May 23rd, 2018 - 1:03 pm § in Hypocrisy, Schools & Colleges

Sexual McCarthyism

A Harvard economics researcher has been accused of making “sexually inappropriate” comments

Roland Fryer is accused of creating a hostile work environment at his Harvard lab.  Whatever the truth, the saddest thing is that the review of what could be real issues is being conducted by administrators who might or might not have the interests of the woman who complained at heart.

The allegations is  part of a real effort to assure that abuses based on gender are not allowed to happen. The problem is it is not hard to worry that  a man who has made seminal studies of the racial achievement gap, the effects of charter schools, and racial disparities in police shootings is an all too likely target.   For the records, Roland Gerhard Fryer Jr. is an economist, he is currently the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and in 2007, at age 30, became the youngest African-American to ever receive tenure at Harvard.  Anyone who cares about the black achievement gap or the issues between police and African Americans, needs to know this man’s work.  The lab Harvard closed is a hot place for bright people trying to follow Fryer;s model … including people who care about the kinds of abuse this sort of action by Harvard is supposedly intended to address.  The question is why is this an administrator’s jo rather than a job for the Harvard faculty?


So, now this more than just a Harvard prof, is under investigation by the university and the state of Massachusetts for allegations of  “sexually inappropriate” comments. Apparently these are based on one person  who made complaints.  Meanwhile, according to a report in the Harvard Crimson  Fryer has not been allowed to enter the research lab he runs since March.  

Harvard claims it has received two formal Title IX complaints against Fryer, according to the Harvard Crimson.  The story in Vox covers the pro and con but meantime this eminent man may have suffered irreversible damage.

So what are the claims?   Supposedly Fryer “frequently discussed sex in the workplace, made sexually inappropriate comments to and about employees and others, and objectified and sexualized women, including his staff.”  There are no reports of retaliation on his part.  Others have said that Fryer is a tough teacher.  As someone who admires Fryer, I wonder if he is being punished for being a great teacher? 

Fryer denied the claims through a statement provided by his attorney, George Leontire.

“Let me state unequivocally that I have not — and would not — engage in any discrimination or harassment of any form,” the statement read. “Any claim to the contrary is patently false.”

Fryer added that EdLabs is “very intense, fast moving and demanding” but that he’s worked to foster an “inclusive environment.”

Colleagues of Fryer’s wrote letters of support in anticipation of the article in the Harvard Crimson. All praised Fryer and defended his leadership at EdLabs, saying the work sometimes forced uncomfortable questions, or its employees needed to meet high standards — but nothing out of the ordinary.

“Roland’s reputation for being a demanding boss who teaches you a ton is deserved, but demanding does not mean unreasonable, unkind, discriminatory, or abusive,” former EdLabs research assistant Blake Heller wrote in a letter of support provided by Fryer’s attorney.

Fryer is also facing a state inquiry. The woman who filed a Title IX complaint last year also reported him to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Harvard’s faculty, famous for taking the lead in issues just like this, sadly is suffering from administrative take over.  The College, schools and centers were pretty independent of the central administration and their won local admins worked under the direction of a dean, always herself or himself an academic, in close cooperation with faculty committees. Correspondingly, the central administration was very small: There were four vice presidents to oversee administration, alumni affairs and development, finance, and government relations, and a general counsel.

read more

May 23rd, 2018 - 12:00 pm § in Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs, Repugnants

Reports of Mohammed bin Salman’s death are greatly exaggerated?

The interwebs spread the story that Trump ally Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia  had been assassinated. ,The buddy of Kushner had disappeared from public view  after prolonged heavy gunfire was heard at the royal palace in Riyadh in the middle of the night on April 21.   The Pri[...]

May 23rd, 2018 - 8:25 am § in Schools & Colleges

Don’t they know any Latin in South Carolina?

“Summa Cum Laude” is censored. Read story here.  [...]

May 23rd, 2018 - 8:06 am § in Misc.

What is a Trumpie?


