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez, attended in his stead and lambasted “United States imperialism”. Donald Trump, who ended the detente with Cuba, stayed home too. He sent his vice-president, Mike Pence, to denounce Cuba’s “despotic regime”. The stand-ins blasted each other with quotations from Latin America’s liberator, Simón Bolívar. Mr Pence: “A people that loves freedom will in the end be free.” Mr Rodríguez: “The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with torments in the name of freedom.”

Mr Pence probably thought he had won the duel. On the biggest question facing the summiteers—addressing tyranny and hunger in Venezuela—the big countries agreed...

Chronicle of Higher Education: Syracuse Suspends Fraternity After Video Surfaces of Member Taking Racist Oath

Kent Syverud, the university's chancellor, called the video of students using racial and anti-Semitic slurs "extremely troubling and disturbing." 

Thailand renews Pakistan scholarships MOU

The PIE News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 05:05

A new set of Pakistan scholarships will provide access to Thailand’s Asian Institute of Technology after the provider signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pakistani Higher Education Commission in March.

The MoU, which replaces a recently expired agreement, will resume AIT scholarships for Pakistani students, particularly at a doctoral level, to alleviate institutional growing pains, and further research collaboration between the two countries. It will also provide support for Pakistan to internationalise its universities.

“Once a country has its own critical mass of competent faculty, doctoral graduates can be home-grown at an exponential rate”

“Under the direction of HEC, the enrollment in higher education in Pakistan has increased so rapidly and subsequently creates an urgent demand for qualified faculty members,” AIT president Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai said on Facebook.

“In order to ensure educational quality, HEC has considered a top priority to upgrade university faculty. Currently only 26% of university faculty have doctoral degrees.”

Pakistan recently set a target for 40% of faculty staff to hold a PhD across its 188 universities by 2025.

“Aside from the international exposure, doctoral graduates from overseas help jump-start international network,” Kanok-Nukulchai said.

“Once a country has its own critical mass of competent faculty, doctoral graduates can be home-grown at an exponential rate.”

During the meetings to finalise the MoU, HEC chairman Mukhtar Ahmed said Pakistan was placing a high importance on research collaboration with other countries to solve mutual problems.

According to reports, both countries will collaborate on joint research into water resources, engineering, solar energy, food security, structures and urban planning and environment, however, full details will be finalised later.

Negotiations for a free trade agreement are currently underway between the two countries, which Thai officials hope will double trade with Pakistan.

The post Thailand renews Pakistan scholarships MOU appeared first on The PIE News.

CISA calls for better student accommodation

The PIE News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 02:45

The discovery of six international students living on campus in a 24-hour study facility has lead to calls for Australian universities and education providers to take more responsibility for student accommodation.

Council of International Students Australia national president Bijay Sapkota said the students, who were staying overnight in a Charles Sturt University library, highlighted growing issues with the ballooning costs of international education in Australia.

“Universities should consider housing as services, not as a financial asset”

“International students spend about $120,000 for a course in Australia, let’s say, and then they have to spend an additional amount on the housing. If it’s university housing, it’s more expensive,” he said.

Sapkota added institutions should start to reconsider how they view their student accommodation options and should start thinking about how to reduce housing costs.

“Universities should consider housing as services, not as a financial asset because international students are already being charged a lot of money and the fee is ever growing,” he said.

According to reports, the six students reside in Sydney during the weekend, but travel more than four hours northwards during the week to attend classes in Port Macquarie on CSU’s campus.

Speaking with ABC News, CSU deputy vice-chancellor Jenny Roberts said the students were provided with a variety of options and had now found appropriate accommodation in Port Macquarie, but Sapkota told The PIE that pre-departure information was often lacking for students.

“Pre-flight information is very, very important and education agents have a key role in informing students about to where to go and how,” he said.

“A lot of students are not even aware of their rights,” he added, pointing to recent instances of exploitation in accommodation and workplaces.

Education minister Simon Birmingham agreed with Sapkota’s call for more responsibility from providers, but warned students that they should not be seeking money-saving options like this in the future.

“It is up to Australian universities to make sure that when they enrol students there is appropriate support for those students, as well as in terms of accommodation,” he said.

“They do deserve to get a great experience while they’re here, a positive study experience, a wonderful experience of Australia, but also they are appropriately looking after themselves and being looked after.”

