Preventing Different types of Harassment on-campus

I came across an interesting article, University of San Diego agrees to take steps  to prevent racial harassment.  “UCSD has agreed to maintain Prevention of Harassment Discrimination and to provide mandatory training for staff and students on the university’s anti-discrimination policies and procedures.” There have been incidents of racial harassment on campus of public displays such as nooses and a hood from a Ku Klux Klan uniform.  Traditionally, I thought that California was liberal so it shocked me that these public displays were  even happening in this state and worse on a higher education institution.  But I know discrimination situations can be overlooked when you live in such a large state.   Personally, I like Virginia Tech’s name better (Office of Diversity and Inclusion).   I hope that higher education institutions focus on different types of diversity and not just racial. It’s a more positive connotation.  I’m interested as to what the “mandatory training” looks like.  Who is developing it?  Do other higher education institutions have mandatory training or similar offices to UCSD?  How often is the training? Are principles of the training applied throughout the year at school during classes and other events?  If so, how?  Do faculty, staff, and students think it is important to look at diversity policies/training at a higher education institution before attending or working there?  What do you think?

The Princeton Review’s and’s “300 Best Professors” List Released

The Princeton Review’s 300 Best Professors List has been announced. These professors come from 122 colleges/universities.  According to an article on the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, there were no professors who taught at at HBCU on the Princeton’s Review’s list.  Fortunately, there were a number of professors who taught at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) that were on the 2012 list.  An HSI is defined as an accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student enrollment (Source: Title V of the Higher Education Act).  There are 293 HSIs in the United States and Puerto Rico (Retrieved from  However, not being on this list may not be so bad.  How the data is collected is by no means rigorous.  The selections are based on qualitative and quantitative survey and ratings.  The majority of information is collected from undergraduates. According to the Princeton Review a more detailed description of how professors are selected is:

“For this project, The Princeton Review culled an initial list using its surveys of hundreds of thousands of students that revealed the colleges at which students highly rated their professors’ teaching ability and accessibility. Data from identified more than 42,000 professors at those schools that students had rated on its site.  Combining this info, a base list of 1,000 professors was formed.  After obtaining further input from school administrators and students, as well as from Princeton Review’s surveys of the professors under consideration, the editors of The Princeton Review made the final choices of the professors they profile in the book.”

I graduated from undergraduate in 2008 and never saw a survey related to this list.  Are some schools targeted more than others? How reliable is the list?  Do universities look to this list when hiring or promoting professors?

The PhD Project est. 1994

I ran across a post, The PhD Project moves ahead, and thought that it was interesting how a non-profit organization has increased minority faculty in business schools since 1994 to 2011 from 294 faculty to 1100 faculty.  Their next projects are to increase minority deans in business.  Today, only about 3 percent of all business school deans are from underrepresented minority groups.  The PhD Project is supported by KPMG and other corporations.  I wonder due to this sponsorship, if the professors or colleges/universities that hire these professors are indebted to their sponsors.  Moreover, what are the strategies that this project uses?  Additionally, I think this Project sounds great and possibly other organizations could be established to increase minorities in areas beyond business.

Perhaps other organizations could seek support from other businesses or government.  I am curious if discipline specific minority faculty recruiting organizations are more successful in increasing minority faculty when compared to non-specific discipline minority recruiting organizations.  I would argue that the discipline specific organization may be more effective since a network of other minority faculty in that discipline can be established and maintained.  An example of a non-specific discipline minority recruiting organization is the Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.   I had the opportunity to attend this Institute last Fall and it was a powerful sight to see other minorities seeking professorships.  Additionally, many networks were made and a career fair was present.  However, it was a little harder to connect in my discipline because either there were very few people who were in my discipline or I did not have the chance to meet them.  There were a large amount of graduate students at this Institute.  A recommendation that I made for next year is that we not only have workshops where I meet the scholars who received the same travel award as myself but that there is a meet and greet based on discipline.  I encourage other graduate students to apply to attend this Institute because the training at this Institute was really beneficial.  I learned things there that I had not learned while in lab or in my graduate school classes.

