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An investigation at the University of Oklahoma reveals that members of its Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter learned the racist song they sang during the fraternity's national leadership conference.
In our March 27 program, the University of Pennsylvania's Peter Eckel joins Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik and the moderator Casey Green to discuss the ouster of the University of Mississippi's chancellor and the growing political pressure on public university leaders. In our second segment, Kevin James of the American Enterprise Institute analyzes the proposals that the top Republican on the Senate education committee has laid out for renewing the law governing most federal higher education programs.
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A black woman who is a student at Duke University reported to officials there that last weekend a group of while male students taunted her with the racist chant used by a University of Oklahoma fraternity. That accusation has led to a larger debate at Duke. A group called the People of Color Caucus issued an online statement that said that the chant was not an "isolated incident" but part of a pattern of racist incidents at Duke and elsewhere. A hashtag -- #whatweneedfromduke -- has become a forum for people to share thoughts on these issues, while others have been putting up posters (at right) on what they believe the university needs to do.
Duke President Richard H. Brodhead and Provost Sally Kornbluth issued a joint statement Thursday in which they said that the reported incident with the racist chant was being investigated. Their statement said in part: "In the face of this situation both nationally and close to home, we want to underline Duke’s fundamental values. Inclusivity and mutual respect are core values for any civil society, but they have a special meaning in a university. Thinking in stereotypes is a failure of intelligence. Education begins the day we learn to pass beyond crude and distorting simplifications. Further, a university is based on the premise that we are all here to learn from each other, which requires a broad measure of inclusion and openness to others’ experience and points of view."
A private investigator -- whose client has not been identified -- is looking into critics of New York University's Abu Dhabi campus, The New York Times reported. Among the targets: Andrew Ross, an N.Y.U. professor who has been an outspoken critic of the campus, and a New York Times reporter who has written critically of it. A spokesman for the university said that it had no knowledge about the investigator, but that "it’s reprehensible and offensive on its face, and we call on whoever is involved to desist immediately.”