Student accommodation continues to make headlines around the world as destination countries struggle to keep up with demand. In 2017, students in the Netherlands were discovered living in tents.

The post CISA calls for better student accommodation appeared first on The PIE News.

ACE Leadership to Transform Its Suite of Leadership Development Programs

American Council on Education - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 02:30
As part of revamping the Council's strategic priorities during its centennial year, ACE Leadership will transform its current suite of leadership development programs into a series of regional summits and a robust peer-to-peer online platform.

ACE Unveils Alternative Credit Project Course Pool

American Council on Education - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 02:30
ACE today announced the pool of courses selected as part of ACE's Alternative Credit Project,™ a groundbreaking initiative to boost the ability of millions of nontraditional learners to gain a college degree.

Tuition freeze raises Purdue's profile -- at what cost?

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:00

A high-profile multiyear tuition freeze has catapulted Purdue University to the top of many observers’ lists of well-managed public universities, casting President Mitch Daniels as a budget cutter without peer.

Bloomberg Businessweek last December summed up public sentiment, asking, "Can Mitchonomics Fix the Broken Business of Higher Ed?"

The university is understandably proud -- it even created a page on its website to crow about media coverage of the feat.

Last week Daniels said the tuition freeze, which began upon his arrival in 2013, will stretch into the 2019-20 academic year, meaning that at his planned departure from the renowned land-grant university in June 2020, Daniels will be able to boast that he never raised in-state tuition -- period.

But the move has also led Purdue to focus more on serving students from outside Indiana and pushed academic departments to consider difficult cuts.

Tuition freezes are often derided as short-term budgeting gimmicks that ultimately force institutions to raise tuition or severely trim offerings. For five years now, Purdue seems to have largely avoided the first fate. Whether it escapes future cutbacks is an open question, but Daniels's ability to enact and sell the idea has even skeptics curious about the outcome.

“People think there’s some voodoo in here. There’s not.”
-- Mitch Daniels, Purdue's president

Holding tuition flat since 2013 has raised the land-grant university’s profile and helped it grow: undergraduate applications and enrollment, graduation rates and several other key indicators have risen, in a few cases to record levels. Since Daniels arrived, enrollment on its flagship West Lafayette campus has grown to 41,573, up about 7 percent since 2013.

Last fall, Purdue’s in-state tuition clocked in at just under $10,000 -- $9,992, to be precise, after Daniels eliminated a $10 gym fee that was bugging him.

In the real world, students are paying less, the university said: adding up tuition, fees, books and living expenses, Purdue's actual sticker price last fall dropped to $22,812, down from $23,242 in 2013. Since the freeze went into effect, Purdue students and their families have saved more than $400 million, according to the university. Purdue did not immediately respond to a request to provide its discount rate.

But even as enrollment has grown, Purdue has enrolled fewer students from Indiana in West Lafayette: last fall, about 600 fewer Indiana students showed up than in 2013, a 3 percent drop. Meanwhile, the number of students from nearly every other state rose. Over all, out-of-state student enrollment has risen 34 percent since 2013. The percentage of California students, for instance, is up 65 percent since 2013 to nearly 1,500, according to a university database.

Out-of-state tuition last fall stood at $28,794, also frozen at 2013 levels.

Meanwhile, Purdue enrolled more than 9,100 students from about 125 countries other than the U.S., including nearly 3,700 students from China and about 2,000 from India, according to Purdue data. International students made up about 22 percent of enrollment. About 46 percent of international students are graduate students.

International tuition last fall stood at $30,954, more than three times what Purdue charges Indiana students and slightly higher than in 2013.

In all, Indiana residents accounted for just under 47 percent of students in West Lafayette last fall, according to university figures.

By contrast, about 51 percent of students at the Indiana University system's flagship Bloomington campus last fall hailed from within Indiana, according to university statistics. About 18 percent were from outside the United States.

David H. Feldman, an economics professor at the College of William & Mary who studies the economics of higher education, said Virginia caps the college's out-of-state enrollment at 35 percent. Other big Midwestern flagship universities, he said, have also added out-of-state students. "Purdue just has done it a bit more intensely. That generates extra revenue. What you do with that revenue is a choice."

Purdue has chosen to "freeze list price," he said. "Other schools have chosen to make tuition completely free for certain income ranges."

In an interview, Daniels predicted that as much as 54 percent of the incoming freshman class this fall would be Indiana residents, and that going forward, Purdue will actually lower its percentage of international students.

