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June 27, 2018

Last summer, we implemented gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. The request for gender-neutral bathrooms had come from a student club that presented the administration with a letter of support, rather than a petition, with signatures from supporters across campus. They were intentional about not presenting a petition which, as they explained, would have set an adversarial tone. The leadership of the club also wanted to meet with me to explain why they wanted to add some gender-neutral options for the bathrooms on campus and expressed that the college was a haven for them.

June 22, 2018

Pennsylvanians are getting older and more diverse according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 State and County Detailed Population Estimates released today. The release features age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin data down to the county level and allows state and county agencies to better understand their changing populations.

June 5, 2018

Education provides a gateway for opportunity. Those who have access to a better education have better chances for success. While the U.S. education system may position itself as a meritocracy in which those who work hard in a fair system can succeed, in reality the deck is stacked against low-income students and students of color, who do not even have access to advanced courses that will prepare them for college.

May 30, 2018

Four individuals have received the 2018 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college. This year's recipients are Jenneth Layaou, director of campus enrollment and retention in the Office for Undergraduate Education; Tara Baugher, Penn State Extension tree-fruit educator; Paige Castellanos, assistant research professor in the Office of International Programs; and Cecil Shelton, doctoral student in agricultural and extension education.

May 24, 2018

Most institutions say they value teaching. But how they assess it tells a different story. University of Southern California has stopped using student evaluations of teaching in promotion decisions in favor of peer-review model. Oregon seeks to end quantitative evaluations of teaching for holistic model. Research is reviewed in a rigorous manner, by expert peers. Yet teaching is often reviewed only or mostly by pedagogical non-experts: students. There’s also mounting evidence of bias in student evaluations of teaching, or SETs -- against female and minority instructors in particular. And teacher ratings aren’t necessarily correlated with learning outcomes.

May 24, 2018

The U.S. Education Department is investigating whether Yale University discriminates against men, stemming from an unusual complaint from a doctoral student completely unaffiliated with institution. The Office for Civil Rights’ investigation into whether the university violated the federal gender discrimination law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, began last month. Generally, the bulk of these complaints deal with institutions mishandling sexual assault cases or athletics issues, but not so with the complaint filed by Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California.

May 8, 2018

The “Let’s Talk!” conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) recently convened Pan-Asian college students, supporters and other educational leaders for a day-long forum addressing the success and well-being of Asian and Asian American college students across the country. Dr. Josephine Kim Now in its third year, the conference — created as a passion project by Dr. Josephine M. Kim, a faculty member at HGSE and licensed mental health counselor, and Marina Lee, executive director of Cogita Education Initiatives — has grown to address the direct mental health needs of Asian and Asian American students as they navigate their higher education journeys.

May 7, 2018

The term “microaggression” was coined in 1970 to name relatively slight, subtle, and often unintentional offenses that cause harm (Pierce, 1970). Since then, a substantial body of research on microaggressions has demonstrated their prevalence and harmful effects (Boysen, 2012; Solorzan, et. al., 2010; Suárez-Orozco, et. al., 2015; Sue, 2010). Whether an observer, the target, or the unintentional perpetrator of microaggressions, faculty often don’t know how to respond to them in the moment.

April 25, 2018

When the recent video of two Black men in Philadelphia being arrested at a Starbucks was exposed for the entire nation to witness, very few Black people were surprised. When another Black man and his friend were denied permission to use the LA Fitness gym that they both were paying members of, very few Black people were surprised. When Micheal Brown, a Black teenager with a very impressive academic record, earned acceptance and full scholarships to 20 schools (including four Ivy League schools) and was criticized by some FOX news affiliate anchors, many Black people were annoyed but very few were surprised.

March 22, 2018

“Our analysis of comments in both formal student evaluations and informal online ratings indicates that students do evaluate their professors differently based on whether they are women or men,” the study says. “Students tend to comment on a woman’s appearance and personality far more often than a man’s. Women are referred to as ‘teacher’ [as opposed to professor] more often than men, which indicates that students generally may have less professional respect for their female professors.”

