Harvard

The mere mention of the words “Koch brothers” is enough to send the media into a paroxysm of angst.

The University of Delaware’s David Legates, a geography professor and former (Delaware) state climatologist, “is entangled in a widening controversy over possible undisclosed industry support for attacks on reports about human-caused global warming.”

Democratic Representative Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona sent a letter to U. of Delaware President Patrick Harker requesting info on the sources of Legates’ funding.

The representative noted that Harvard professor Willie Soon, another global warming skeptic, “had received funding from the conservative Koch Foundation that was not disclosed when he testified before a House science committee …”

The News Journal reports:

In his letter to Harker, Grijalva wrote: “I am hopeful that disclosure of a few key pieces of information will establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations published in your institution’s name and assist me and my colleagues in making better law.”

In June 2014, Legates testified at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee about droughts and agriculture.

“My overall conclusion is that droughts in the United States are more frequent and more intense during colder periods. Thus, the historical record does not warrant a claim that global warming is likely to negatively impact agricultural activities,” he testified.

He went on to tell the committee about efforts to silence climate change dissenters.

Legates and the University of Delaware aren’t the only faculty or institutions under scrutiny.

Letters also were sent to the presidents of MIT, Georgia Tech, Pepperdine, Arizona State and universities of Alabama and Colorado. All of the schools have had a researcher appear before Congress.

A spokesperson for UD said that its (financial) disclosure forms “are not public.”

In 2007, Legates was chastised by former Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner and told “to stop using his state climatologist title in statements challenging climate change science.”

“Your views, as I understand them, are not aligned with those of my administration,” Minner had told Legates.

The News Journal notes that some of Legates’ work has “had ties to organizations supported by Koch and oil industry interests.”

Gasp!

Read the full article.

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Marie Harf, spokesperson for the State Department, got a lot of heat this past week for saying that all terror groups like ISIS need are … jobs:

“We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them. … But we cannot win this war by killing them,” department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “We need … to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether –”

Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews expressed incredulity at this.

And rightly so, according to a 2004 working paper by Harvard’s Alberto Abadie.

Titled “Poverty, Political Freedom and the Roots of Terrorism,” Abadie notes that “terrorist risk is not significantly higher in poorer countries.”

However, recent empirical studies have challenged the view that poverty creates terrorism. Using U.S. State Department data on transnational terrorist attacks, Krueger and Laitin (2003) and Piazza (2004) find no evidence suggesting that poverty may generate terrorism. In particular, the results in Krueger and Laitin (2003) suggest that among countries with similar levels of civil liberties, poor countries do not generate more terrorism than rich countries. Conversely, among countries with similar levels of civil liberties, richer countries seem to be preferred targets for transnational terrorist attacks.

Following an examination of numerous charts and figures, Abadie concludes that “after controlling for other country characteristics, including the level of political rights, fractionalization, and geography, national income is not signifcantly associated with terrorism.”

Read the full paper.

h/t to The Irishman.

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Will Harvard Law School get federal permission to provide some measure of due process for its students accused of sexual assault?

The school is suggesting that’s the case, but won’t let the media review its latest draft policy on Title IX procedures in response to Office for Civil Rights (OCR) feedback, The Harvard Crimson reports.

You may remember the open letter that 28 Harvard Law faculty wrote in the Boston Globe, savaging Harvard University for new sexual misconduct procedures that “lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused, and are in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.”

After that revolt, law faculty set up their own committee to devise procedures specific to the law school, The Crimson says:

The feedback from OCR on the Law School’s new procedures focused mainly on clarifications and suggestions but not on procedural objections, according to [spokesman Robb] London. The Law School is now revising its procedures for final approval from the federal government, in keeping with a resolution agreement forged after the Law School was found in violation of Title IX late last year.

“There were no objections to the procedures—just a few suggestions and requested clarifications of the text in a couple of places, which we have now made,” London wrote in an email Monday.

The main divergence from university-wide procedures in the original law school revision was keeping sexual harassment investigations in-house, “instead of sending complaints to Harvard’s central Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution,” The Crimson said.