“We are educating more Hoosier students -- significantly more,” he said.

The university maintains that a more accurate way to look at Purdue’s demographics -- and its demographic strategy -- is to analyze the recent freshman class, which included 627 more Indiana students than in 2013, despite the fact that Indiana’s high school graduating class has remained fairly flat. In the five years before Daniels’s arrival, from 2009 to 2013, the university noted, the number of Hoosiers in the freshman class dropped by 355.

Daniels has earned high marks for finding waste and cutting it by implementing better procurement systems, more financial transparency and a less costly health-care plan, among other changes. He has insisted on “budget targets based on reality,” he said.

“People think there’s some voodoo in here. There’s not.”

But he said much of the trimming has been hidden from view. Daniels used a butcher’s metaphor, noting, “The fat is marbled through the animal -- you look in vain for too many great big strokes. There may be a few -- the health-care plan was one -- but mainly it’s the accumulation of small economies, and that comes just from putting our students and their families at the top of our list. It’s not more complicated than that.”

David Sanders, an associate professor of biology and immediate past chair of Purdue’s University Senate, said the tuition freeze has been popular with students and their families.

“I speak with a lot of them,” he said. “They’re very happy. They’ve saved thousands of dollars.”

He applauded Daniels’s ability to keep housing and meal costs down, saying the former Indiana governor and one-time director of the federal Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush “was able to make that a more efficient, more economical enterprise.”

And Sanders, who is also a West Lafayette, Ind., city councilor, said the tuition freeze has likely attracted a larger number of talented students.

He actually applauds the rise in out-of-state and international enrollment.

“Bringing outside students can potentially enhance the experience for our Indiana students,” Sanders said. “We’re in a global marketplace. We’re more than just a state university. We’re one of the top science and engineering universities in the country.”

Most students, he said, are in favor of the freeze, but many faculty and staff members are “largely resigned to these straitened circumstances.”

The freeze has meant higher health-care costs, he said, though the university said employees now pay lower premiums. For the first time, it said, Purdue has added dental insurance and autism coverage. Purdue projects that employees will pay just 25.9 percent of health-care costs this year versus 31.7 percent in 2014, but Daniels didn’t immediately have information on whether co-payments or other out-of-pocket costs are going up.

Sanders also said the freeze has contributed to tightened revenue for instruction, pitting department against department. “It’s become a less collegial place,” he said. It has also pressured instructors to eliminate small classes that hew closely to students’ interests. “If you don’t know they weren’t there, you don’t miss them,” he said.

In a few cases, professors have been forced to forgo teaching assistants. As a result, he said, they must often rely on more rudimentary assessments, among other measures.

And Purdue’s rise in enrollment has affected student life, he said, forcing resident assistants to share rooms -- a move that compromises student privacy and makes fraught conversations with troubled students more difficult.

In general, Sanders said, he wishes Daniels would match his budget-cutting skills with more forceful advocacy for funding from state lawmakers.

“The revenue from the state is just not keeping pace with historic contributions,” he said. “I wish our president, who is the former governor, would be a stronger advocate for us with the state Legislature. I think he and potentially our Board of Trustees also do not feel like it is an important part of his tenure at Purdue.”

Actually, Daniels, who disagrees with most of Sanders's criticisms, might agree on that last point. He said leaders of many public universities are “too quick to assign all [their] financial difficulties to state authorities.”

When he addresses lawmakers every two years, he vows to operate Purdue “within whatever you deem an appropriate level.”

Feldman, the William & Mary economics professor, said Daniels’s tuition freeze is “clearly not a parlor trick. The question is whether this is truly sustainable and there are predictable consequences five years from now.”

He added, “Obviously you can hold costs constant, but you can’t hold quality constant unless you have discovered the secret sauce” of cutting systemic waste.

The university noted that it has added 52 tenured or tenure-track positions since 2013, and that faculty over all have received 11 percent merit pay raises since 2016.

Daniels actually balked at the “Mitchonomics” question, which asks whether his approach holds the secret to fixing “the broken business of higher ed.” He admitted that he’s “very shy” about the experiment’s larger implications.

“We’re just simply trying to do what we think is right for this institution,” he said.

But Purdue’s Board of Trustees clearly believes in Mitchonomics. On Tuesday it extended Daniels’s employment agreement, allowing him to stick around “until such time either party gives one year's notice.” In a statement, board chair Mike Berghoff said Daniels “is enhancing the reputation of Purdue nationally and worldwide through leadership and a steady stream of successful initiatives and innovations.”