March 14, 2018

The four letters of the genetic code —A, C, G, and T—are projected onto Ryan Lingarmillar, a Ugandan. DNA reveals what skin color obscures: We all have African ancestors. This story is part of The Race Issue, a special issue of National Geographic that explores how race defines, separates, and unites us. Tell us your story with #IDefineMe.

January 24, 2018

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was not Tiana Young's first choice for college, even though Young wants to dual major in aeronautical and mechanical engineering, and the private university is one the top schools in the country for science, technology, math and engineering. The school had one big drawback: Rensselaer's student body is more than two-thirds white and Asian, according to federal data. For Young, who is black and whose high school in Spring Valley, New York, was almost entirely African-American and Hispanic, "the lack of diversity was a very big concern," says the freshman.

December 15, 2017

Amos Jones, the Black law professor who in July accused Campbell University of refusing to tenure Blacks in its law school, has filed an 86-page lawsuit against the Baptist-affiliated school. Jones, a civil rights attorney and expert on contracts, has also sued Catholic University of America. Amos Jones Jones’s charges center on the process and effect of a series of actions that he alleges cost him tenure at the North Carolina school and derailed an upward trajectory in the legal academy. He had taught at Campbell for six years and in previous federal filings had documented correspondence from June 2016 stating that his tenure was all but assured. Implicated by March 2017 was The Catholic University of America’s law school, with whom, Jones’s complaint states, he had interviewed for a constitutional-law appointment in 2009.

December 7, 2017

On November 29th, Boston City Council unanimously passed a plastic bag ordinance that aims to reduce our reliance on disposable plastic bags. Stores will charge a 5-cent fee for each paper or sturdy plastic bag that they sell customers who come without a reusable bag. Despite eloquent statements by councilors Ayanna Pressley (at-large) and Tito Jackson (District 7) on the social justice impacts of plastic bags, some complain that the 5-cent fee is classist.

December 4, 2017

In their recent study featured in Education Week, Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier, and Maczuga got it wrong in arguing that more black children should be identified with educational disabilities and challenging federal policies meant to address overrepresentation by race in special education

November 2, 2017

When Dr. Russell H. Fazio, a psychology professor at The Ohio State University, examined interracial relationships between Black and White dormitory roommates a while back, he found that the relationships were more likely to dissolve if the White student had a “negative racial attitude.”

October 31, 2017

New results -- showing majority of white people believe they face discrimination -- surprise many. But attitudes, especially about college admission, don't always reflect the bias and disadvantages experienced by nonwhites or actual enrollment trends. More than half of white Americans (55 percent) believe there is discrimination against white people in the United States today. That finding -- from a survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard University's T. H. Chan School of Public Health -- seemed to surprise many, at least to judge by the news media attention the survey received.

October 27, 2017

When Amy Chua published “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother ” in 2011, a book about how she raised two high-achieving daughters, people took notice. Chua is Chinese American and both daughters were on their way to Harvard, with an impressive roster of activities that included excelling at piano and violin. Chua described how she built a household run on strict discipline and unyielding, sky-high expectations, what she called traditional Chinese parenting techniques. An excerpt from the book ran in The Wall Street Journal under a blunt headline that made clear the implications, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. ” And it wasn’t just the Chinese who were following this thinking. These parenting attitudes are ingrained in many Asian cultures. Chua’s book was viewed as something of a “how to” guide — a peek into ingredients behind the secret sauce of success among many Asian American students. Chua herself was proof that the process worked. Raised by Chinese immigrants, she rose to become a professor at Yale Law School. But increasing attention is being paid to the flipside of that success.

October 27, 2017

In order to prepare students for the complex situations they will face in the world and the workplace, higher education leaders and government officials must resist efforts to restrict free speech on campus and keep colleges as places of “ongoing intellectual challenge,” a university president testified at a Congressional hearing Thursday. Dr. Robert Zimmer “Every student at a university deserves an education that deeply enriches their capabilities,” University of Chicago President Dr. Robert Zimmer said.

September 20, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. — A proposal aimed at protecting controversial speakers’ appearances at Louisiana colleges and calling on campuses to penalize students who disrupt them has been vetoed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, who described the bill as a “solution in search of a problem.”