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Seven Ways Graham-Cassidy Attacks Women’s Healthcare

by Lynn Rosado @ Ms. Magazine Blog

Several failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have led to the worst replacement yet—especially for women. 

The post Seven Ways Graham-Cassidy Attacks Women’s Healthcare appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

Here's Why 'Real Beauty' Advertising Campaigns Are Garbage

Here's Why 'Real Beauty' Advertising Campaigns Are Garbage


Jezebel

British tabloid The Sun wants women to realize how beautiful they truly are by posing for the paper in a thong so they can rate their own naked bodies — and be judged by a panel of men, natch — for a piece on how we ladies are "overly negative on ourselves" but "needn't be." Gee, wonder why that is!

Tradition meets Fusion at Willoughby’s & Co.

by Kreg @ MyCityByNight

Willoughby’s & Co. prides itself on being purveyors of fine seafood and a refined sushi menu, and we pride ourselves on overeating, indulging and memorising their menu by heart.

Real Beauty Brings Real Results for Dove’s Marketing Campaign

Real Beauty Brings Real Results for Dove’s Marketing Campaign


Ohio University Strategic Social Media

by Lauren Coulson Reed When it comes to marketing campaigns, it’s not always about what you do, as it is how you do it. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign became successful by targeting women’s…

Breastfeeding: the agony and the — yeah, just the agony.

by Stephanie @ Stephanie Early Green

Hello! It is I, woman who used to regularly update her blog. My shocking absence can and will, as usual, be blamed on my two adorable children, who are slowly but surely sucking the life-force from my now husk-like terrestrial body. NOT TO BE DRAMATIC! No, but really, things are good. Ewan is now a whopping […]

Fathers: Providers and Parents

by Mary Lawrence @ RCL M. Lawrence

My three previous blogs were about parenting, but most of the information I’ve found has catered mainly to women. Parenting websites, Facebook pages and advice blogs all have recurring female caregiver roles. In America fathers are often overlooked as caregivers and seen more as mainly financial providers and disciplinarians. The family dynamic is different across […]

Indian Railways Has To Go a Long Way To Really World Class Digital Media Presence But It’s a Good Start

by Koustave B @ Organic Social

One Step toward social media enabled country Governments over the world have invariably moved towards technology adoption and India is no different. Although this article refers exclusively to Indian context yet the basic idea is to promote efficient implementation of digital media in public sector anywhere in the world. India being a developing country has

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The post Indian Railways Has To Go a Long Way To Really World Class Digital Media Presence But It’s a Good Start appeared first on Organic Social.

Mother Chef – The Taste of Mother’s Love

by sublimare @ Sublimare

Cheiro Verde is a restaurant with focus on home-made food that stands out for its special recipes of common Brazillian dishes. On Mothers’ Day, the place has prepared a tribute, but it was actually their children the ones who got surprised. Experiential advertisment created by Pirueta, Brazil for Cheiro Verde, within the category: Food.

True Music Pop Up Club: Music Born from Passion

by Claudia Varjabedian @ MyCityByNight

Nothing rings in the new season like cocktails and late nights, and with Ballantine’s and their Stay True campaign, you can dance into the summer with their finest whiskey and inner-city music at their new pop-up on Long Street: True Music.

Reality TV is my sports

by Stephanie @ Stephanie Early Green

I’m not a sports-on-TV person. This fact, I’m sure, pains my father deeply, since he is the type of person who will watch almost any sport on TV, including wrestling and volleyball, as long as his beloved alma mater Penn State is involved. My mom, having been married to my dad for close to 46 […]

Why not all LGBT-exclusive spaces are beneficial (essay)

by Richard Greggory Johnson III @ Inside Higher Ed

There are safe spaces, and then there are entire segregated social spheres. The first are places where members of a marginalized group can come together in the midst of busy lives to talk together openly, and the second are more like a way of life. One might be a community center on a campus that LGBT students can drop into for a support group, and the other looks more like, say, an LGBT-only dorm -- an idea that has popped up at a smattering of universities. One is a good, even necessary, idea. The other is not.

Birmingham University is currently the only university to offer a LGBT-only living space in Great Britain, and only a handful of colleges and universities offer the option of LGBT-only living spaces on campus in the United States as well. Response from other students, campus administrators and legislators to the concept has been overwhelmingly negative. Most American universities want to ensure the safety of their LGBT student population, and these spaces that create further segregation from the rest of the non-LGBT student population would ultimately create more divide and friction.

Safety is often cited as the central defense of the LGBT-designated living quarters on college campuses. But safety is such dorms’ greatest drawback. An LGBT-only living arrangement would heighten the risk of targeted violence or vandalism. Everyone who passes through the structure’s doors would be forced to come out in a potentially very public way -- a risk that students might not be considering in the moment they sign up for what they hope will be a perfectly safe living environment. The Guardian quoted Simon Thompson, the director of a website about student living, who voiced a similar concern: “Segregation will only lead to more victimization; it will not solve any problems,” he said. “I believe this is the view of a very small minority.”

I hope it goes without saying that I long for a world in which there is no risk associated with publicly announcing oneself as LGBT. Unfortunately, we don’t yet live in that world. Does establishing separate lives, homes and social circles for people who do and don’t identify as LGBT help us closer to that world we all hope for? I suspect not.

As a social equity scholar and human rights activist, I have been researching and teaching in the area of LGBT issues for 15 years. My latest publication is entitled “Leadership and Racing Toward the Arc of Freedom by African-American Gay and Bisexual Men” (a chapter in African-American Males in Higher Education Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities, from Peter Lang). Here I argue that gay and bisexual African-American men and other men of color are routinely left out of the LGBT conversation as a whole, except when it comes down to closeted and/or predatory sexual behavior. I am proud to act as an advocate for all of my students on campus at the University of San Francisco, and I take great pride in being someone who many LGBT college students turn to for advice when they look to make important life decisions.

The long, painful, but ultimately promising mainstreaming of acceptance of LGBT rights happens to have come alongside the dispersing of LGBT communities, even historically well-established ones like in San Francisco. I’m doubtful that the correlation between stronger public support of LGBT folks and lower concentration of LGBT communities is incidental.

How can the segregation of our college campuses contribute to the continuing progress that must happen in our society? In the same Guardian piece cited above, Lily Robinson, a 22-year-old student in Great Britain who identifies as transgender, worried that “rather than tackling the problem by making it clear homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and other discrimination aren’t acceptable, separate living or schooling means we are running away from the problem.”

It’s important to stress here that while I’m leery of LGBT-only living situations at universities, I do wholeheartedly support the development and protection of safe LGBT spaces like support groups and gay bars. Safe spaces usually have clearly defined, collectively maintained codes of behavior that help LGBT folks feel less vulnerable to the possibility of discrimination. In my mind, the important difference here is that community centers and bars are places where people spend just a fraction of their time (although certainly an important fraction -- one that may prove crucial for their social and mental well-being). A person who frequents a gay bar will probably find plenty of other opportunities in their day to establish relationships with people of diverse identities. In contrast, while an especially social person who lives in an LGBT-designated dorm could conceivably do the same, it would also be easy to restrict most social effort to the living space.

My position is not that we should expect LGBT students, or anyone else, to act as though homophobia and discrimination are things of the past. They are not, and it would not serve anyone to pretend otherwise. In the spirit of fighting for safer, more inclusive spaces everywhere, perhaps we could all advocate for more laws like the one passed in California, which protects LGBT students from discrimination at private universities. But let’s continue fighting for inclusion and equality on all fronts, rather than retreating into segregated social spheres.

Richard Greggory Johnson III is a social equity professor researching and teaching in the areas of race, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity and social class in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco.

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Sonic Cute: An Overview Anthony P. McIntyre / University College Dublin

by Anthony P. McIntyre / University College Dublin @ Flow

Anthony P. McIntyre lays the groundwork for future investigations into the cultural phenomenon that is "sonic cute."

Dove Launches Real Beauty Pledge With Mario Testino

Dove Launches Real Beauty Pledge With Mario Testino


WWD

The campaign features 32 real women across ages and nationalities to show a diverse range of beauty.

Real Beauty From Dove And Its Parody

Real Beauty From Dove And Its Parody


Mommy Needs A Break

Dove has a Real Beauty campaign going on right now - you probably have seen or heard about it. This is what they say: "Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. At Dove, we a...

Social Media Shame. The Devastating Effects Of Cyber Bullying May Be Inherent To Online Communication.

by Koustave B @ Organic Social

We have reached a stage in our civilization where bad intentions are instantly materialized. Using social media websites to post abusive content about other people is a modern menace and it is also quite ‘in your face’ kind of menace. Cyber-bullying on Twitter and Facebook comes in all forms right from the teenage banters to

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The post Social Media Shame. The Devastating Effects Of Cyber Bullying May Be Inherent To Online Communication. appeared first on Organic Social.

