Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tenure, Women and Economics

Economics is still a field dominated by men. Why is that? While most undergraduate economics majors are male, a new study suggests that women who do go on to earn Ph.D.s in economics have a harder time earning tenure and getting promoted than do their male peers, and that the gender gap is even more pronounced among international Ph.D.s. Additionally, relatively more female economists than male economists leave academe within a tenure cycle of earning their Ph.D.s.

The study, to be presented at the upcoming meeting of the American Economic Association and currently under review for publication, stands out in that it examines early career outcomes from 57 economics Ph.D. programs, as opposed to just a handful of top programs.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The High School Graduate Plateau

December 6, 2016
A decade-long stagnation in the number of U.S. high school graduates is setting in, and the number of students receiving diplomas in 2017 is expected to drop significantly.
The stagnating number of graduates breaks nearly two decades of reliable increases and comes as significant demographic changes reshape where students live and from what backgrounds they come. The pool of high school graduates is projected to become less white, more Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander, and increasingly located in the South over the coming years, according to a new set of projections in a report released Tuesday by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Read more from Inside Higher Ed here.

Why Most of Us Won’t Get Tenure

 December 9, 2016 

The academic job market is bleak, as most certainly all of you reading this are well aware. Over the summer, Gawker gathered some personal stories to highlight just how bad things are out there. One adjunct wrote about how they work at Starbucks to make ends meet, while another realized the janitor at their institution makes more than they do.

Read more from Inside Higher Ed here.

Grand Valley State University Sued For Discriminating Against Conservative Students

  in Breaking News/Culture/Politics  by 

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a conservative student group at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) filed a federal lawsuit against the school last Wednesday after the students faced discrimination and threats of arrest from campus administrators.

Read more here.

Affirmative action works in HE admissions – just look at India

Affirmative action within higher education admissions naturally generates controversy because preferential admission granted to one student results in the exclusion of another.
There is also the question of whether affirmative action may actually harm, rather than help, the supposed beneficiaries – creating a “mismatch” by prompting students to attend selective colleges for which they are inadequately prepared.

Read more here.

Affirmative action for immigrants, haredim becomes law

Legislation requiring government offices to prioritize haredim and new immigrants in their hiring practices passed in a final vote Monday night.

The law will put olim and haredim under the existing legal umbrella of “appropriate representation” of various population groups in government offices and state-owned corporations.

Read more here.
For Immediate Release
December 12, 2016

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield Calls For Increased Congressional Staff Diversity

Chairman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement in response to a recent report detailing the lack of diversity among staff in the U.S. Senate. “Recent news reports highlighting a study conducted by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies on the lack of diversity in senior U.S. Senate staff positions reflect a longstanding injustice that keeps the workforce of the United States Congress lacking the diversity of our country. “The near complete absence of African American senior staff in personal and committee offices in the Senate is not reflective of the inclusiveness ideals of our government, and of our country. The CBC has long championed African American inclusion in all industries, and launched CBC TECH 2020 last year to promote diversity in the technology industry. But the fact that the United States Congress, an institution that was created to represent all people, still has not taken meaningful steps to increase diversity is disappointing and requires an immediate remedy. “There are talented African Americans ready, willing, and able to take leadership roles in the United States Senate and in the House. There are plenty of offices hiring, on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers, where Senators and Representatives can hire talented African American candidates. Yet, from our records, with the start of the next Congress, the Senate is poised to have one African American Senate Chief of Staff and no African American staff directors if immediate action is not taken. “We have made progress in the diversity of the officials we elect to Congress, but the lack of senior African American staff within these offices is alarming. The CBC does not accept the excuses of tech companies for their lack of diversity, nor shall we accept excuses from others on an issue so critical. The United States Congress must lead by example. We call on our colleagues to increase the diversity on their staff and stand ready to help them source skilled and qualified candidates for these senior roles.” # # # Since its establishment in 1971, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have joined together to empower America’s neglected citizens and address their legislative concerns. For more than 40 years, the CBC has consistently been the voice for people of color and vulnerable communities in Congress and has been committed to utilizing the full Constitutional power and statutory authority of the United States government to ensure that all U.S. citizens have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

To learn more about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at (202) 593-1331 or

Civil and Human Rights Organization Oppose Confirmation of Jeff Sessions

Civil and Human Rights Organizations Oppose Confirmation of Jeff Sessions
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Democratic Leader Reid, Chairman Grassley, and Ranking Member Leahy:
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations committed to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and the 144 undersigned organizations, we are writing to express our strong opposition to the confirmation of Senator Jefferson B. Sessions (R-AL) to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States.

