Elephant Roundup (April 2023)

Emily Joan Elliott Discussion

Scholarly Communications and Academic Publishing

Joseph Esposito, Fallout from the Implosion of Humanities Enrollments, Scholarly Kitchen, April 5, 2023.

  • As students leave English and the humanities behind to pursue what they view as more lucrative fields of study, Esposito examines the implications for scholarly writing and publishing.

Todd A. Carpenter, Controlled Digital Lending Takes a Blow in Court, Scholarly Kitchen, March 29, 2023.

  • The four publishers who sued Internet Archive over its National Emergency Library digital lending program won a significant victory in court.

Annette Windhorn & Peter Berkery, Guest Post — A Decade of Resilience for University Presses, Scholarly Kitchen, April 18, 2023

  • After a decade at the helm of the Association of University Presses, Peter M. Berkery Jr. assesses the organization and environment for university presses and their work.

Ryan Quinn, Exodus From an Elsevier Neuroscience Journal, Inside Higher Ed, April 20, 2023

  • One of the world’s largest scientific publishers refused to reduce its $3,450 fee to publish in NeuroImage. All the editors left to start their own journal.

Big Ten Academic Alliance and JSTOR Announce Multi-year Agreement for Path to Open Pilot, JSTOR, April 27, 2023

  • The research libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) have entered into a multi-year pilot agreement with JSTOR to support Path to Open, a new cost-effective, sustainable publishing model for supporting frontlist university press monographs and making them open access after three years.


Academic Freedom

Ryan Quinn, U.S., Other Countries Issue Statement Supporting Academic Freedom, Inside Higher Ed, March 30, 2023

  • “Academic freedom is key to human rights education but also essential for technical and scientific progress and for the development of the creative industries and the arts,” says the statement, issued at the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Brian Rosenberg, The Deafening Silence of Florida’s College Presidents, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 6, 2023

  • Rosenberg and his colleagues contacted the presidents of all of Florida’s 40 public universities to see if they would be willing to anonymously comment on gubernatorial and legislative initiatives aimed at higher education. None seized the opportunity.

Katherine Rosman, Should College Come With Trigger Warnings? At Cornell, It’s a ‘Hard No.’ New York Times, April 12, 2023

  • After testifying that another student sexually assaulted her, a Cornell student began to read an assigned text that included a graphic scene about sexual assault. It sparked a debate on whether faculty should have to warn students about content and rekindled debates on academic freedom.

Liam Knox, Brand Protection or Censorship?, Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2023

  • Student filmmakers at UCLA were told not to identify their institution in a project about a 1991 campus demonstration, vexing the students and raising concerns about academic freedom.

118 Former Higher Education Presidents Launch Initiative to Combat Educational Censorship, PenAmerica.org, April 14, 2023

  • PEN America launched a new initiative alongside more than a hundred former higher education presidents and system heads to defend higher education against a barrage of state legislation and policies that seek to restrict campus free expression and college and university autonomy.



Susan D'Agostino, Librarians’ ‘New Normal’ Includes Pain Points, Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2023

  • In college libraries today, print resources have been demoted, staffing shortages feel urgent and pandemic-era students struggle to engage with librarians.

Linah Mohammad, Christopher Intagliata, & Andrew Limbong, The book ban fight is intensifying in Llano, Texas, NPR.org’s All Things Considered, April 14, 2023

  • NPR's Andrew Limbong talks with Tina Castelan, a former librarian for the Llano County Library System in Texas, about the continuing fight over certain titles on the library's shelves.

George Washington Letter Donated to University Library, Fine Books & Collections, April 20, 2023

  • Earlier this year, a newly discovered, unpublished letter from George Washington to a retired colonel, Israel Shreve (1739-1799), was sold to one of Shreve’s descendents who plans to donate the letter to the University of Houston.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Adrienne Lu, Jacquelyn Elias, Audrey Williams June, Kate Marijolovic, Julian Roberts-Grmela, and Eva Surovell, DEI Legislation Tracker, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 31, 2023.

  • The Chronicle is tracking where anti-DEI legislation is being introduced across the country, including information about the major provisions of the bills.

Ryan Quinn, A Texas Trilogy of Anti-DEI, Tenure Bills, Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2023

  • Three Texas bills would end tenure, force universities to fire professors who “attempt to compel” certain beliefs and ban what the legislation defines as diversity, equity and inclusion programming. The State Senate has already passed one.


AI in Higher Ed

Liam Knox, Can Turnitin Cure Higher Ed’s AI Fever?, Inside Higher Ed, April 3, 2023

  • The plagiarism detector will introduce its AI detection tool on April 4, hoping to protect academic integrity in a post-ChatGPT world. The speedy launch and lack of an opt-out have academics worried.

Avi Staiman, Guest Post — Academic Publishers Are Missing the Point on ChatGPT, Scholarly Kitchen, March 31, 2023.

  • As scholars fret about what AI could mean for scholarly communications, Staiman embraces AI’s potential for assisting scholars who use English as an additional language.

François Furstenberg, Higher Ed’s Grim, Soulless, Ed-Techified Future, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 2023.

  • Temple’s President Jason Wingard, who recently resigned, outlines in a new book plans for revamping higher ed that include replacing human teaching with more tech alternatives, Furstenberg outlines what he sees as the problems with this approach.

Saikiran Chandha, Guest Post – GPT-3 Wrote an Entire Paper on Itself. Should Publishers be Concerned?, Scholarly Kitchen, April 12, 2023.

  • Chandha outlines the positives AI has to offer, such as helping English as an additional language scholars and manuscript formatting, but there are causes for concern too. Chandha provides advice to scholarly publishers about how to protect their interests.


Labor in the Academy

Ryan Quinn, Michigan Grad Workers Strike, Inside Higher Ed, March 31, 2023

  • University of Michigan graduate student instructors and staff assistants began striking Wednesday, seeking to raise their minimum annual salaries from $24,000 to about $38,500 and win easier access to health care for transgender members, an emergency fund for international students and other benefits.

Ryan Quinn, A Strike Begins at Chicago State, Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2023

  • Faculty members and academic support professionals began striking Monday 4/3, the first of what may be several new walkouts at multiple universities in the coming days; more walkouts are set to begin this week and next in Illinois.

Ryan Quinn, Syracuse Grad Workers Unionize, Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2023

  • Syracuse University graduate student workers have successfully unionized, with a reported vote of 728 to 36, with 90 contested ballots.

Ayana Archie & Joe Hernandez, Rutgers University faculty members are striking over a contract dispute, NPR.org, April 10, 2023

  • Three faculty unions representing around 9,000 workers at Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, went on strike Monday morning. It is reportedly the first time Rutgers University faculty has ever gone on strike throughout the institution's 250-year history.

Ryan Quinn, Rutgers Walkout Means 6 Faculty Strikes, Inside Higher Ed, April 11, 2023

  • Three Rutgers University unions and a Chicago-area union have joined a higher education faculty strike wave that is expected to grow this morning to include six universities in two states.

Julian Roberts-Grmela, Rutgers’ President Threatened to Take Striking Instructors to Court. Then He Walked It Back. Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2023.

  • After suggesting that he would take the striking unions to court, Rutgers’ President Jonathan Holloway walked back his comments after a meeting with the New Jersey governor.

Emma Bowman, The Rutgers University faculty strike is over, for now, after a deal is reached, NPR.org, April 15, 2023

  • Faculty at Rutgers University are ending a week-long strike, effective immediately, after agreeing to a tentative contract with the school. The 67,000 students at the New Jersey school system can return to classes on Monday, 4/17.