Book round-up: pregnancy, birth, baby-care, and parenting

by Stephanie @ Stephanie Early Green

A friend who is expecting her first baby recently asked me for recommendations on my favorite pregnancy, birth, and parenting books, and, to my surprise, I found myself brimming with suggestions. I used to tell people (proudly) that I didn’t read parenting books — but I see now that this is not actually true. What’s more […]

Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open

by Stephanie @ Stephanie Early Green

I am proud to announce that my short story On the Road to the Volcano received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s March/April 2016 Fiction Open contest! I have submitted work to Glimmer Train many times over the past couple of years, so it’s really gratifying to have gotten on their Honorable Mentions list. (It’s extremely difficult […]

Dove Real Beauty Parody for Men

Dove Real Beauty Parody for Men


MyCityByNight

By now you would probably have seen one of the most successful bits of advertising ever made in the form of the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign, which highlighted how inaccurately some women view themselves. The women in the study had incredibly harsh valuations of themselves, describing their outward appearances to the sketch artist as a mix between witch and hobbit. These women where then described by their friends to the sketch artist, resulting in an accurate and heart wrenching drawing, which was then shown to the self-loathing females. What if the same ad was re-done with a bunch of

man beaten in the street on a beautiful day

by Kate @ Eat the Damn Cake

A woman was attacked by four boys a few blocks away from where I walk every day with my baby. She was hit on the back of the head, for fun, I guess, and she is OK. Except that I … Continue reading

What Do Teenage Girls Think Of #Femvertising?

by Alistair Griffiths @ Dove Real Beauty Sketches – Unruly

At Cannes Lions this year, Unilever CMO Keith Weed declared ‘the time is right for us as an industry to challenge and change how we portray gender in our advertising’. His message was backed up by the announcement of the FMCG giant’s UnStereotype initiative, and comes in the wake of a steady rise in empowering portrayals...

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The post What Do Teenage Girls Think Of #Femvertising? appeared first on Unruly.

Dove Real Beauty: #Balls, A Parody Video Asks Men to Describe Their Balls to a Sketch Artist

Dove Real Beauty: #Balls, A Parody Video Asks Men to Describe Their Balls to a Sketch Artist


Laughing Squid

http://youtu.be/qzDUbUQ-qjg Only 4% of men around the world know how beautiful their balls are. Portal A has created a parody of Dove's Real Beauty Sketche

Dove Real Beauty Campaign Tells Men "Your Balls Are More Beautiful Than You Think"

Dove Real Beauty Campaign Tells Men "Your Balls Are More Beautiful Than You Think"


BuzzFeed

It's a parody video, but still—the message is just as important.

How data is changing the very model of the modern merchandiser

by Hilary Milnes @ Digiday

E-commerce retailers are competing to offer the most personalized experience to customers who visit their site, a strategy that touches on personalized product recommendations, messages and assortment. But when data is ruling a retailer, where does the buyer fit in?

The post How data is changing the very model of the modern merchandiser appeared first on Digiday.

Obama Alums Launch Coalition to Challenge DeVos

by Andrew Kreighbaum @ Inside Higher Ed

A group of former Obama administration officials is launching a legal aid effort to assist students who are defrauded or suffer from discrimination.

The organization, called the National Student Legal Defense Network, will work with state attorneys general and other advocacy groups to bring lawsuits on students' behalf, according to the Associated Press. The AP and The Washington Post reported the group's launch.

The network's co-founder Aaron Ament, a former chief of staff to the general counsel at the Department of Education under Obama, told those outlets that the deregulatory agenda of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos means there is a need for more groups to step up to protect students.

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Racist incidents at colleges abound as academic year begins

by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf @ Inside Higher Ed

This article contains explicit and potentially offensive terms that are essential to reporting on this situation.

The attack that left a black Cornell University student bloodied last week may be the most severe racially charged incident on college campuses in the early weeks of the academic year, but it is far from the only one.

Experts say these apparently racially motivated events are nothing new in academe, though they’ve gained more visibility in recent years with the advent of social media, forcing administrators in an age of transparency to act more quickly and aggressively.

At Cornell, the Black Students United group occupied Willard Straight Hall for several hours Wednesday, harking back to another protest in the 1960s in which black students overran the student union, though in that instance they were armed with guns.

Black Students United were protesting the recent assault of a black student; the victim returned home to find a group of other students arguing with his housemate. When he tried to intervene, most of the students in the group began punching him and using a racial slur.

The university is investigating the Psi Upsilon fraternity’s connection to the attack. It was suspended last year after its president was accused of sexual assault, but the university withdrew its recognition after the fraternity threw a party during the probationary period. Cornell announced this week that Psi Upsilon intended to close the chapter after the allegations.

One student, John Greenwood, 19, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and second-degree aggravated harassment. He has apologized for using “unacceptable and inappropriate” language but denied any physical fighting.

A roundup of some of the other reported incidents within the last week or so:

  • Racist language and symbols were posted at least twice on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus, including a note on the door of a student’s on-campus apartment that read “filthy nigger.”
  • A swastika was carved into a campus elevator, and the N-word was written on the whiteboard belonging to a black student at Drake University.
  • At Cabrini University, a racial slur was written on the door of a first-year student Saturday, and two additional sightings were later reported in residence halls.
  • Lewd language and the N-word were scrawled on door name tags of black students at the University of Michigan. Later, protests and a fight broke out over the university’s response to this and other incidents.
  • “Nigger lives here” was written on a name tag of a student at Westfield State University.
  • Fliers encouraging students to join a white nationalist group were posted around the University of Louisville campus.
  • White nationalist fliers were also distributed around Stockton University advertising the “alt-right” movement, characterized by its white supremacist and racist views.
  • At Purdue University, fliers were posted by a group called Identity Evropa, a white supremacist group that bragged about the posters on Twitter. The group also mentioned other colleges where it hung fliers recently, including Stockton, Simpson University, Shasta College and Millersville University.

Generally, the responses of universities have been to denounce these actions and begin police investigations. At Cornell, President Martha E. Pollack convened a task force to examine campus bigotry and directed campus Greek organizations to develop new trainings around diversity.

“For the vast majority of Cornellians who abhor these recent events, our community needs your help,” Pollack said in a statement. “Please speak out against injustice, racism and bigotry and reach out to support one another. Ours must be a community grounded in mutual respect and kindness.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes nationwide, documented a total of 1,863 hate-related incidents between Nov. 9 and March 31, of which 330 occurred on college campuses.

The center has previously reported that many instances of hate or bias involve fliers being hung on college campuses, and these primarily come from outside organizations, not students. These hate groups have targeted college campuses and run rampant on them, said Lecia Brooks, the center’s outreach director.

White nationalist or alt-right speakers, such as Richard Spencer, who helped found the movement, have also pursued an extensive campaign of provocative speeches at colleges, many of which have inflamed campuses by drawing sizable and sometimes violent protests.

“When an alt-right personality is scheduled to speak on campus, the most effective course of action is to deprive the speaker of the thing he or she wants most -- spectacle,” the center wrote in its guide on the alt-right at colleges. “Alt-right personalities know their cause is helped by news footage of large jeering crowds, heated confrontations and outright violence at their events. It allows them to play the victim and gives them a larger platform for their racist message.”

Shaun R. Harper, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Center on Race and Equity, has studied campus climate and race issues on campuses for a decade or so. He said his extensive interviews with students reveal that these issues have persisted for some time but have simply come to light because of the new ways society communicates.

Of the nearly 50 campuses he’s visited, on only one did he not find a black student who had been called a “nigger” by some campus community member, sometimes even a professor, he said.

“The kind of things that we’re reading online now and seeing in tweets and in Facebook posts are consistently the same kinds of things I’ve been hearing for a decade in focus group interviews and our climate studies,” Harper said, adding that the election of President Trump does seem to have emboldened white supremacists.

Students, professors and staff are perhaps more aware of these incidents since the election and more likely to report them, said Brooks.

Harper expressed frustration that institutions have commissioned him and his groups in the past to assess the campus trends on race but the leaders have sometimes done little with the data he presents. Harper said that only a handful of universities have shared the full results of his investigations on their campuses, an act he called “responsible,” but not courageous.

Sometimes, he said, these issues are addressed quietly, or administrators attempt to persuade students not to discuss them widely. Instead, campus leaders should take strong stances -- and not try to remove the element of race from racist incidents, Harper said.

He criticized University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan for her early “raceless” response -- that did not mention by name the groups involved -- to plans by Spencer and other white supremacists to invade the campus in August. Those white nationalists marched at UVA and in the city of Charlottesville, Va., with bloody protests leaving one woman dead.

Following Charlottesville, anxiety abounded among colleges, Brooks said.

“College presidents hoping that this wouldn’t happen on their campuses are quickly learning they need to be prepared and respond strongly,” Brooks said, urging institutional leaders not to minimize the trauma that these incidents cause.

Harper called it unfair that the students who have previously endured this treatment have not had their stories shared as broadly.

“It’s unfair to those students that what they were experiencing was somehow less racist, less impactful, less hazardous to their academic health and personal wellness,” he said.

Brooks pointed out that the race-related protests on the University of Missouri campus, perhaps one of the most intense display of activism, resulted in enrollment drops for the institution and the exit of the president. Should colleges not prove that they have committed to solving these problems, they could end up like Mizzou, she said.

“Students have a choice -- they don’t have to attend an institution where administrators are not supportive or don’t take a strong enough stance,” Brooks said. “Colleges and universities have everything to lose.”

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Students at Cornell University gather to protest the recent attack on a black student.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017
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A September of Racist Incidents

Asos makes fabulously imperfect and irrepressibly playful the new black

by admin @ The Stable

Apart from the voiceover poem, which simply follows the most recent ad trend, etailer Asos’ 60 second ad, Go Play, is unique in beauty advertising. It’s about being fabulous with imperfections. Not removing them to be fabulous. The ad, which […]

S’pore less racist as only 5 Chinese men vying for prime minister role now

by Wang Pei @ New Nation

A sharp increase in diversity overnight.

Lululemon Unveils First Spot For Men: 5 Ads You Should Watch Right Now

by David Waterhouse @ Unruly

Every week Unruly scours every corner of the web for the funniest, saddest and weirdest ads around – then we put them into a handy list so you can catch up before the weekend. This week’s picks even include a few moving moments, like Lululemon’s first spot targeted towards men, ‘Strength To Be’. Keeping pace...