The law school says students will be notified when it implements new procedures.

Read The Crimson story.

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If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to extreme campus absurdity (not to mention violation of due process rights) I give you this:

post on Althouse.com quotes the Harvard Law Review piece “Trading the Megaphone for the Gavel in Title IX Enforcement/Backing off the hype in Title IX enforcement” as stating:

I recently assisted a young man who was subjected by administrators at his small liberal arts university in Oregon to a month-long investigation into all his campus relationships, seeking information about his possible sexual misconduct in them (an immense invasion of his and his friends’ privacy), and who was ordered to stay away from a fellow student (cutting him off from his housing, his campus job, and educational opportunity) — all because he reminded her of the man who had raped her months before and thousands of miles away.

He was found to be completely innocent of any sexual misconduct and was informed of the basis of the complaint against him only by accident and off-hand. But the stay-away order remained in place, and was so broadly drawn up that he was at constant risk of violating it and coming under discipline for that.

Mind blown.

Read the full post.

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(Note: See the UPDATE below.)

Harvard Law School students will honor Robin Steinberg, executive director of the Bronx Defenders, as “part of the institution’s International Women’s Day celebration.”

Steinberg is in the midst of serving a sixty-day suspension after she was caught lying about the Defenders’ role in an anti-cop rap video.

The video features “a uniformed cop with guns pointed at his head.” (See above image.)

Two other members of the Defenders resigned over the scandal.

The New York Post reports:

Despite her questionable ethics, Steinberg’s picture will hang in a place of honor at Harvard Law’s Wasserstein Hall for two weeks as part of the institution’s International Women’s Day celebration.

She will also be recognized in a March 10 keynote address organized by two student-run groups — the Harvard Women’s Law Association and the Harvard Law and International Development Society.

NYPD union leaders blasted the school for honoring Steinberg, with Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch calling it “embarrassing.”

“In that she lied to city investigators regarding her role in the disgusting ‘Hands Up’ cop-killer video, it is obvious that she is not being honored for her ethics, integrity or for her management skills,” he fumed.

“Holding her up as a role model effectively tarnishes the award.”

The Harvard Law groups did not respond to Post inquiries for comment.

Read the full article.

h/t to BizPac Review.

UPDATE: Late this afternoon, Harvard announced that it has canceled the tribute to Ms. Steinberg:

“We did not intend for her nomination to suggest in any way that it is acceptable to harm police officers or incite others to do so,” the [Harvard Law] statement said.

“As lawyers who aspire to build a more effective criminal justice system, we believe that advocating violence against police in any form is reprehensible.”

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Approximately 40 protesters stormed Massachusetts Hall this morning, the location of Harvard President Drew G. Faust’s office.

They are demanding that the university “divest from fossil fuels.”

By early this afternoon, President Faust agreed to meet with the protesters if they would vacate the hall; however, student Canyon S. Woodward of the group Divest Harvard said “we’re no longer settling for a meeting—we have to take action now.”

The Harvard Crimson reports:

To stage their protest, the group of students walked through three sets of doors to enter the hallway outside of the offices of Faust, Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, and other officials Thursday morning. After entering, the protesters put up a banner advocating for divestment in the hallway. By 10:10 a.m., Harvard University Police officers had arrived at Mass. Hall.

The 40 students executed their plan, which [Canyon] Woodward said has been in the works since last fall, by all walking in through the final locked door behind an administrator at once. Woodward would not disclose how long the students planned to sit-in in Mass Hall, but said they had secured the bathroom.

In his email, [Faust spokesman Jeff] Neal wrote that although the University respects the opposing viewpoint of the activists with respect to divestment, “we are deeply disappointed” in the activists’ choice to occupy Mass. Hall. “Such tactics cross the line from persuasion to disrespectful and coercive interference with the activities of others,” he wrote.

According to Divest Harvard’s Talia K. Rothstein, the group doesn’t plan to vacate the hall anytime soon.

The demonstration takes place just prior to Global Divestment Day, on which activists everywhere will plead for a divestment from fossil fuels.

Read the full story.

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