William & Mary’s Feldman suggested that observers stay tuned.

“The question is: Once he’s gone, is it possible there will be a small explosion as all the pent-up needs finally bubble up to the surface and get addressed?”

FinancesLeadershipEnrollment Trends and Student LifeEditorial Tags: AdmissionsForeign countriesFlagship publicsImage Source: Getty ImagesImage Caption: Purdue president Mitch DanielsIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: 

Editor of prestigious political science journal uses website to deny harassment allegations

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:00

The American Journal of Political Science is of one of the field’s most esteemed publications. So visitors to the journal’s main webpage were everything from incredulous to irate about what they saw there earlier this week: instead of just political science news, editor William G. Jacoby had posted a message denying the sexual harassment allegations he’s facing.

“It is apparently widely known that allegations related to sexual harassment have been made against me,” began the editorial note from Jacoby, a professor of political science at Michigan State University. “The allegations are untrue. I never engaged in the behaviors described in the allegations.”

Jacoby also used the highly visible space to announce that he’d be stepping down as editor of the journal at the end of December, of his own accord but due to “circumstances.”

In so doing, he continued to refute the allegations. While he is cooperating with several ongoing investigations into his conduct, he said, the charges are not going away, “despite their false nature.” Therefore, Jacoby wrote, “I do not want any questions about me as an individual (rather than as a scholar or editor) -- unfounded as these questions are -- to have any detrimental impact on the incredible, great things that have been accomplished at the journal so far.”

Jacoby’s public troubles began in January, when Rebecca Gill -- a former student of his who is now an associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas -- shared a personal account of harassment during a mentoring panel at the Southern Political Science Association and on social media. A professor once asked Gill to have an affair, she said, making her doubt if he’d ever actually been interested in her graduate work at all.

Gill did not mention Jacoby by name and told Inside Higher Ed at the time that her main motivation in speaking out was to help faculty mentors and students understand how harassment can contribute to impostor syndrome. That’s the feeling -- common among graduate students -- that one doesn’t belong or hasn’t earned the right to be in a certain setting.

Followers of Gill’s story soon named Jacoby in discussions online and off, however. After hearing from at least one other complainant who was encouraged to come forward by Gill’s account, the Midwestern Political Science Association -- of which the journal is an official publication -- eventually hired an investigator.

The association said in a recent, now-deleted statement on its own website that the investigation of Jacoby is complete, but its governing council was unable to reach a consensus about what to do about the findings. So instead of any announcing any conclusion, it said it had accepted Jacoby’s resignation while agreeing to let him remain editor during a transition period, through the end of the year. Alternative arrangements could be made for anyone who did not wish to work with Jacoby as editor, it said.

Many association members nevertheless objected publicly and in private emails to the association, saying it was unacceptable to retain Jacoby as a gatekeeper for one of political science's top journals while it remained unclear whether he had harassed women in his field. Reasonable doubt existed as to whether or not he could be impartial to his accusers and their allies, they also said.

We request transparency and a response from MPSA leadership. https://t.co/Jp03VXD2eJ

-- MPSA Women's Caucus (@mwcps_tweets) April 18, 2018

Powerful Platform, Personal Message

In the interim, on Tuesday evening, Jacoby published his note in the editor’s space on the journal’s landing page. In his telling, the Midwest association “conducted an investigation which I believe has been completed. Theirs is internal and I have been told that no report will be issued.”

Jacoby said he also reported the initial allegation -- presumably Gill’s -- to the appropriate authorities at Midwest, Michigan State and the University of Michigan, where the incident is alleged to have occurred during a Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research summer institute.

Michigan State’s investigation is ongoing, Jacoby said, as is Michigan’s, "although I have not yet been contacted about it.”

Jacoby’s statement didn’t stay up long -- he removed it Wednesday morning and replaced it with a short apology, saying he was “merely trying to explain the course of action that I planned to follow.”

But it was visible long enough to earn him and the association furious rebuke online, with many commenters saying that Jacoby used his continued position of power to assail his accusers’ credibility, effectively retaliating against and harassing them further.

1)…reinforces the power dynamic that harassers thrive on. HE has the power to place his claim on the front page of one of the top journals in political science. HIS ACCUSERS do not.