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The post Lululemon Unveils First Spot For Men: 5 Ads You Should Watch Right Now appeared first on Unruly.

The controversial Dove Real Beauty sketch artist ads

The controversial Dove Real Beauty sketch artist ads


Stephanie Early Green

I am nervous this morning as I write this post; my stomach’s all fluttery, and not really in a good way. After last week’s kerfuffle over sexism, HLS, and internet trolls, I am a little…

Can Real Beauty Sketches Parody Sell Men's Clothing? | Organic Social

Can Real Beauty Sketches Parody Sell Men's Clothing? | Organic Social


Organic Social

So the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign spewed up dozens of parody videos across the internet. I had a chance to go through them because yeah, that’s my entertainment. While the original campaign didn’t get a thumbs up from the critics worldwide and feminists panned the whole idea by rejecting the “You are more beautiful Read more...

Siblings Of Kids With Autism

by Karla @ Mommy Needs A Break

April is Autism Awareness Month. Unless you live with someone with autism you don’t realize how much it affects the whole family, including the siblings. These videos are from the unique angle of a brother or sister of an autistic child. From a young boys perspective:     From a 18 year old view: This […]

Dove TV Commercial, 'Real Beauty Productions: Meet Cathleen'

Dove TV Commercial, 'Real Beauty Productions: Meet Cathleen'


iSpot.tv

Cathleen never thought of herself as unattractive, but the way beauty is portrayed on screen made her feel like she was supposed to see herself differently. Dove reveals that 69 percent of women agree they don't see themselves reflected on screen, which is why Real Beauty Productions was established in partnership with Shonda Rhimes to allow real women to define what beauty is through the power of storytelling.

Skin Care Confessional: How I’m About to Change My Beauty Routine

by Mara @ Be Nice or Leave, Thanks!

I’ve got a couple of beauty confessions to make. 1. I don’t wash my face twice a day. Never have. 2. I hardly ever take my makeup off before I go to sleep. Well… let me clarify. I sometimes wash my face in the shower. And I sort of clean my face and remove my […]

The post Skin Care Confessional: How I’m About to Change My Beauty Routine appeared first on Be Nice or Leave, Thanks!.

Beauty Sketches and “thin” language

Beauty Sketches and “thin” language


Be beautiful...or else

Originally airing a few years ago now (but still relevant for today’s world)are Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, a part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. The advertisement- set to a clean…

My new Bachelor(ette) podcast!

by Stephanie @ Stephanie Early Green

Big news: I now have a podcast devoted to everyone’s favorite televised dumpster fire of true love, The Bachelorette! Jeff Drake and I co-host Whine & Roses, a weekly podcast in which we break down each episode of The Bach’ette into its essential components. It’s highly rigorous and scientific! Please do me a solid and […]

Mix of the Day | Atremura- The Forbidden Forest

by Kreg @ MyCityByNight

Mix of the Day | Atremura- The Forbidden Forest ‘Atremura’ is a tremor born within the fault line that lies between Melodic Techno & Ethereal Techno.

Pranking the Academy

by Barbara Fister @ Inside Higher Ed

I'm a little baffled about the Third World Quarterly thing. An editor of a journal overrides an editorial board decision to reject an article and claims it was favorably peer-reviewed. Fifteen members of the editorial board resign in protest. (Alsotps's guess that this might be the final straw in a series of more private disputes sounds plausible, though I'm not sure I agree it's a good idea to rehash old arguments in scholarly journals' opinion sections just because some folks want them rehashed, not when there are so many places to voice opinions and no shortage of journals taking submissions.) Is asking for retraction of a piece that was rejected by peers censorship, a violation of academic freedom, an instance of political correctness run amok?

I think that's the wrong question.

What is peer review, anyway? It's a vetting system that's far from perfect. The first article I ever submitted to a scholarly journal was rejected after a long delay and in rather uncharitable language. As a lesson in how peer review works, I tell students how I reread it, decided it might have merit after all, submitted it elsewhere, and it ended up on a list of the twenty best of the year (in an admittedly small subfield - but still it was sweet). I also share examples of reviews that made me wince and go back to the drawing board that in the end improved my work immeasurably. I also tell them about a couple of pieces I wrote that I decided not to revise or resubmit after reviewers gave me good and honest feedback. Sometimes we take a look at Retraction Watch or discuss how influential a discredited study can be. We talk about times the value of peer review has been challenged, as with a small study Peters and Ceci published in 1982 in Behavioral and Brain Sciences along with dozens of responses, or the famous Sokal hoax

All that to complicate the misimpression that students often get that "peer review" means is some kind of guarantee of quality, because so often they hear "make sure your sources come from peer-reviewed journals" and don't hear "oh, by the way, peer-reviewed journals publish lots of rubbish, so be careful out there." Sorting out the rubbish is not something you can do by checking a box in a database. It's something that takes careful reading and lots of background knowledge, which is why I wonder whether asking undergraduates taking lower division courses should be asked to find and use peer reviewed research in training-wheels "research papers" makes any sense at all.  

But getting a more complex idea of peer review somewhere along the way is worthwhile. Recognizing that scholars and scientists have particular methods and ethical practices, and that their ideas go through a vetting process is valuable, even when that process sometimes rejects a novel ideas or accepts substandard work. Recognizing that scholarship is a social process that makes ideas public through a different process than news reporting or televised debates is part of information literacy. 

Peer review not a great system, but it's better than nothing. Students are not surprised to learn that university press book manuscripts go through peer review. They're much more likely to be shocked to learn that books from trade publishers aren't fact-checked or reviewed by knowledgeable peers, though they might be reviewed by a lawyer to avoid a lawsuit. 

Portia Roelofs and Max Gallien argue at the LSE Impact blog that the current mania for impact metrics promotes publishing academic "clickbait," that journals, like websites and social media accounts, are rewarded by attention, whatever is bringing in the traffic. I think that's a valid concern, but this particular incident is also a prank to delegitimize the conversation among a particular community of scholars and accuse them of bias. It's meant to upset the apple cart. It's a Breitbartian thumbing of the nose at the peers in peer review.

The one thing I find cheering as I write this is that though the prank is getting a lot of clicks at its publisher's website, another article in the same issue is getting more views. It seems a little more relevant just now. 

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Thursday, September 21, 2017
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‘A whole new world’: Coke has a sponsorship deal with a virtual soccer star in ‘FIFA 18’

by Ilyse Liffreing @ Digiday

For the first time, Coca-Cola isn't going with a real celebrity or athlete as a sponsor.

The post ‘A whole new world’: Coke has a sponsorship deal with a virtual soccer star in ‘FIFA 18’ appeared first on Digiday.

BBDO NY: GE transforms Grand Central’s constellation ceiling into a celebration of women who matter

by admin @ The Stable

In February, GE announced its #BalancetheEquation initiative to grow its workforce of professional women in science and engineering roles. But it has been an active champion of women in general, and women in science in particular, since 2014. That mission […]

Founding Mothers of Feminism

by Mary Lawrence @ RCL M. Lawrence

Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights in the political, social, and economic arenas. Throughout the history of America, the role of women has been constantly evolving. Feminism was born from the women who stood up alone and saw their value separate and apart from the home they created. They were the women who wanted […]

Dove's Real Beauty Isn't - Ms. Magazine Blog

Dove's Real Beauty Isn't - Ms. Magazine Blog


Ms. Magazine Blog

Dove released its latest video last Thursday in their now-decade-old Campaign for Real Beauty. But Dove’s ideas about Real Beauty are making me Real Tired and Real Crabby. Viewers are treated to yet another series of earnest, young-to-middle-aged, multicultural women confiding to the camera how they really need to work harder at feeling beautiful, for Dove …

The War on Women Report No. 4

by Carmen Rios @ Ms. Magazine Blog

This week, the Trump administration rolled back Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors, came under fire for racist and anti-LGBT judicial nominees and declared their support for the Graham-Cassidy bill and its destruction of women's healthcare access.

The post The War on Women Report No. 4 appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

PETA goes after a postdoc for her research on birds, and academics cry foul

by Colleen Flaherty @ Inside Higher Ed

Christine Lattin, a postdoctoral researcher in biology at Yale University, describes herself as a bird lover. Yet she and her work with birds have become targets for animal activists, in particular People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The organization has called on its supporters to demand that Yale stop backing Lattin’s research, and she’s been the subject of protests, including a small one in front of her home earlier this month. She’s also received emails telling her to kill herself.

“I was appalled to learn about the abuse of birds at the hands of Yale experimenter Christine Lattin, who's capturing these sensitive animals from their natural homes and intentionally tormenting and killing them,” reads a template protest email about Lattin on PETA’s website. “These cruel experiments are also wasteful, since they're not applicable to humans or any other species.”

PETA has responded to Lattin’s public attempts to defend her research, including in a point-by-point rebuttal called “PETA to Bird Torturer: Here Are the Facts.” The organization says Lattin’s work is unnecessarily cruel and essentially pointless, despite her assertions that her studies on stress in birds could be applicable to other species.

Lattin uses advanced imaging technology to study how wild birds’ neuroendocrine systems respond to changing environments. Her research, mostly on wild house sparrows, looks at how different neurotransmitters and hormones help these birds survive and thrive, with an emphasis on the stress response. How much stress is good and how much is bad, under which circumstances, and among which birds?