Read more of the open letter here.

Civil Rights Groups Blast Betsy DeVos' 'Lack of Respect' for Student Diversity

A coalition of civil rights groups are registering their concern that education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos' track record does not square with the U.S. Department of Education's mission of "fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access" for all students.
At the same time, DeVos is pushing back on the specific idea that she favors school choice at the expense of public education. 

Read more from here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

AAAED Fall Interns say farewell

Education Department civil rights officials urged to work through ‘tough times ahead’

A celebration of the Education Department’s civil rights work morphed into a pep rally Thursday to bolster federal workers and advocates who are expecting difficult years ahead under president-elect Donald Trump.
“We’ve got some tough times ahead, but we are up to it,” Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund and an education civil rights icon, told the audience at the department’s D.C. headquarters. “You might as well hunker down, do your crying at nights and on the weekends. We are not going backwards.”
Read the rest of the article here.

A White Supremacist Incites a Crowd at Texas A&M

Alternately goading and mocking the crowd, Richard B. Spencer delivered his white-supremacist message Tuesday evening to a packed room of about 400 people at the Texas A&M University Memorial Student Center.

Forty minutes into his two-hour appearance, a few people surged toward the stage, pushing and shoving, before police officers restored order. The chaos seemed to energize Mr. Spencer, who sprinkled racist, sexist comments with fat jokes aimed at protesters who challenged him.

Read the rest of the article here.

When Racism Erupts On College Campuses

Since the November presidential election, a number of racist incidents have erupted on college campuses. At the University of Pennsylvania, a group of Oklahoma-based students created a GroupMe account titled “N****r Lynching” and added numerous black freshmen to the account. The perpetrators then signed their hate speech with the name “Daddy Trump.” Another black female student at Villanova University was assaulted by a group of Trump supporters during the supporters’ victory march. In Massachusetts, a group of white male students drove through the Wellesley College campus in a Trump flag-bearing vehicle, then spat at a black student nearby.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Russell Amendment is Defeated - for Now

Russell Amendment is Defeated - for Now
Selena Chavez, AAAED/LEAD Fund Intern

Short Summary:

    In April of this year, the House added a controversial amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA bill outlines the budget for military and defense spending by the government. However, lawmakers attach controversial issues onto the bill to make a statement, although they often remove them last minute before it is passed to the president for approval.1 This year, the amendment added by representative Steve Russell entitled the Russell Amendment stirred tensions among the Senate.
    The Russell amendment, which was approved by the House Armed Services Committee, would allow any branch or agency of the Federal government to discriminate in their hiring processes based on their religious beliefs. Democrats who strongly opposed the amendment argued that “the amendment would effectively override President Obama’s 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. Democrats also worry it could allow for discrimination against women, based on their reproductive health choices.”2 Many Senate Democrats were so against the amendment that they composed a letter describing how it would be detrimental to anti-discrimination and civil rights.
    However, the Republicans recently agreed to remove the Russell Amendment from the NDAA in the middle of the Democrats protests. President Obama made it clear that he would veto the bill because of controversial measures like the Russell Amendment, so removing the Amendment assured a higher likelihood that it would be passed. While the NDAA is now free of the Russell amendment, there is still fear that a Trump Presidency means that President Obama’s 2014 executive order will be repealed.