Journals that accept “ALL Research Results”

So from our discussion in today’s class, I was curious what journals accept “failures”.  There were actually more journals than I anticipated.  Also there are journals in different disciplines where negative/null results are welcomed.  When I get some extra time, I plan to skim one of the articles in one of the below journals.  This is encouraging to know that you can publish even if you do not have positive results.  Also everyone can probably learn something from reading an articles in one of these journals or in another journal related to your discipline that accepts negative/null results. Below is a list of some journals:

The ALL Results Journals (Biology, Nano, Chemistry, Physics); Journal of Negative Results in BiomedicineJournal of Negative Results — Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyJournal of Pharmaceutical Negative ResultsBioFlukes-Journal of ErrologyJournal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis (psychology); Journal of Universal Computer Sciences (negative results forum); PLoS ONE 

Incoming college students more liberal on hot-button political & social issues

According to the press release, first year college students political and social issues views shifted in a more liberal direction according to the 2011 CIRP Freshman Survey. Notable changes were seen in student views on same-sex marriage, affirmative action and access to higher education for undocumented students. Additionally, more students indicated that as college students, they expected to discuss course content with their peers outside of class. With this upswing in academic orientation, we find a decrease in some behaviors than can hinder academic performance, such as fewer students who drank alcohol in high-school, which has dropped to an all-time low. Also fewer students stated that undocumented workers should be denied access to public education

One thing that I wanted to highlight in the survey results is that students reported talking with their peers outside of class more about course content. However, in the press release they didn’t state the duration or frequency or type of content.  But it does give hope to that maybe students are thinking beyond the classroom walls even if it does not appear that way while they are in class.

Can Music Play a Role in Racial Prejudice?

A study that was done at the Ohio State University concluded that music plays a roles in racial prejudice.  Though I didn’t get a chance to read the actual study the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education provides an overview of the study.  Participants listened to background music (without racial/ethnicity lyrics) for 7 minutes.  Then students were asked to complete a survey that asked about allocating funds to different racial groups.  The results of the study were that students who listened to Top 40 hits split the funding of the four groups equally, while students who listened to White power bands gave 40% of funds to predominantly White groups 25% to Latinos, and 15% to Black and Arab-American groups.  Who knows if the same effects would carry out in non-students, administration, faculty, or different age groups or different types of higher education institutions or different geographic locale?  Also would the same effects hold if different genres were used? I am neutral in the conclusion of the study but just find it intriguing if music can really play a role in racial prejudice.

Here is the link to the entire article if you are interested (

“Brainwashing” college students with religion to become anti-American?!

The speaker in the video, Brigitte Gabriel, is the founder of ACT! for America (  She is speaking at the anti-Sharia conference in Nashville, TN (11/12/11).  On the Act! for America website, Ms. Gabriel claims that they are the largest national security movement against Muslims.  In the video, she claims that American college students attending American universities are being brainwashed because predominately Muslim countries are providing funding to many American universities.  Moreover, she claims that beginning in elementary, students are being “brainwashed” to be Muslims.  How can she pinpoint one religion and say that it is bad because of few radical believers.  I would argue that there are some radical believers in all religions.  I do not condone the video but think that she offers an interesting (quite judgmental) viewpoint. Most of message seems to be based on fear and anger and not on actual facts.  I’m confused as to how she draws her conclusions or tries to state causation.

Here is the link to the 14 min. video:

Supreme Court to Revisit Affirmative Action in Higher Education

This article is brief and gives you snapshot as to what is currently going on with affirmative action in the United States.  Individuals should not be discriminated against regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.  It could be argued that there are other Texas universities/colleges that Ms. Fisher could have applied to but it cannot be concluded from the article that she did not apply to other Texas schools.  On the other hand, does Ms. Fisher have substantial evidence that she was rejected because she was white?  I look forward to how the Court will decide this case.

A community college aims to increase retention and graduate rates of Black males

I ran across an interesting article where an initiative is taking place in a community college in my hometown (Bakersfield, CA).  This initiative aims to increase retention and graduate rates of Black males.  The institution looked at statistics of retention and graduation rates and found that there was a disparity related to Black males.  I think that is mindboggling how some higher education institutions only focus on recruiting of minorities and not retaining them.  I don’t understand how the government continues to give funding to institutions that only have efforts in recruiting.  More attention needs to be focused on retaining and increasing graduation rates of minorities/underrepresented groups.  This is complex as to how to actually do this but efforts are tremendously needed in this area.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

In lieu of February which in the US we celebrate Black History Month, I wanted to provide a resource on Blacks in higher education.  Here is the link for the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education:

This site provides statistics on the history of Blacks and current statistics of Blacks in higher education.  It also looks at conflicts due to racism or being a Black woman. 

One startling statistic that was noted on the website included that some of the most prestigious US universities have only 1% black faculty where others of equal or better academic standing have faculties that are 7% African American. 

Additionally, this journal provides examples of institutions that are making tremendous strides in black scholarship awards, tenure appointments, postgraduate degree awards, administrative higherings and in conferring other posiiton of academic authority and power on African Americans.  I think that this is a useful resource in terms of the strides that have been made in higher education in terms of Blacks.