Lattin says that understanding stress in bird populations is important because habitat destruction, climate change and species invasions exist in their natural environments. And because the hormone and neurotransmitter pathways she studies in birds are similar to those in all vertebrates, she hopes her research will have implications for animals broadly -- maybe even humans.

The rub, of course, is that studying stress in birds in the lab environment means exposing them to stressful situations. In the interest of transparency, Lattin has posted all of her studies on her website. Examples include one in which she explored the possible effects of oil spills on birds’ stress response; it entailed mixing small amounts of oil (1 percent of food weight) into the house sparrows’ food and then seeing how they responded to what she called a “standard” stressor: a brief period of restraint in a breathable cloth bag. Subsequent blood samples suggested that the birds were not able to secrete normal concentrations of a stress hormone, meaning that could be a marker for oil exposure in future spills.

Another study involved making four-millimeter incisions in anesthetized sparrows’ legs, to study the role of stress hormones in healing small wounds that commonly occur in nature.

To study receptors in the brain and body, Lattin must euthanize the birds, under anesthesia. But she's also developing medical imaging techniques for studying live sparrows. She recently worked with an engineering student to design a 3-D printed plastic bird holder for scanning purposes, for example, and says she hopes to one day re-release her subjects into the wild.

Still, PETA says what Lattin's been doing at Yale is unethical.

“Snatching sparrows from the backyard, injecting them, wounding them, shaking and yelling at them, using them in several different experiments and then killing them -- this is what is at issue,” said Kathy Guillermo, a senior vice president at PETA. “She says she wants to help wild birds, yet her opening move is to cause them as much physical pain and mental anguish as possible. She has captured from the wild, tormented and killed more than 250 songbirds.”

Along with critics, the controversy has earned Lattin some senior supporters who say that her work is not only ethically managed but vital. And some of those supporters accuse PETA of choosing an easy target in Lattin, who is young, female and has yet to secure the kind of tenure-track position that has enabled other animal researchers to weather similar controversies in the past. Science recently asserted that Lattin is “much younger and less established than any scientist the group has singled out before,” for example.

Kevin Folta, chair of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida, was a past target of activists opposed to genetically modified foods, who said Folta failed to disclose funding from Monsanto (which Folta called negligible and which he used for public science outreach). He recently defended Lattin in a post on Medium.

“If they intimidate her out of research, or even destroy her presence on Google, they will steal the star of a young researcher on the rise, and that has incredible repercussions throughout the research community,” Folta said. Other young aspiring scientists “are collaterally affected by the intimidation,” he added. “Nobody wants to be a target. If Lattin succumbs to their campaign, someone else will be next, and most scientists would rather change projects than deal with threats, intimidation and harassment.”

Matthew R. Bailey, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, mentioned Lattin in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week, saying that scientists like her help animals live “longer, healthier lives.” Discouraging studies only “condemns animals to unnecessary suffering and death from preventable illnesses,” he added. “Real animal lovers should be proud to support animal research.”

Guillermo, of PETA, said Lattin is fair game and that “age and position had nothing to do” with PETA’s opposition to her.

“If we’d read about the experiments and found that a middle-aged tenured male professor with a nasty chip on his shoulder was doing them, we’d still have launched a campaign,” she said.

Lattin said Thursday that it’s “scary and upsetting to receive hate mail from people who don’t understand what I’m doing and just believe the misinformation PETA has spread about me and my research.” Some of the claims that bother her most are that she didn’t correctly medicate birds before giving them the superficial leg wounds and that her research isn’t relevant to other species. (For the record, PETA says that Lattin didn't give the birds in the leg-wound study pain medication, and contends that the anesthetic she used, isoflurane, isn't sufficient in that she should have used an analgesic to proactively address pain, too.)

Before PETA’s campaign, she said, “I thought I was doing a pretty good job communicating with the public about my research.” The situation has made her realize she wasn’t doing a good enough job, and that it was probably naïve of her to expect people to download her papers from her website to read about her experiments for themselves.

The silver lining, she said, is that she’s “gotten much better at communicating clearly about the importance of my work, and why it is necessary to use animals to do it. We can’t expect the public to understand why this work matters, and why it has to be done this way, unless we tell them.” It’s an “uncomfortable experience for a lot of scientists, but it is necessary,” she added.

Lattin has frequently said that her research is overseen by Yale. Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for the university, said via email that it “takes seriously its responsibility for the appropriate care of animals” and that its laboratories “comply with or exceed all federal regulations and independent accreditation standards.”

As the campus continues “to advance scientific knowledge and modern medicine, providing hope for millions of patients and their families, Yale scientists will sustain their commitment to the appropriate use of animals in research,” Peart added. “Our faculty members employ animals only when there are no alternative models for advancing their research.”

Of the complaints against Lattin in particular, Peart said Yale’s overseers of animal care “found that all of her research activities were approved and there was no evidence of noncompliance or inappropriate care.”

Those findings were shared with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, and it “concurred that the allegations could not be substantiated and found no cause for further action,” Peart said.

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Taste Upgrade

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Relevance of the World Class University Debate for African Universities

by Harris Andoh @ Inside Higher Ed

For most of their history, African universities have been teaching institutions with teaching as their primary or core function until the early 2000s when there was evidence of a global shift in the role and missions of universities. This is evident in the new mission and vision statements of most top African flagship universities (University of Botswana, University of Cape Town, University of Dar es Salaam; University of Ghana, among other) that have embedded broad World Class University (WCU) goals in their purpose statements. Recent strategic plans and research policies of selected African universities are focused on making them either WCU or providers of World Class (WC) services.

Challenges for African Universities to become World Class

Some have argued that it will be very expensive and challenging for Africa to establish WCUs— smaller countries in Africa could likely have only one WCU, whereas larger nations such as Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa can support more. African countries must have at least one WCU provided that the universities and their respective governments are committed to this endeavor. 

Research at African universities suffers from a deficit of effective organization and management. Until recently not only was there no appropriate policy framework or strategic planning to outline a vision for research or mission for most African universities, but also a lack of culture capable of supporting the administration, coordination and promotion of research. Academic staff of African universities have heavy teaching responsibilities with little time for research; instead their additional time goes to consultancy work to improve their salaries. Furthermore, African governments are reluctant to finance research in public universities and research institutions and lecturers/researchers are often reluctant to use their research allowance for the intended purpose. Camara and Toure (2010) are hopeful that due to recent improvements in the overall governance of some high-profile universities in Africa and the establishment of multidisciplinary and inter-faculty doctoral schools there are more interactions between researchers and students. The authors maintain that these improvements will help African universities rise to the level of a WCU.

The scramble to globalize higher education strongly favors universities from the United States, Europe and other English-speaking industrialized countries. The world university rankings reflect extreme asymmetries and demarcate profound inequality between the academic core and a vast number of peripheral institutions found in the previously colonized world.

African universities have been on the periphery of the global discussion of WCUs. However, institutions such as the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, both in South Africa, are ranked among the top universities of the world. This means that African universities have not been absolutely delegated to the periphery, but can strive to become WCUs. Given the socioeconomic and developmental challenges facing the African continent, the mandate and mission for any WCU in Africa should be more Africa focused.

Benefits of creating WCUs in Africa

African universities believe that becoming world class universities will make them relevant in the new global knowledge environment and bring them to the levels of universities in the West and China. This should result in an increased number of publications in journals cited in international indexes. Achieving world class status will also increase their chances of better collaboration with highly ranked universities as well as increase chances to attract and access sources of research and project funds from donors and other universities. These funds will improve African universities research capacity and give them the necessary support to get better equipment for their science laboratories (Altbach & Salmi, 2011).

African universities believe that achieving WCU status would improve the probability of inclusion in the world university rankings that currently have only 3 to 5 universities from South Africa ranked in the top 500 universities in the world.

In addition, having WCUs in Africa should reduce the brain-drain of its experts from Africa to the developed world. Generally, Professors at research universities tend to be international in their orientation and in their work. They collaborate with colleagues in different countries and are sometimes internationally mobile. Without adequate funding and infrastructure at home there is the risk that the most successful researchers in Africa might accept jobs where working conditions, salaries and facilities are best.

Over the years, the commitment of African universities to tackling the challenges facing the continent has been called to question. Universities in Africa have-not lived up to the earlier missions for which they were created, including finding solutions to the various challenges that plague the continent—disease; food insecurity and inequality. The creation of world class universities in Africa will bring universities to the global stage, but more importantly improve their research capacity to find lasting solution to many of the continent’s problems.  Research intensive universities in Africa will also help Africa increase its number of publications, currently at less than 2 percent of global publications in most international indexes.

WCUs attract the best faculty and students (that in most cases have Africans among them). Creating a WCU in Africa, will reduce brain drain amongst African scholars and create brain gain to universities in Africa. African universities lack accountability and autonomy, the creation of a WCU in Africa will help to benchmark best practices and encourage universities to be more accountable and earn the needed autonomy to improve their core mandate of research and teaching.

 

References

Camara, A. & Toure, K. (2010). African universities strategize and struggle to research and make research matter. Research Global Magazine.

Altbach, P. & Salmi, J. (2011). The road to academic excellence: the making of world-class research universities. The World Bank, Washington.

 

 

Harris Andoh holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from the Centre for Research Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa and is a Research Policy expert at CREST. His current research looks at the uptake and impact of doctoral research findings on policy in African universities. He specializes in the fields of science and technology evaluation; research evaluation; world university rankings and world class universities; bibliometric and research impact assessment.  Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science & Tech (CREST), Stellenbosch University

 

 

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Live-Blogging Women’s History: The Battle of the Sexes

by David M. Dismore @ Ms. Magazine Blog

Billie Jean King's rout of Bobby Riggs tonight was a major triumph for women in sports, and for the revitalized feminist movement itself.