Russell Amendment
  • What: An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which outlines the budget for defense and Military spending. The Russell Amendment, which was added to the the bill in April by House “exempt[s] religious organizations with government contracts from federal civil rights law and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The amendment would effectively override President Obama’s 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. Democrats also worry it could allow for discrimination against women, based on their reproductive health choices.”
  • Democratic sentiments: “Forty Senate Democrats plus two independents wrote in a letter last month that the provision would amount to government-sponsored discrimination by permitting religiously affiliated federal contractors to refuse to  interview a job candidate whose faith differs from theirs and to fire employees who marry their same-sex partners or use birth control.”
  • Current Status: President Obama has threatened to veto the bill. However, “Republicans agreed to take out Russell’s measure amid protests from Democrats” (November 29th). While the NDAA is now free of the Russell amendment, there is still fear that a Trump Presidency means that President Obama’s 2014 executive order will be repealed.

Notes on the Russell Amendment from Articles

Gay Rights Looms as Hurdle to Passing Defense Bill
  • “Forty Senate Democrats plus two independents wrote in a letter last month that the provision would amount to government-sponsored discrimination by permitting religiously affiliated federal contractors to refuse to interview a job candidate whose faith differs from theirs and to fire employees who marry their same-sex partners or use birth control.
  • “The provision would "vastly expand religious exemptions" under the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act to allow contractors "to harm hardworking Americans who deserve to be protected from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religious identity, or reproductive and other health care decisions," they said in the letter.”

National Security Threatened By Religious Amendment In Defense Spending Bill
  • “This is not a minor inconvenience for a couple of American workers. The Russell Amendment jeopardizes all existing non-discrimination policies that currently protect over one-fifth of the United States’ workforce. As an added affront to civil society and the soon-to-vanish concept of equal rights for all, the amendment also authorizes any so-called “religiously-affiliated” organization that receive federal grants (faith-based initiative money) and contracts to discriminate against every aspect of society that offends their religious senses; even if their religion amounts to being a personal mental bias against anyone.”
  • ““It is simply stunning that House Republicans have decided to make targeting LGBT Americans a priority in the Defense Authorization bill. The Defense Authorization bill should be about making our country safe, and honoring the oath we take to protect and defend the American people. It should not be a place where the most extreme [evangelical] elements of the Republican Conference are allowed to codify hatred and intolerance against Americans based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”- Nancy Pelosi

‘Religious liberty’ anti-LGBT amendment puts defense budget at risk
  • It is not only LGBT employees whose jobs would be at risk due to the Russell Amendment. The letter explains that the amendment “would also allow religiously-affiliated contractors and grantees to inquire about and discriminate against employees or potential employees based on an individual’s religion.
  • The language of the amendment “would give legal grounds for an employer to prevent a gay man from having their husband added to their health insurance,” David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, explained to NBC. “Trans people could be fired from their job upon announcing their intent to transition."

Fight over LGBT provision threatens to stall defense bill when Congress returns
  • The dispute started in April, when the House Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment from Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) exempting religious organizations with government contracts from federal civil rights law and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The amendment would effectively override President Obama’s 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. Democrats also worry it could allow for discrimination against women, based on their reproductive health choices.

Republicans Strip Their Anti-LGBTQ Provision From Defense Bill
  • The House passed its bill in May, with that amendment from Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) in it. But the Senate passed its own NDAA in June without that language. That has left a final bill ― and the fate of that amendment ― in limbo for months as House and Senate negotiators went behind closed doors to hash out their differences.
  • Ultimately, Republicans agreed to take out Russell’s measure amid protests from Democrats, top committee aides told reporters Tuesday.
  • Other paths” likely means that some Republicans will turn to President-elect Donald Trump to repeal Obama’s executive order, which he can do with the stroke of a pen if he wants. It’s unclear where Trump stands on this issue.
  • Lawmakers often load up the NDAA with controversial measures, only to pull them out at the last minute. That’s because they know the bill has to pass ― it authorizes all of the nation’s defense spending for the next fiscal year ― so they want to make a statement on a particular issue while the bill is moving. Once it gets close to the time to send the bill to the president, they strip out the things the president opposes and send him cleaner legislation.