-- Mirya Holman (@prof_mirya) April 18, 2018

1) Journal editor accused of multiple instances of harassment.

2) Journal editor gets to publish denial IN HIS JOURNAL

3) Accusers did not. Duh.

4) WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS WAS OK pic.twitter.com/nzA990Zjc4

-- Prof Dynarski (@dynarski) April 18, 2018

Jacoby’s clear abuse of his platform erases any doubt that he must be fired immediately. The damage of him remaining far exceeds any reasonable concerns about potential disruption to the journal. https://t.co/ViYbarSJbD

-- Nathan Kalmoe (@NathanKalmoe) April 18, 2018

I suspect that some men don't feel Jacoby did anything wrong by declaring his innocence on the AJPS website, but his actions highlight subtle ways that power is wielded by the powerful: He has access to that prestigious outlet, but his accusers don't. That's how inequality works.

-- Steven White (@notstevenwhite) April 18, 2018

As a former co-editor of the American Political Science Review, but speaking as an individual, I condemn in the strongest possible terms William Jacoby's statement today on the AJPS website.

-- Michael Chwe (@michael_chwe) April 18, 2018

Kathleen Dolan, distinguished professor and chair in the department of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Jennifer Lawless, a professor of government at American University, co-wrote a letter that was signed by 85 scholars last week, asking the association to terminate Jacoby’s editorship, effective immediately.

On Wednesday they announced their resignations from the organization. Lawless also resigned as a newly elected council member.

Jacoby “used the venue to defend himself, undermine the women who accused him, and send a clear signal that his editorial discretion has been severely compromised,” they said. “Although that letter has since been taken down, the fact that it was posted at all epitomizes the problem of allowing him to remain at the journal’s helm.”

Numerous other members have indicated online that they, too, plan to resign from the association.

A spokesperson for the association said Wednesday via email that Jacoby’s note “was not authorized by MPSA and doesn't represent the position of the organization or its members. We regret any offense that Jacoby's action in posting that notice may have caused.”

Any further response will be decided at an emergency council meeting at the end of the week, the spokesperson said.

Elisabeth Gerber, president of the association and Jack L. Walker Jr. Professor of Public Policy at Michigan, addressed the matter in a separate statement Wednesday, saying the emergency meeting had been scheduled due to the “firestorm” over Jacoby.

Regarding Jacoby’s post, Gerber said that the association is ultimately responsible for overseeing the journal but “not involved in any of the operations or editorial decisions.” While association officers may not act on such matters without the approval of the council, she said, they asked Jacoby to “suspend all editorial operations until the council can take formal action later this week" and he agreed.

“We regret any harm this temporary action may cause to submitting authors and intend for this suspension to last only a few days until an interim editor is in place,” Gerber added.

Jacoby told Inside Higher Ed via email that the two sets of public allegations against him "are being considered in an investigation and I cannot comment in detail, other than to say that I deny both sets of allegations and have presented to investigators evidence in support of my denial. Beyond that, I have to respect the investigative process and withhold further comment."

Filling the Void

Gill said Wednesday that she was “gobsmacked” by Jacoby’s note, but felt that “the way the MPSA handled this, it was obviously an option as to what could happen.”

Beyond Jacoby, Gill said the bigger question going forward is “how we want to organize ourselves as a discipline and what kinds of behaviors we’re going to tolerate.” For example, she said, “Do we want to treat editing a journal as a right that certain people have, or as a privilege, a service that people do for their discipline?”

Gill said she has become aware of a third Jacoby accuser, via a university investigator. That could not be immediately confirmed. But in an interview Wednesday, Valerie Sulfaro, a professor of political science at James Madison University, said she was the second accuser and that she'd shared her account of harassment with Michigan, Michigan State and, again, the association.

Sulfaro said she engaged in a consensual relationship with Jacoby when she was a 23-year-old graduate student at the University of South Carolina and he was a professor there (they allegedly continued their relationship at the same summer institute at Michigan that Gill attended).

She explained that she used the term "consensual" loosely, in that Jacoby -- the only specialist in her subfield on campus -- propositioned her in 1991 after developing a close academic connection with her, and she did not turn him down. He said he was “laying his cards on the table,” that he knew she’d been sending him “signals,” and then he kissed her in her office with the door shut, she said. The relationship allegedly continued for several years, with many awkward moments -- including Jacoby criticizing other men Sulfaro dated and for not acting appropriately happy in front of his wife.