The post Live-Blogging Women’s History: The Battle of the Sexes appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

Education Department releases interim directions for Title IX compliance

by Andrew Kreighbaum @ Inside Higher Ed

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued guidance Friday granting colleges new discretion in how they comply with requirements under federal Title IX law to resolve and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. 

DeVos at the same time rescinded 2011 and 2014 guidelines issued by the Obama administration that survivor advocates said have been critical to pushing for new protections, including guarantees that victims of assault are not denied access to an education. The department's Office for Civil Rights will use the new guidance document to assess institutions' compliance with Title IX until a federal regulation dealing with campus sexual misconduct is finalized. 

The new guidance from the department grants colleges the ability to set their own evidentiary standard for misconduct findings, to pursue informal resolutions such as mediation and to establish an appeals process for disciplinary sanctions. It also includes language dealing with protections for accused students. 

"This interim guidance will help schools as they work to combat sexual misconduct and will treat all students fairly," DeVos said in a written statement. "Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on. There will be no more sweeping them under the rug. But the process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes."

The 2011 Obama administration guidance, frequently referred to as the Dear Colleague Letter, became a focus of ongoing controversy over federal Title IX policy in recent years, even though it drew largely on already existing guidelines and federal law. Congressional Republicans as well as groups that advocated for more "due process" protections for accused students argued that the administration overreached and had issued new mandates through the guidance process without appropriate formal input.

Advocates for survivors of sexual assault called the document -- and the decision to rescind the Obama guidance -- a betrayal of protections long fought for on campuses. And they said language issued by the department tips the scales toward protecting the rights of accused students, rather than victims, noting that sexual misconduct only in recent years became recognized as a major issue to be addressed in higher education.

Some higher-education organizations were receptive to the additional flexibility in resolving misconduct complaints, however. And longtime critics of the Dear Colleague Letter praised the secretary's focus on fairness for accused students.

Colleges and universities are unlikely to undertake major changes to existing policies after the release of the new federal guidelines, at least immediately. A binding regulation should be finalized sometime in the next year to 18 months. But advocates said the document released Friday rolls back clear protections and removes clarification colleges themselves had asked for to better fulfill their responsibilities under Title IX. 

"It sets up a system where schools can, with the consent of the department, stack the deck against us in a way that is just profoundly unfair," said Alyssa Peterson, a policy and advocacy coordinator with Know Your IX, a group that works to end sexual violence on campuses. 

Among the notable changes from previous guidelines: 

  • Colleges can apply either a preponderance of evidence standard or a clear and convincing evidence standard to reach findings about alleged misconduct. Previous guidance from the Obama administration stated clearly that institutions should use the preponderance standard, which sets a lower burden or proof for findings of misconduct.
  • The department says there is "no fixed time frame" under which a school must complete a Title IX investigation. The 2011 guidance stated that a "typical investigation" takes about 60 days after a complaint is made but said more complex cases could take longer. 
  • Campuses may opt to set an appeals process policy that allows appeals by both parties or by accused students only. 
  • Where colleges determine it is appropriate, the new guidelines say they may facilitate an "informal resolution" such as mediation.

Reactions to the New Guidance

The guidance released Friday said campus administrators have an obligation to respond when they know or should reasonably know of incidents of sexual misconduct, whether or not a student files a complaint. And it clarifies that existing voluntary resolution agreements reached between the Office for Civil Rights and institutions remain in effect.

"When the government sprang its 2011 letter on colleges and students without warning, it made it impossible for campuses to serve the needs of victims while also respecting the rights of the accused," Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group that's been highly critical of Obama administration policies on Title IX, said in a written statement. "With the end of this destructive policy, we finally have the opportunity to get it right.”

While the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter didn't go through a formal comment process, it was preceded by discussions and meetings with students, parents and administrators, including multiple visits to campuses. And DeVos initially was noncommittal about the letter when discussing it earlier this summer, even as she said current federal policy should be improved. In a one-day Title IX summit in July, that included a meeting with university presidents and campus lawyers, no higher-education institutions called for the department to rescind the letter. 

But in a speech earlier this month, DeVos blasted Obama administration policies and said the guidance had created a "failed system" that encouraged violations of students' rights. Proponents of the Obama-era guidance noted that it made clear that both parties involved in campus proceedings should get equal treatment.

Naomi Shatz, a lawyer with the firm Zalkind Duncan and Bernstein, who represents students in campus disciplinary proceedings, said the new instructions from the department do make meaningful clarifications spelling out that both parties are entitled to see and respond to investigative findings before a decision is reached on alleged misconduct. However, she said she didn't expect major changes to campus policies in response to the guidance document. 

"They’re not going to turn on a dime and revamp everything based on nonbinding recommendations, especially when they know there are going to be binding regulations coming out," Shatz said. 

Higher education groups made similar comments Friday, even as they said colleges would have serious work to do to determine the effects of the new guidance document. Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said the new guidelines provide some additional flexibility to schools that were not there before. But the department's decision to rescind Obama administration guidance wouldn't affect the commitment of colleges to address sexual assault, he said.

“There are some things where institutions will have to take a careful look at their own practices relative to what the new guidance requires,” he said. “The default setting on this for most institutions will continue to be to do what we have been doing.”

Campus administrators handling Title IX investigations said they do not anticipate altering their processes following the new directive.

"It won’t change our response to sexual misconduct, we’re not going to change our current policy in any way and we're going to await formal guidance from the department," said Howard Kallem, Duke University's director for Title IX compliance. "We're focused on making sure Duke continues to have a fair and balanced and transparent process, and we think we do."

Crystal C. Coombes, the senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the University of South Florida, said she was pleasantly surprised by the department's action.

This changes little for her institution, Coombes said, and seems to harken back instead to Title IX guidance issued in 2001. She said some colleges were not abiding by the rules the 2001 guidance established, and that the 2011 Dear Colleague letter served as a "stronger fist" for some of those older requirements. Most institutions operate far beyond the minimum standards required by the 2011 guidance, she said. 

Coombes complimented the removal of the 60-day window for investigations, saying it was "very, very rare" that the entire process could be wrapped up in two months.

While the new information does allow colleges to choose between two standards of evidence, Coombes said the "preponderance" standard is preferred because "clear and convincing" comes too close to a judicial model that does not fit in a university setting.

Eric Butler, the Title IX coordinator at the University of Denver, agreed on the evidentiary standard, saying that "preponderance" should remain.

"This is not a criminal proceeding, even though people like to compare it to criminal proceedings," Butler said. "The government should have to hop through every possible hoop to send someone to jail. Part of this is controlling its community, a student has to agree to certain standard of conduct and sexual misconduct is one of them."

The department's communications seemed to emphasize only the rights of the accused, Butler said, highlighting that universities can pick whether to extend appeal rights to both parties -- or just the accused.

Proponents of the Obama guidelines said the department pulled back helpful advice to campuses without removing any real regulatory burden. And they see the potential that language in the document could lead to the denial of rights for victims.

"They are sowing confusion," said Alexandra Brodsky, a lawyer and fellow at the National Women's Law Center. "They are depriving schools of the assistance that administrators asked for."

Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary for civil rights at the department during the Obama administration, said the DeVos's action showed that the federal government is no longer looking out for students.

"The Trump administration's new guidance is dangerously silent on critical parts of Title IX. This backward step invites colleges to once again sweep sexual violence under the rug," she said in a written statement. "Students deserve better, the law demands better, our college and university community must continue to commit to better, and we as a country must demand more from the U.S. Department of Education."

-- Jeremy Bauer-Wolf contributed to this article.

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CBC News

Dove's ad campaigns have been celebrated for featuring women instead of professional models, but also accused of exploiting insecurities to sell products.

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Heavy.com

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Dove Real Beauty sketches most viewed online ad

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Dove Men+Care launches global 'Real Strength' campaign in Australia via The Marketing Arm

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Campaign Brief Australia

This May, Dove Men+Care follows in the footsteps of its female counterpart, launching its 'Real Strength' campaign, developed by The Marketing Arm USA, that aims to drive a discussion around the evolving idea of masculinity among modern Australian men.VIEW THE SPOTLISTEN TO THE PODCAST #1

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The post #dmexco2017: Watch Unruly’s Home Comforts Give Delegates A Glimpse Of The Future appeared first on Unruly.

Analyzing the Dove Real Beauty Sketches

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@TheSocyCinema

Tags: bodies , emotion/desire , gender , marketing/brands , media , beauty standards, representation, subtitles/CC , 00 to 05 mins , 06 to 10 mins Year: 2013 Length: 3:01; 6:36 Access: YouTube ( clip...

6 Parodies Of Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” - CraveOnline

6 Parodies Of Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” - CraveOnline


CraveOnline

Don’t worry, your balls are beautiful.

