What We're Watching:

Faculty Tenure Conversation Grows

In recent weeks, Nikole Hannah-Jones's tenure dispute with the University of North Carolina drove headlines and put faculty employment in the spotlight. Now, progressive activist and philosopher Cornel West has formally resigned from his position at  Harvard following an apparent clash regarding tenure. While Dr. West's recent resignation was worthy of headlines in its own right, it is likely the timeliness of the story resulted in additional scrutiny. For example, of 197 online news mentions around Dr. West's resignation, Nikole Hannah-Jones or UNC were mentioned in 95 of them. 

Arguments For or Against West's Tenure:

Top Coverage Around Cornel West Tenure Dispute and Resignation:

  • Cornel West Releases Resignation Letter From Harvard  (NPR - July 13)
    • 24.6K Engagements
  • Cornel West resigns from position at Harvard University in open letter (The Grio - July 13)
    • 20.5K Engagements
  • Cornel West resigns from Harvard after tenure dispute and slams university's 'spiritual rot'  (CNN - July 13)
    • 13.8K Engagements
  • Cornel West says Harvard is in ‘decay’ in resignation letter over tenure dispute  (Washington Post - Jul 13)
    • 7.5K Engagements
  • Cornel West Resigns from Harvard Citing 'New Glittering Form' of 'Jim Crow' Via 'Superficial Diversity'  (Breitbart - July 13)
    • 6.2K Engagements

Trending topics by % increase

Animal Testing: 
  • Jul 10 | Twitter | Robert Cardella | 35 Retweets: "I want to talk about a standard procedure in @uwmadison’s primate research laboratories, one that made me feel like a monster. It was not uncommon for monkeys in the lab to have diarrhea—after all, their lives are filled with perpetual stress and boredom."
Free Speech: 
  • Jul 13 | Twitter | Thomas Kennedy | 130 Retweets: "Ron Desantis is acting like a wannabe dictator:
    -Bans ideas he doesn't like from being taught
    -Forces universities to survey political beliefs
    -Criminalizes protests
    -Suppresses voting rights
    -Keeps an enemies list
    -Selectively enforces laws against people he disagrees with"

  • Jul 8 | Twitter | Jonathan Turley | 91 Retweets: "...The legal site Above The Law denounced the Duke faculty for supporting free speech. Editor Joe Patrice ran a factually inaccurate tirade against Duke for using academic freedom as “a shield for professors to opine and behave in ways that marginalize others.”
  • Jul 13 | NPR | 22.7K Engagements: "Cornel West, one of the nation's foremost Black scholars and an outspoken progressive activist, has announced his resignation from Harvard University, accusing the school of "intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy of deep depths."
Natural Disaster: 
  • Jul 13 | Twitter | WFAA | 114 Retweets: "Dozens of mostly natural gas facilities were paid to have their electricity cut off in an emergency like February’s devastating winter storm, according to a report released by researchers at the UT Austin."

Trending topics by total volume

  • Jul 12 | NBC News | 12.8K Engagements: "A professor with heart and lung conditions who cannot get vaccinated against Covid-19 is suing her university, arguing that by forcing her to work on campus instead of remotely, her employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act."
  • Jul 13 | Twitter | @SFloef | 342 Retweets: "Eight college students filed a federal lawsuit against the University in Indiana that is mandating the covid vaccine. Go get em kids."
Cost of Attendance: 
  • Jul 09 | Twitter | CNN | 169 Retweets: "Since President Biden took office, the Department of Education has canceled a total of $1.5 billion in student loan debt for nearly 92,000 students who were victims of for-profit college fraud"
Discrimination:  Natural Disaster:
  • Jul 8 | Twitter | Susan Shelley | 38 Retweets: "The University of California, with a budget that depends on the approval of the governor, reports that everything is fine in California and there's no evidence that people are planning to leave in droves. For $5 billion more they'll find no evidence of wildfires and blackouts."

Trending universities/colleges by % increase

NYU: Board of Trustees
  • Jul 11 | Twitter | Kaivan Shroff | 1.8K Retweets: “It’s disgraceful that NYU is keeping Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo on as a trustee. She repeatedly lied about our democratic election and now spends her days justifying the domestic terror attack on our U.S. Capitol.”
  • Jul 11 | Twitter | Richard Signorelli | 402 Retweets: “Attention all students, alumni, employees, & faculty of @nyuniversity: @MariaBartiromo, a major Trump sycophant to this day is currently a trustee of @nyuniversity. You should consider reaching out to the institution about this.”
University of Nebraska: Free Speech
  • Jul 08 | Twitter | Gov. Pete Ricketts | 232 Retweets: “The University of Nebraska Board of Regents will be voting on a resolution opposing Critical Race Theory in the coming weeks. Thank you to NU Regent Jim Pillen for leading the fight against this divisive and anti-American philosophy!”
University of Notre Dame: Inclusion University of Michigan: ▲COVID-19
  • Jul 12 | Twitter | The Michigan Daily | 32 Retweets: “If the student body reaches a 75% self-reported COVID-19 vaccination rate, @UMich will lift the classroom mask requirement for vaccinated individuals. Click the link below to register your vaccine info by July 16th.”

Trending universities/colleges by total volume

Harvard: Faculty Tenure Free Speech
  • Jul 13 | Twitter | Lee Camp | 427 Retweets: “Professor Cornel West has been forced to resign from Harvard because of his support for Palestine. Harvard has a reputation to uphold - that of supporting human rights abuses & training those who create them.”
  • Jul 12 | Twitter | Abdallah Fayyad | 301 Retweets: “Cornel West maintains that Harvard discriminated against him for his advocacy for Palestinian rights. Says the administration has “anti-Palestinian prejudices” and a “hostility to the Palestinian cause.”
University of North Carolina: Free Speech
  • Jul 14 | Twitter | Sara Pequeño | 293 Retweets:  "It is increasingly obvious that NC Republicans are using UNC-Chapel Hill as their battleground in the culture wars at the expense of students, staff, faculty, and town residents. It isn't recent, but it has been more obvious."
University of Virginia: Buildings & Monuments
Louisiana State University: Scholarship
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