Several years later, in 1996, Sulfaro encountered Jacoby at a Midwest meeting, she said. He allegedly offered her nude pictures of himself on a computer disc and became angry when she rejected them. He also kissed her without her consent at a later Midwest meeting during a discussion in a hotel room, she said.

Sulfaro said she confided in others on campus around the time of the relationship but didn’t file a formal complaint until she heard about Gill’s case.

Reading Jacoby’s post was a reminder of the dynamic of their relationship, she said, blaming the Midwest association for granting him the space to assert she's a liar.

“An absence of a summary [of findings] does not mean he’s been exonerated," Sulfaro said. "But he saw the void and stepped into it."

Lawless said Wednesday that she’s been involved with both the association since graduate school and has published in a reviewed papers for the journal. She’s therefore “deeply disappointed that we’ve reached this place,” she said. Yet she would consider rejoining the association if Jacoby were removed and the council took “steps to correct their missteps.”

“Little bandages and a less than heartfelt mea culpa, however, won’t be sufficient,” she said.

Regarding the broader academic Me Too movement, Lawless said the situation demonstrates there’s still “a lot of work to do.”

“I would have thought that the movement had taken sufficient hold outside of political science that we wouldn’t have to work so hard to convince people in positions of authority to do what seems so basic and decent” and typical in other industries, she said. “That’s not the case, but there’s no shortage of people willing and ready to work for change.”

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Campus police officers only in some cases equipped to deal with mental health crises, experts say

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:00

During a Harvard University student’s arrest by Cambridge police for running down a street naked last week, he was tackled and punched repeatedly in the stomach, an act the institution’s president and other local officials deemed “disturbing.”

It’s one in a series of incidents over the last seven months in which the public has questioned police officers’ use of force against college students who may have mental health issues. While the incidents differ, many students on the affected campuses have been alarmed by the way police treated those students.

In September, a suicidal Georgia Tech student was shot dead by a campus police officer who hadn’t completed required crisis training. The shooting led to riots and student demands for more investment in mental health services. And earlier this month, a University of Chicago officer shot and wounded a student who was having a psychotic episode.

While experts say college and university law enforcement personnel are generally being trained well and are equipped to handle such emergencies, they stressed that not enough money and time has been spent on helping students before they reach a point in which police would need to intervene.

Campus police widely are learning to de-escalate such scenarios, but students in those circumstances can be unpredictable and out of control, said Alexa James, executive director of the Chicago branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Mental health science and symptoms can be demonstrated through behaviors that are often mistaken by criminal behaviors,” James said. “When students come in contact with police, there is the opportunity for tragedy, which is why it is so critically important that they feel well trained.”

Ideally, university police forces would be trained with a deep 40-hour program called the Memphis model, in which they’re taught how to ease the stress of a student experiencing a mental health break, James said. Developed by the University of Memphis’s Crisis Intervention Team Center, the training introduces cops to victims of mental health crises. The Atlantic reported that officers trained in this method are much less likely to use force when dealing with people with mental health problems.

James said after the training, officers report being “forever changed” in how they police. Breaking down the stigma of mental health problems and no longer demonizing these people is effective, she said -- but not every department can afford to take their officers off the streets for a full workweek.

The professional organization for campus police forces, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, has recently tried to help on this front. It’s sponsoring a mental health training for law enforcement -- a day-and-half-long session, said Josh Bronson, IACLEA's director of training.

At the University of Chicago, about 85 percent of the officers -- including the officer involved in the recent shooting -- have completed the 40-hour crisis intervention training, said spokesman Marielle Sainvilus. The institution intends to train all its officers, Sainvilus said.

The 21-year-old student, Charles Thomas, suffered a broken shoulder blade and a collapsed lung when the officer shot him -- his family said he likely was having a psychiatric episode. Thomas was holding a metal stake when he faced the officer in an alley -- the officer attempted to back up, but Thomas kept advancing. He had smashed parts of several cars and a glass apartment door.

In the case of the Georgia Tech shooting, the student, Scout Schultz, was simply holding a pocketknife, but it was not extended.

Schultz had left a suicide note and then called police to make a false report of a suspicious person skulking around campus with a weapon. Video reveals Schultz screaming, “Shoot me,” to the officers. It was later revealed that the officer who shot Schultz hadn’t finished his mental health training.

At the time, the university’s critics questioned why Georgia Tech hadn’t equipped the officers with stun guns. The University of Chicago’s department -- like most campus police forces -- also doesn’t use Tasers.