Teen Vogue, Shows “Ethnic” Beauty in its original form…

by truth @ My Body My Image

Hosted by Teenvogue.com Borrowing from other cultures has never been trendier—or more taboo. From afros to cornrows, henna to headdresses, cultural appropriation is a trending topic on the tips of tongues everywhere. (To get caught up on the conversation, look no further than Amandla Stenberg’s brilliant, critically acclaimed video Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows where … Continue reading Teen Vogue, Shows “Ethnic” Beauty in its original form…

Curvy Men Ready To Try Dove Products

Curvy Men Ready To Try Dove Products


Reductress

Inspired by the Dove© Campaign for Real Beauty, designed to bolster the confidence and self-esteem of millions of women, curvy men are now reportedly starting to wonder if the products could do the same for them. “If curvy women can stand up and say, ‘I’m beautiful’—I don’t see why curvy men can’t do the same,“ said Darryl Simonsen, 44, who is currently considered clinically obese. “I don’t need to hide my beauty!” “I’m not going by the definition of big-and-tall anymore,” said Neil Straithers, who has never liked his thighs and has often wondered if maybe his butt was too big. “I’ve lived my whole life on edge, waiting for someone to make a comment about my big butt. Nobody ever has, but they could at any moment.” For Straithers, it took an at-home Dove-style photo shoot in his underwear to realize that maybe his butt and thighs weren’t the enemy. “Maybe the enemy is society’s expectation that men shouldn’t be shaped like pears,” said Straithers. “I am pear man, hear me roar!” shouted Straithers, as his cat looked up from the sofa. A representative from Dove confirmed that the company was, in fact, entertaining the idea of a parallel body-positive campaign for men, though its message centered more on smell. While not yet finalized, Dove mentioned that they are now considering #CurvyMenRule and #TheseCurvesDon’tLie as potential slogans. In the meantime, the curvy man movement continues to gain traction. “I never thought body positivity was a thing that applied to me,” said Todd Granth, 29. “Which shows you clueless I was about how to really love my body, just the way it is.” “I’m tired of all these rugged, masculine, conventionally attractive men in all the magazines,” said Rob Jones, who is five foot two and weighs 267 pounds. “I’m a real man. I’m a curvy man, so get used to it,” he said, “because we ain’t going nowhere.”

Roundup on college fund-raising campaigns

by Scott Jaschik @ Inside Higher Ed

Starting Off

  • Daemen College has launched a campaign with the goal of raising $22 million. The campaign marks the college's 75th anniversary.
  • Illinois State University is starting a campaign to raise $150 million by 2020. The "Redbirds Rising" campaign has been in a quiet phase since 2013, raising gifts and pledges of $103 million.
  • Lees-McRae College has announced a $30 million campaign to enhance academic programs and to add graduate programs. The campaign raised 79 percent of the target during the quiet phase. The campaign will run through May 2018.
  • University of Minnesota has announced a $4 billion campaign, of which $2.5 billion has already been raised. Campaign priorities are described here.

Finishing Up

  • College of New Jersey announced the completion of its first capital campaign, in which it raised $47.6 million. The goal of the campaign, which started in 2012, was $40 million.
  • Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary announced that they have achieved a campaign goal, generating $44 million. The goal of the campaign, which started in 2012, was $42 million. Funds were used for a new science and nursing center, renovation of an adjoining science center, and growth of both institutions' endowments.

Has your college started or completed a campaign? Email info and links to editor@insidehighered.com.

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Latest true crime writings and ‘castings

by Stephanie @ Stephanie Early Green

Some quick updates on what I’ve been up to recently: First, one of my editors at Previously.TV, the inimitable Sarah D. Bunting, has spun off from Extra Hot Great a new, true-crime-TV-focused podcast called The Blotter Presents. A few weeks ago, I was honored to be TBP’s first guest, wherein we discussed OJ: Made in America, ESPN’s […]

Influencer marketing is growing up with tighter contracts

by Yuyu Chen @ Digiday

Multiple influencer agencies have updated their brand contracts to add clarity to social stars' rights and advertisers' campaign requirements.

The post Influencer marketing is growing up with tighter contracts appeared first on Digiday.

Author Asks Journal to Pull Pro-Colonial Essay

by Colleen Flaherty @ Inside Higher Ed

“The Case for Colonialism” caused a stir when it was published in Third World Quarterly earlier this month, with critics calling the pro-colonialism essay offensive and based on subpar scholarship. Some 15 members of the journal’s editorial board resigned this week, saying the paper failed to pass peer review but was published anyway.

Now the author of the essay, Bruce Gilley, an associate professor of political science at Portland State University, has asked the journal to withdraw the paper. “I regret the pain and anger that it has caused for many people,” Gilley said in a statement Thursday. “I hope that this action will allow a more civil and caring discussion on this important issue to take place.”

Gilley did not respond to a request for comment. The journal’s editor, Shahid Qadir, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the request for withdrawal.

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Dove's 'real beauty sketches' ad deserves some praise | Heather Long

Dove's 'real beauty sketches' ad deserves some praise | Heather Long


the Guardian

Heather Long: Dove's latest campaign to get women to be more confident about their looks makes a powerful point, even if it's only skin deep

Of Nasty, Unlikeable Women: Veep and the Comedic Female Anti-Hero Shweta Khilnani / Maitreyi College, University of Delhi

by Shweta Khilnani / Maitreyi College, University of Delhi @ Flow

Shweta Khilnani examines female comedic anti-heroes through Selena Meyer's (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) "performance of failure" in Veep, comparing her with Leslie Knope, the optimistic and sincere heroine of Parks and Recreation, and televisual male anti-heroes.

Backyard Basics: How I’m Freshening Up My New Backyard on My Budget

by Mara @ Be Nice or Leave, Thanks!

  One of the best parts about my new home is the backyard. I got really lucky. It’s pretty big for a townhouse, and the grass is healthy and green. I’ve got a huge tree and the previous owners planted lovely perennial gardens. Plus, I’ve got a large patio that comfortably fits barbeque and my […]

The post Backyard Basics: How I’m Freshening Up My New Backyard on My Budget appeared first on Be Nice or Leave, Thanks!.

WATCH: Dove’s latest experiment with beauty moves men to tears

WATCH: Dove’s latest experiment with beauty moves men to tears


Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Ten years ago Dove shocked the world with a revealing video that detailed the many steps that are taken transform a model into someone who is “beautiful” in the eyes of the world. In it Dove uncove…

WATCH: Amplifying the Personal and the Political in Pop Culture

by Lynn Rosado @ Ms. Magazine Blog

The thumbnail of Retro Reports’ mini-doc for The New York Times, “The Fight Over Women’s Bodies,” is a still shot of women dressed in red robes and bonnets a la the concubines in The Handmaid's Tale.

The post WATCH: Amplifying the Personal and the Political in Pop Culture appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

Seeing Red

by Molly M. Ginty @ Ms. Magazine Blog

Flowing with wry wit through its lively chapters, "Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity" is part memoir and part social analysis.

The post Seeing Red appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

Practical Joke: FAIL

by Heather Clift @ Mommy Needs A Break

After many years of a strict “no practical joke” moratorium in our house, I lifted the ban recently, feeling they were mature enough and mostly for my entertainment. Now, pulling off a good practical joke in this house is next to impossible. I do have teen boys, both of whom are quite savvy when it comes to […]

Mizzou volleyball takes all three matches at Wolf Pack tournament

by Chelsea Roemer and Liad Lerner @ The Maneater: Latest Stories

The Tigers got back on track with consecutive wins on Friday.

Forensic artist draws men’s testicles in HILARIOUS Dove Real Beauty parody #FlashbackFriday - Dose

Forensic artist draws men’s testicles in HILARIOUS Dove Real Beauty parody #FlashbackFriday - Dose


Dose

Remember the original Dove Real Beauty campaign? Well, this is way better.…

Schweizer wins, sets course record in Commodore Classic

by Titus Wu @ The Maneater: Latest Stories

Women’s cross-country finishes third, while men need to perform better, Coach Burns said.

Advocates warn against immediate changes to campus assault policies

by Andrew Kreighbaum @ Inside Higher Ed

As advocates for survivors of sexual assault await more information on the Department of Education’s new approach to sexual misconduct on campus, they’re raising concerns that Secretary Betsy DeVos and her team are doing exactly what they slammed the Obama administration for: making new policy without sufficiently consulting the public.

The department is widely expected to issue as soon as today new instructions spelling out how colleges and universities should comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 after DeVos indicated she would rescind 2011 guidelines issued by the Obama administration.

Those instructions to campuses are expected be issued on an interim basis until a federal regulation is produced via a formal comment period. DeVos has argued that a formal comment period should have preceded the 2011 federal guidelines that have become a focus of debate over federal policy on campus assaults. She promised in a speech earlier this month to end “rule by letter” while blasting the current approach as a failed system.

And the department has avoided using the word “guidance” to refer to the promised interim instructions, saying instead that it would "make clear to schools how to fulfill their current obligations under Title IX" after the 2011 guidance is rescinded. But advocates see more than a little hypocrisy in DeVos shifting federal policy without more robust public engagement.

“The irony is very strong. And there is a lot of frustration,” said Laura Dunn, executive director and founder of SurvJustice.

As they wait for more details on what steps the department will take, many advocacy groups have offered concerns about the openness of the process for altering federal policy.

“It appears that they intend to go about doing exactly what they’re complaining the prior administration did, which means for them it’s not a procedural issue,” said Jess Davidson, the managing director of End Rape on Campus.

DeVos met with assault survivors as well as a separate group of students falsely accused of sexual misconduct in a day of listening sessions in July. While their roles were limited in meetings, advocacy groups accompanied both groups of students. A third meeting that day involved college leaders and lawyers working on Title IX policy before DeVos took questions from the press.

Some phone calls and meetings followed with groups not involved in the July listening sessions. But no other public forums have followed other than the secretary’s speech last month. And many advocates have been frustrated in attempts to reach the department with input.

DeVos has critiqued the Obama administration’s 2011 guidelines, known as the Dear Colleague letter, as containing insufficient due-process protections for accused students. And she has said they were issued without enough input from affected groups. Congressional Republicans, including Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, have also accused the previous administration of essentially engaging in rule making -- which requires a formal comment process -- by issuing guidance.