May 22nd, 2018 - 10:39 pm § in Hypocrisy, Schools & Colleges

Are Public School Teachers Underpaid?

No from Intellectual Takeout James D. Agresti | May 18, 2018 |  12,602       During recent teacher walkouts in Oklahoma that captured national attention, many major media outlets reported misleadingly small figures for teacher pay. By failing to reveal all aspects of teacher compensation, t[...]

May 22nd, 2018 - 1:59 pm § in Misc.

Trump’s amazing confession

“President Donald Trump told the veteran ’60 Minutes’ journalist Lesley Stahl that he bashes the press to ‘demean’ and ‘discredit’ reporters so that the public will not believe ‘negative stories’ about him, Stahl said.” (Read story her[...]

May 22nd, 2018 - 11:06 am § in Foreign Affairs

Dissident Saudi prince calls for overthrow of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the ruling Trumpists

Prince Khaled bin Farhan made the appeal , saying that the damage being done to the Saudi royal family and the kingdom by Salman’s “irrational, erratic and stupid” rule had gone beyond the point of no-return. In an interview with Middle East Eye, Prince Khaled, who was given political asylum i[...]

May 22nd, 2018 - 6:55 am § in Misc.

Summer Soon

Original Cover Painting for Tarzan Comics by Mo Gollub – (Dell, 1955). This is a cover painting of Tarzan facing down a snarling leopard high in the treetops. Oil on artboard, from Jockohomo[...]

May 21st, 2018 - 10:53 am § in Repugnants

Border agent detains U.S. citizens for speaking Spanish

The ACLU may take legal action on behalf of two women, both American citizens, who went to a convenience store to buy milk and eggs in a Montana town near the Canadian border and were stopped by a Border Patrol agent who overheard them conversing in Spanish. The women are Mexican-American, and bilin[...]

May 19th, 2018 - 10:37 am § in Misc.

100th Anniversary: 19 May 1918


May 18th, 2018 - 10:35 am § in Misc.


Woman with slave girl in the mid 19th century, New Orleans. Should the U.S. provide reparations for slavery and Jim Crow? Carlton Mark Waterhouse, Indiana University More than 150 years of scholarship and activism hasn’t brought us any closer to consensus.[...]

April 22nd, 2018 - 12:54 pm § in Schools & Colleges, The Ave Scene, UW

What is “shared governance?”

Professor: A disturbing story about the influence of the Koch network in higher education This WAPO story is a warning message to all state universities. including our own.   The Administration at Arizona Stare University, our sister campus in the PAC 12, has created a “Freedom Center” [...]

March 27th, 2018 - 12:45 pm § in Hypocrisy, UW

Why I have started an adjudication against President Cauce, Vice Provost Cameron, Dean Ramsey, and my chair

THE FAILURE OF THE UW ADMISTRATION The University of  Washington  faculty, like the faculty at other major American research universities is governed by a Faculty Code, a set of laws written by the Faculty Senate, voted on by the faculty, and enacted by the Regents.  Sadly, this is a story about [...]

May 23rd, 2018 - 10:41 pm § in Donald Trump, Repugnants, The Ave Scene

GOP Candidate for Senate Blows Bad Breath at Senator Cantwell

Susan Hutchison’s absurd bashing of Maria Cantwell shows how Trumplike she’s become Nine years ago, when Susan Hutchison was running for King County Executive, she did her best to portray herself as a reasonable Republican capable of governing Washington’s largest jurisdiction. Notably, the fo[...]

May 23rd, 2018 - 10:35 pm § in Bill of Rights, Donald Trump, Hypocrisy, Jefferson

NY Jets Owner says if any player ‘takes a knee’ he’ll pay the NFL fine

Earlier Tuesday, the NFL issued the new policy, which states that all players who are on the field during the anthem must “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”  Players are allowed to stay in the locker rooms during the Anthem, which effectively silences their protests.  Except[...]

May 23rd, 2018 - 5:37 pm § in Hypocrisy, Politics