Georgia Tech did not provide a comment in time for publication.

While police aren’t always perfect in handling situations, they have improved in identifying when someone might be experiencing a mental health problem versus a drug or alcohol overdose, said Sue Riseling, IACLEA executive director.

Ten years ago, officers wouldn’t know how to react to a person with autism, for instance, but now they learn to work in hushed ways with a student on the spectrum, Riseling said. Instead of screaming commands, an officer might sit down with the student and talk softly.

This is standard practice with any student who is having an unstable moment -- removing stimuli, such as other loud people in the area, and using direct, respectful verbal commands.

“University police departments are very open to learning, and officers are usually very engaged in what’s new and what’s the best way to do things,” Riseling said.

Crisis intervention training -- the Memphis model -- emerged in the late 1980s but didn’t “start running through the country’s veins” until a few years back, said James.

IACLEA stresses in its training partnering with campus counseling centers and other administrators, Bronson said. He recalled an incident about five years ago when he was employed as an officer at McDaniel College, a private institution in Maryland.

A student was publicly shrieking profanities and threats. When Bronson approached him using the established techniques, he was able to quiet the student and then call a counselor with whom he was on good terms to handle the situation. Working with counseling centers closely, particularly on issues of sexual assault, can help establish this relationship, Bronson said.

But counseling centers nationwide are overburdened, and more students are relying on their services, research shows.

Police should be part of the team of people who can help students who have experienced a mental health crisis, said Lisa Adams, director of counseling at the University of West Georgia and the president of the American College Counseling Association.

She said she did not agree with police knowing the students by name, but being in the loop and understanding their backgrounds in an emergency.

“Counselors are trying to underreact, to be calm, to create an environment that even when the client world’s is spinning out of control, that there is a peaceful place,” Adams said. “Police officers are trying to react quickly to de-escalate. There is a disconnect in how we approach situations, but there are cases we overlap very well.”

James, of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune wrote that police should not be the safety net in a mental health crisis, but that politicians and other decision makers have poured money not into mental health treatment but into paying for better police training.

In an interview, she described how even an officer’s presence can unnerve a student, and so putting that student at ease could prove more difficult.

“Mental health illness should be addressed with the same forthright courage we now afford cancer,” James wrote. “In a better world, we would not talk about mental health only after crises. Until then, the harsh reality is that the system worked as designed.”

An emerging trend is a trained crisis officer accompanying a social worker to a scene, said Bronson. The two work in concert to help an individual who is experiencing a psychotic break -- but this can be pricey.

“There’s always room for people to look at what officers are doing, and scrutinize us, and there’s always room to improve,” he said.

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Study examines the research that never receives a citation

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:00

Academics publishing in particular fields of chemistry or neuroscience are virtually guaranteed to be cited after five years, but more than three-quarters of papers in literary theory or the performing arts will still be waiting for a single citation.

These vast differences in the rates of work going uncited in different disciplines have emerged from an analysis of bibliometric data from Elsevier’s Scopus database by Billy Wong of Times Higher Education’s data team.

According to the analysis, which looked at disciplines in which at least 10,000 pieces of research were published between 2012 and 2016, almost 77 percent of publications from 2012 in the visual and performing arts were still uncited by 2017.

In literature and literary theory, the share was 75 percent, while in the professional health area of pharmacy (rather than pharmaceutical research) it was 70 percent, and in architecture it was 69 percent.

Most of the subjects with the highest rates of uncited research over the period were in the arts and humanities, with major disciplines such as philosophy and history having more than half of research without a single citation several years later.

However, some science, technology, engineering and math subjects also had relatively high rates of uncited work: in industrial and manufacturing engineering, for instance, 44 percent of 2012 publications were still uncited, while automotive, aerospace and ocean engineering all had uncited rates above 40 percent.

At the other end of the scale, just 3 percent of 2012 papers published in the catalysis subfield of chemical engineering or in colloid and surface chemistry were still uncited at the end of the period. In these fields, almost half of scholarship published in 2016 had already garnered a citation.

For researchers in different disciplines, the huge variation simply demonstrates how citation culture can differ between subjects, rather than being evidence that there is a problem with the quality of research in certain fields.

Marco Caracciolo, assistant professor of English and literary theory at Ghent University, who received the most citations in the subject between 2012 and 2016, according to Scopus data, said that the reasons behind the high share of uncited work in the discipline were “likely to be quite complex.”