Proponents of the guidelines have challenged both arguments from DeVos. They say the Dear Colleague letter, for example, came after a national tour with visits to 12 campuses that included meetings with students and parents as well as college administrators. Advocates have called for DeVos to undertake a similar tour to hear from students and others affected by policy changes.

While the details of any interim instructions are unknown, advocates are concerned about a significant shift in policy without comparable engagement.

A department spokeswoman, Liz Hill, said new mandates will not be issued outside of a notice and comment process DeVos announced earlier this month.

“The department is also committed to providing clarity to schools regarding their responsibilities under the law when addressing sexual misconduct as rule making takes place,” she said in an email.

The interim instructions awaited by advocates -- as well as colleges, universities and critics of current federal policy -- could potentially address a handful of specific issues in the current guidelines that DeVos has said she will rescind. Among the frequently discussed aspects of the guidelines are the standard of evidence used in campus-based proceedings and certain due-process issues, like the ability to question the other party in those cases. If those items aren’t addressed in interim instructions, they will likely be taken up in the rule-making process.

The 2011 guidance from the Obama administration directed campuses to use a preponderance of evidence standard for adjudicating cases of sexual misconduct. Most colleges didn't state a clear standard before the guidance was issued but a majority of those who did used the preponderance standard, which aligns with those for findings of other civil rights violations.

While some conservatives have argued for using a higher “clear and convincing” standard for campus proceedings, that would also be contrary to signals from the department that it wants fewer mandates. This week a bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers sent a letter to DeVos urging her to maintain the preponderance of evidence standard.

DeVos’s speech on federal guidance this month argued that current guidance was inadequate and even harmful to fair processes on campus. She argued that a notice-and-comment period would allow the department to incorporate insights from all affected stakeholders. The department only afterward confirmed that she would rescind the Obama guidelines but without additional details on instructions to colleges in the interim.

Others involved in Title IX issues say the secretary has made clear in her public remarks other areas where some change is likely to be made. Kimberly Lau, a lawyer at Warshaw Burstein LLP who participated in the July meetings on Title IX policy, said one of those areas highlighted in DeVos’s remarks is the definition of what constitutes sexual misconduct.

The department has made clear, she said, that current guidelines will be changed and that the public will have an opportunity to weigh in through the formal process called notice and comment.

“I think that everyone’s pretty anxious -- rightfully so. They want some clarity and they want some specifics,” Lau said. “The administration has been pretty careful at this point to not say what is coming, but it's clear something is.”

But advocates are skeptical that DeVos will take their input seriously. They say thousands of comments have already been submitted on Title IX through one public comment period on federal regulation that ended this week -- the overwhelming majority of them in support of maintaining existing guidelines.

And some, like Dunn, view DeVos's remarks trashing the current federal guidance as potentially discouraging reporting by assault victims, despite the secretary’s statements that assault must be confronted “head-on.”

Dunn served on the American Bar Association task force whose recommendations were among those cited by DeVos earlier this month as potential solutions to ongoing controversies over Title IX policy. SurvJustice is among several groups that have met separately with Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson. But Dunn said one day with the secretary is not enough after several years of putting current policy into effect.

Others say the department may find itself in a bind after so stridently criticizing federal guidance as a tool to regulate civil rights practices.

“They’re learning very quickly that guidance is an integral part of administering some of our laws and particularly civil rights law. And guidance is an important tool for answering questions for schools,” said Anne Hedgepeth, vice president for public policy and government relations at the American Association of University Women.

Peter Lake, law professor at Stetson University, said DeVos’s announcement that she would craft a new regulation after a public comment process could be seen as a victory for purists of the Administrative Procedure Act, the law that governs how federal agencies craft and issue regulations.

“DeVos is saying if a hammer is going to come down on you, it's going to come through a clear rule that’s created through the APA process,” he said.

But even with a clearly stated regulation in place, he said, the department will find it difficult to avoid issuing more guidance in the future. Federal agencies always use some combination of rules, guidance and resolution agreements to make clear how institutions should act, Lake said.

“It's somewhat inevitable,” he said. “When you get new regulation, there will almost automatically be a cry for guidance documents.”

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Real Beauty

Real Beauty


TED-Ed

In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising.

Dove's 'Real Beauty Sketches' Gets Parody Treatment - Digiday

Dove's 'Real Beauty Sketches' Gets Parody Treatment - Digiday


Digiday

It's a safe bet your campaign has broken through when it gets a very funny parody.

A Bunch Of Dudes Made A Hilarious Parody Of Dove's 'Real Beauty' Self-Esteem Test

A Bunch Of Dudes Made A Hilarious Parody Of Dove's 'Real Beauty' Self-Esteem Test


Business Insider

Men have no lack of self-confidence.

Dance Magazine:The Cult of Thin by Deirdre Kelly

by truth @ My Body My Image

The Cult of Thin Despite calls for change, ballet’s obsession with extreme thinness persists. During a recent performance of Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, a corps member at a prominent company complained that she was so hungry she thought she’d faint. The dancer next to her started to worry that she herself wasn’t hungry enough. “In … Continue reading Dance Magazine:The Cult of Thin by Deirdre Kelly

Dove Real Beauty Sketches For Men

Dove Real Beauty Sketches For Men


Total Sorority Move

Men, you're less beautiful than you think.

Girls Concerned About Sorority Recruitment Are Hiring $1500 Rush Consultants

by crazygirlfriend @ Total Sorority Move

Recruitment is a scary process. Imagine going on hundreds of first dates in a single weekend, but instead of with fuckboys, with girls who actually need to judge you off of their initial gut reaction. My recruitment process felt like…Read More »

Join Us!

by University of Venus @ Inside Higher Ed

Join us as a guest blogger at University of Venus at Inside Higher Ed. The University of Venus is an Education Writer’s Association award-winning, peer-reviewed blog bringing together GenX women in higher education from around the globe. We launched in January 2010 and have hosted over 65 writers from more than 25 countries. Our writers have gone on to write op-ed pieces for Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, University Affairs (Canada), USA Today, and The Guardian (UK).

Posts should focus on current issues in higher education and should be no longer than 750 words. Most of our posts are written in a first-person narrative style to encourage a broader reach to a more general audience but we also welcome research-based posts. (Note – Although our focus is on GenX women, we also publish posts written by older and younger women and posts written by men.)

SUBMISSIONS

Send an email to universityofvenus@gmail.com with the following:

  • Attach your post to the email in Microsoft Word format.

  • The subject line of your email should include your first and last name: example –  Mary Churchill Submission.

  • Provide a brief biography of yourself  (approx. 3-5 sentences) – include links to your own blog if you have one and contact info if you are open to readers contacting you.  If you would like to include a photo of yourself (strongly encouraged for building connections with your readers), please attach it to your email in jpg format.

We invite you to go through our website and to submit posts for upcoming months. Inquiries can be directed to Mary Churchill at marylchurchill@gmail.com.

Follow us online at: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university_of_venus

Find us on Facebook at: University of Venus

Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/UVenus

 
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Advice Newsletter publication dates: 
Friday, September 22, 2017
Diversity Newsletter publication date: 
Friday, September 22, 2017

Epica Awards’ Mark Tungate: Mobile ads that matter, the best branded content creators & why adland needs awards not judged from within

by admin @ The Stable

My being invited to be one of the Epica Awards judges is a massive honour. Everyone in adland is always “excited by this,” or “thrilled about that,” in their announcements. Now it’s my turn. I genuinely am both. Being an […]

How Unilever is Translating the Dove Real Beauty Campaign for China

How Unilever is Translating the Dove Real Beauty Campaign for China


brandchannel:

If I only have an A-cup breast, will you still love me? So asks a new Dove campaign in China. On the read more:

The 13 Levels Of Being Obsessed With A Celebrity

by Rachel Varina @ Total Sorority Move

Real guys are great. They’re semi-attractive, drowning in debt, burp at dinner, fart in bed, pull their dicks out all of the time and say charming things like “it’s not going to suck itself!” While sure, they have some good…Read More »

You Are LESS Beautiful Than You Think

You Are LESS Beautiful Than You Think


Sublimare

Dove - Real Beauty Sketches - MenYesterday, I posted here a viral Dove commercial about  an FBI artist hired to draw two sketches of seven women to compare how women see themselves and the other people see them.Comedy group New Feelings Time created ‘Dove Real Beauty Sketches – Men’, a par

Education Dept.'s inspector general calls for Western Governors to repay $713 million in federal aid

by Paul Fain @ Inside Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General has released the results of a much anticipated high-stakes audit of Western Governors University, with negative findings that could threaten the large online university and, more broadly, the growing field of competency-based education.

Citing concerns about an inadequate faculty role -- which the competency-based university contests -- the inspector general called for the department to make WGU pay back at least $713 million in federal financial aid.

The final audit report, issued today, also said the nonprofit university, which enrolls 83,000 students, should be ineligible to receive any more federal aid payments.

Experts said the Trump administration is unlikely to follow through on the inspector general’s recommendations, which the department can reject. The department has signaled that it will be a less aggressive regulator than it was under the Obama administration.

WGU enjoys a good track record with its accreditor and broad bipartisan support in Washington, with the Obama administration having often praised the university as an innovator.

The findings of the audit, which began more than four years ago, were not a surprise to most observers.

That’s because the Office of Inspector General, which is led by Kathleen Tighe, relied on a 1992 federal law that defines aid eligibility for distance education programs, which many have said poses a problem for WGU, some other competency-based programs, and possibly online education writ large.