Anti-LGBT amendment stripped from defense bill
  • Known as the Russell Amendment, the measure in the NDAA could have allowed taxpayer-funded discrimination against women, single mothers, LGBT people and religious minorities in religiously-affiliated organizations, including hospitals and universities.
  • “Taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people is wrong — plain and simple,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “The fact that the defense spending bill was being used in an attempt to fund discrimination against minorities is disturbing. Thousands of LGBT service members put their lives on the line for our nation, and they and their families should never face discrimination here at home simply because of who they are or whom they love. We are pleased that in the end, lawmakers removed the discriminatory measure and fairness and equality seem to have prevailed.”

The increasingly diverse United States of America

Farmland outside a Midwestern city turns into a bedroom enclave of commuting urban professionals. A handful of non-white people move to Dubuque, Iowa. Already diverse cities become increasingly mixed with immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

These are just some of the ways diversity is increasing in U.S. communities.

Read more here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

On Giving Tuesday Your Support is Needed Now, More Than Ever

The President's Corner

Dear Colleagues:

Our country is at a crossroads, one that particularly affects EEO, AA, Diversity and Inclusion professionals, and the people whose lives depend on our work.  We have witnessed a proliferation of threats to students of color, religious minorities, individuals with disabilities, the LGBT community and women on our campuses and in our workplaces.  Sadly, public expressions of bigotry--racism, Islamophobia, and misogyny—appear to have increased at alarming rates and expressions of both conscious and unconscious bias have reached levels unseen since the 1960s.

As we face this crossroads, we don’t know if affirmative action, diversity and inclusion, and related civil rights laws, regulations and government policies, will be selected for weakening or elimination.  What we do know is that we, as an association of dedicated professionals, will continue to promote access, equity and diversity in our workplaces and schools.

On “Giving Tuesday” your support is needed now, more than ever.  We must mount an even greater effort to monitor what happens within our States, in the Congress, and in the federal agencies.  We must increase our communications to you and to your colleagues, keeping you informed of current events.  Lastly, we must call on you to speak up, where necessary, in hopes of maintaining robust EEO, AA and diversity laws and policies.

These additional and essential responsibilities for AAAED, and our members, will demand more resources and support. Therefore, if you are not currently a member of AAAED, now is the time to join.  If you are already a member, we ask that you recruit a friend or colleague to join us.  It is critical; it is necessary.  Can we count on you? 

AAAED, founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action, is the longest-serving association of equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity professionals in the country.  We have survived for forty-two years – during administrations that supported our programs and some that did not.  In the 1980s, you may recall the organized efforts to eliminate Executive Order 11246, which would have ended affirmative action for federal contractors.  In the end, it took the concerted efforts of the civil rights community, members of both parties in Congress, our nation’s largest employers and strong advocacy by our military leadership to convince the president not to re-write Executive Order 11246 into oblivion.  We won that battle and we are confident that we will win again – with your help.

We must be unified. And we are determined to shout loudly and clearly that injustice will not stand and that access, equity and diversity must continue to be firmly rooted in this nation’s laws and policies.  We may be facing our greatest challenge to date, ironically, in the face of this nation’s growing diversity.  We need to be prepared to respond — and quickly — to each challenge that is presented to the ideal of equal opportunity for all.

The time is now.  Please join AAAED, or renew your membership, by going to our website at  Don’t forget to invite your friends and colleagues.  We welcome you to our ranks of dedicated servants to the cause of access, equity and diversity.


Myron R. Anderson, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Berkeley Finds Professor Guilty of Harassment

Another professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has been found guilty of sexually harassing a student in violation of institutional rules, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. A five-month investigation by Berkeley found that Nezar AlSayyad, a professor of architecture, planning and urban design, spent months becoming close to, or "grooming," a graduate student before placing his hand on her upper thigh and proposing that they travel together to Las Vegas. The Chronicle found two additional allegations of harassment against the professor. In an alleged incident that happened more than 20 years ago and was never investigated, a student complained that she felt taken advantage of after she and AlSayyad had sex; a third student accused him of sexual misconduct this spring, and an investigation is pending. He is reportedly barred from teaching next semester.

Read more here.