For instance, monographs and book chapters “carry a lot of weight in this area of the humanities” and it was much more likely that these -- rather than any journal article that first expressed an idea -- would be cited.

“The general expectation is that articles pave the way for monographs, which will contain the ‘final’ version of an argument -- not the other way around,” said Caracciolo.

He added that the citation culture was also different for scholars on the more theoretical side of literary theory. Here, citation “works by signaling affiliation with a certain movement or theoretical trend.”

“Scholars position their approach not through a comprehensive literature review but by way of strategic citations -- which may result in a relatively small number of highly influential publications (typically in book form) receiving the vast majority of citations,” Caracciolo said.

“This is quite different from what happens in the sciences, where the logic would appear to be more incremental,” he said, adding that his own citation rate could be higher because of his primary field of narrative theory having “a more science-like logic.”

Harriet Barnes, head of higher education policy at the British Academy, also emphasized that “different disciplines will publish and cite research in different ways.”

She said that “for many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, five years is not enough time to capture the use and impact of research. Some research will have a very long shelf life and continue to have considerable impact for 10 years or more.”

Of course, low-quality research still may exist. The results of peer-review exercises such as the research excellence framework, for instance, suggest that plenty of scholarship is deemed to be of a lower standard.

However, academics question the usefulness of uncited rates as a way to measure quality between disciplines. Even in STEM subjects, the rate of uncited work may be influenced by discipline-specific factors.

Frede Blaabjerg, a highly cited academic in the field of industrial and manufacturing engineering and a professor at Aalborg University in Denmark, said that in engineering there was often a “focus on making artifacts, detailed testing and also bringing that into real application -- that takes time and publication is not first priority.”

Different subdisciplines of engineering were also quite narrow, he added, meaning that there may be a “relatively low volume of researchers who can cite a paper.”

Blaabjerg said that many areas of engineering were also driven by conferences “in order to present things fast and first,” and papers submitted to such events may not be cited in quite the same way.

This is a point that tallies with the data analysis if conference papers are removed and only original or review articles are counted. In this case, industrial and manufacturing engineering has a much lower uncited rate for 2012 papers -- 29 percent -- while the engineering subdiscipline with the highest rate becomes aerospace engineering (30 percent).

Naturally, the uncited rate falls across most subjects once conference papers and other publications less likely to receive citations, such as editorials, are removed.

However, even with this approach -- which is one that has been favored in other recent attempts to quantify rates of uncited scholarship -- there are still 12 disciplines, again mainly in the arts and humanities, in which more than half of papers were uncited after five years.

Even with the caveats about the citation patterns seen in different disciplines, there is a danger that such figures could be seized upon by those wanting to question the value of publicly funded research.

Certainly, funders are wary of this possibility. Recent moves such as the decision of Britain's research councils to back an international declaration on the responsible use of metrics suggest a wider drive to represent impact as more than just citation counts.

“The research community is growing ever more conscious about the limits of citation metrics as proxies for quality or impact,” said Barnes. “Research impact is often complex and citations alone will not tell the full story that the effect a piece of research has on academia and on wider society.”

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Roundup of colleges starting or finishing fund-raising campaigns

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 00:00

Starting Off

  • Amherst College has launched a campaign to raise $625 million over the next five years. More than $333 million has already been raised. Major goals include student aid, faculty support and improved science facilities.
  • California State University at Los Angeles has launched a $75 million campaign, with a goal of finishing by 2022, when the university will mark its 75th anniversary. The campaign is the first for the university, Already, $45 million has been raised.
  • University of La Verne is starting a campaign to raise $125 million by 2021. The university has already raised $82 million. Major goals will include financial aid and funds to attract and retain faculty members.
  • University of Pennsylvania is starting a campaign to raise $4.1 billion by 2021. Student aid and faculty support are major priorities for the campaign. The university has already raised $2.7 billion.

Finishing Up

  • Auburn University has completed a campaign, started in 2008, raising $1.2 billion, more than the $1 billion original goal. The campaign created 2,108 new scholarships for students and 106 new endowed chairs for faculty members.
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Minister resigns over NTU president appointment fiasco

University World News Global Edition - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 09:19
Taiwan's Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung has resigned over his refusal to sign off the highly controversial appointment of a new president for National Taiwan University (NTU) until key questi ...