The audit report said most courses at WGU do not meet the distance education requirement because they were not designed for regular and substantive interaction between students and faculty members. Those courses instead should have been labeled as correspondence courses, according to the inspector general.

Under the law, a college is not eligible to receive federal financial aid if more than half of its courses are offered via correspondence or if most of its students are enrolled in correspondence courses. The inspector general’s audit report said 62 percent (37,899) of the 61,180 students who were enrolled at WGU in 2014 took at least one of 69 courses (among 102 courses in the university’s three largest academic programs) that failed to meet the distance education requirements.

“None of these 69 courses could reasonably be considered as providing regular and substantive interaction between students and instructors, the key requirement to be considered a course offered through distance education,” according to the report. “Therefore, Western Governors University became ineligible to participate in the Title IV programs as of June 30, 2014.”

As a result, the inspector general said the department should require WGU to return $713 million in federal aid it received during the two years before July of last year, as well as any federal aid it received since then.

The university rebutted the report, both in responses to the inspector general that were included in the final report and on its website.

“Western Governors University respectfully, but strongly, disagrees with the findings in the Office of Inspector General’s draft audit report. WGU is, and has always been, fully compliant with Department of Education regulations since our founding 20 years ago by 19 U.S. governors,” the university said in a May letter to the inspector general. “Our innovative learning model, which has the support of the law, the department, our accreditor and policy makers, is validated by the outcomes WGU is delivering for our 82,000 students and 81,000 graduates.”

Unbundled Faculty Model

In previously released audits, the inspector general has questioned whether some competency-based programs should be classified as being of the correspondence variety. Others have criticized the department and accreditors for their scrutiny of competency-based programs, particularly those that do not rely on the credit-hour standard. (The department must approve these so-called direct assessment programs, determining whether they have an adequate faculty role in the process.)  

WGU uses the credit-hour standard, even though the U.S. Congress passed a law exempting it from certain requirements relating to the standard.

However, the inspector general found that the university’s unbundled (or disaggregated) faculty model, which is considered one of its primary innovations, runs afoul of federal distance education requirements.

Students at WGU are assigned a faculty member, called a student mentor, when they first enroll. Faculty mentors have at least a master’s degree in their field and are well versed in students’ program requirements, the university said. Mentors work with students regularly until they graduate.

The university also employs a Ph.D.-holding subject matter expert for each course, dubbed the course mentor. These faculty members interact with students as well. In addition, subject matter experts oversee each program of study at WGU. (Students must enroll in a program at the university, not just in individual courses.) And the university employs faculty evaluators, who review competency assessments.

The inspector general, however, found that “only course mentors and evaluators, not student mentors, product managers or council members, could reasonably be considered instructors.”

The report also said interactions between students and instructors were inadequate under the federal law.

“The course design materials for all 69 of these courses described courses that would be self-paced, interaction between the students and instructors that would primarily be initiated by students, and interaction between the students and instructors that would not be regular and substantive,” according to the inspector general. “The course design materials described limited interaction with course mentors that was typically on an as-needed basis and typically initiated by the student. Therefore, we concluded that the school’s faculty composition model did not ensure that the school’s courses were designed to provide the regular and substantive interaction between students and instructors required by the Title IV definition of distance education.”

In an interview, Scott Pulsipher, WGU’s president, said the inspector general’s report was based on a “misinterpretation and misapplication” of statutory and regulatory guidance.

“We vehemently disagree with the inspector general’s opinion,” he said. “We’ve been compliant with the laws and regulations since our founding.”

Pulsipher noted that the university’s regional accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, backs the university’s faculty model. And he said the inspector general had applied a “very narrow and tight definition of faculty” at the university, compared to the approval by its accreditor and other regulators of WGU’s varied and broad faculty roles.

Congress could intervene by changing the 1992 federal law, as some backers of WGU and competency-based education have been advocating. The university will work with federal and state policy makers, Pulsipher said, to address ambiguity in the law.

“We’ll work together to make sure it gets clarified,” he said.

A department spokeswoman said the agency was reviewing the report, but added that "it is important to note that the innovative student-first model used by this school and others like it has garnered bipartisan support over the last decade."

Observers React

Supporters of competency-based education said the federal government should update its regular-and-substantive requirement, but in a way that prevents fraudulent, low-quality programs from taking advantage of students.

Deb Bushway is an expert on competency-based programs. She’s currently provost at Northwestern Health Sciences University and previously worked for Capella University, the University of Wisconsin Extension and, briefly, as an adviser to the Education Department.

“The inspector general is clearly following the letter of the law,” Bushway said, adding that the report was not a regulatory overextension. But she also called it “more evidence that the law needs to be changed.”

Pulling the regular-and-substantive language completely, however, which some online education experts have privately pushed for, would be a mistake, said Bushway.

“That would invite bad players into the field and threaten the reputation of competency-based education,” she said.

Instead, Bushway and others call for a two-pronged solution, with a fix that would protect WGU and other competency-based programs in the short term while Congress revisits the law, perhaps as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Russell Poulin, director of policy and analysis at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, said the department has done a “horrible” job of informing colleges about its expectations of how to comply with the regular-and-substantive requirements, which he said have changed over time.

In addition, he criticized the inspector general’s decision to base its compliance position on disagreement about the mode of teaching at WGU when there is no evidence of any harm to students.

“I totally agree with the intention of proponents of the ‘regular-and-substantive interaction’ rule, which is to avoid fraud. But it is an outdated method of reaching that goal,” he said via email, comparing it to a hypothetical decision by regulators to remove all ATM card readers because of the risk of credit card skimmers.

Poulin also said the inspector general used a narrow definition of the faculty role under the law.

“The issue is quality, and there are ways to redefine interaction and pair it with other requirements for determining a student’s academic participation in a course for financial aid purposes to achieve the goals of preventing fraud and assuring quality,” he said. “I am confident that WGU provides a quality education and is not fraudulent.”

Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said he hoped the department would reject the recommendations from the inspector general, which he said had applied an obsolete, 20th-century definition to a 21st-century institution.

“At the end of the day, we need a clear federal policy toward and definition of ‘online education,’ ” he said via email. “Until we have that, we are dealing with round pegs and square holes.”

Other experts, however, were more positive about the audit report.

“The audit’s findings should be taken very seriously, as the regular and substantive interaction requirement draws a clear distinction between self-learning and education and protects the integrity of federal student aid programs,” said Spiros Protopsaltis, a visiting associate professor at George Mason University who worked for the Obama administration as deputy assistant secretary for higher education and student financial aid after a stint on the Democratic side of the U.S. Senate’s education committee.

“The inspector general has rightly focused on ensuring that colleges comply with this key statutory provision, according to the department’s guidance,” he said via email. “Blurring the lines between correspondence and distance education and undermining the role of teaching entail enormous risk to students and taxpayers.”

A recently formed association for colleges that have created competency-based programs or are in the process of designing them, dubbed the Competency-Based Education Network, in May released a set of quality principles and standards for the field. The association on Thursday issued a statement that said the regular and substantive law should be updated.

Bushway and members of the group hope the new standards can help inform lawmakers as they consider revising distance education statutes.

Likewise, a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would create a so-called demonstration project for competency-based programs. The proposed legislation, which has substantial support, would grant statutory and regulatory flexibility to participants, including in the application of federal financial rules, while also creating new requirements aimed at accountability and transparency. (WGU first became eligible to receive federal aid in 1999 as part of a federal demonstration program.)

Information gathered during the project also could be used by Congress as it reauthorizes the Higher Education Act.

New America, in written comments submitted to the department this week, called on the Trump administration and Congress to keep the regular-and-substantive requirement on the books for distance education programs. But the group said it would support some shifts to the law as it relates to competency-based programs.

Amy Laitinen, director of higher education policy for the group and a former Obama administration Education Department official, said the law was a response to rampant fraud and abuse.

"We need to carefully fix (not gut) the now-outdated law to ensure that students are getting the academic and other supports that they need," she said via email. "If we don’t do it carefully, it will be a fast race to the bottom, which would be bad for students and bad for the competency-based education community."

Meanwhile, WGU will continue to be the largest and best known competency-based education provider -- by far -- while the Education Department decides what to do about the audit report.

On its website, the university described its take on the process to students and others.

“The inspector general has no decision authority; she cannot directly affect an institution’s participation in the federal student aid programs. Federal Student Aid will review the OIG’s recommendations and, upon the completion of its review, will issue a letter in which it will indicate whether it agrees or disagrees with the OIG’s findings,” the university said. “There is no fixed timetable for this review. Ultimately, it is the secretary of education who determines whether to accept or reject OIG recommendations.”

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I moved March 21. And since then, I haven’t had a tv. Seriously. I know. Not really what you’d expect from a TV addict. Why?  Since I’m renovating my house, it didn’t make sense to mount the TV on the wall before I painted. But do you think I’ve been going without my boob tube […]

The post 8 Reasons I Think Both You and My Daughter Should Watch Girl Boss appeared first on Be Nice or Leave, Thanks!.

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Imagine the situation:  You are invited for a Parent’s meeting at your kid’s school.  When you are there they ask you to do a test.  The same test your kid is being evaluated on the next classroom. Would you fail or pass? This really happened in a school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The results […]

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by SASCManager @ AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre

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On November 12th, 2015 in Amherst, Massachusetts, three women of color organized a sit-in against racial injustice. What had originally been planned was a sit-in in solidarity to support the recent events at Yale University and the University of Missouri. An email sent out by the Dean of faculty alerted the faculty members of the sit-in […]

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