The NFL player moonlighting as an Ivy League professor

Brandon Copeland is not a typical Ivy League professor. He packs 263 pounds of lean muscle onto a 6-foot-3 frame, doesn’t wear much tweed and moonlights as starting linebacker in the National Football League. Nor is Copeland a typical NFL player. A 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, he signed with the…

Former professor now a bus driver

He describes his new life and how he got there; a fascinating read. The professor is Steve Salita, who lost a job and whose career ground to a halt because he expressed an opinion people didn’t like. You hear ex-professors say it all the time and I’ll add to the chorus: despite nagging precariousness, there’s…

IES is offering its Summer Cluster-Randomized Trials Institute again

Dear Colleague, We will be offering the IES Summer Research Training Institute again this summer at Northwestern University from July 8–18, 2019. I hope you have found the previous training you received from the Summer CRT Institute to be valuable. As a previous participant in the Training Institute, I strongly encourage you to recommend applying…

Restorative justice doesn’t seem to work

I’m amazed this is the first RCT for something so popular: Last week, the first randomized control trial study of “restorative justice” in a major urban district, Pittsburgh Public Schools, was published by the RAND Corporation. The results were curiously mixed. Suspensions went down in elementary but not middle schools. Teachers reported improved school safety,…

U Chicago president caught voting for Republicans

This is actually a news item from the U Chicago student paper: University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer voted in Illinois’s Republican primary in the 2016 election, according to public voting histories. He turns out to have done some naughty things: Zimmer has long been coy about his politics, declining to answer a question on…

Professors win 1st Amendment lawsuit against CSU to the tune of $650K

Administrators never seem to learn – the 1st Amendment still holds in this country: More than four years after they first filed a lawsuit alleging free speech violations, two professors have reached a settlement with Chicago State University (CSU). CSU, a public university, agreed to pay Philip Beverly and Robert Bionaz $650,000 and revise the…

Insiders vs. outsiders in economics

Outsiders have their own form of confidence. When they look at the Insider, they think that they see a naked emperor. They understand the Insiders’ methods well enough. But the Outsiders are convinced that these methods are narrow-minded and limiting. During the housing bubble, when he wanted to confirm his hypothesis that home buyers were…

Graduate school is bad for your mental health

A new study by a team of Harvard-affiliated researchers highlights one of the consequences of these realities: Graduate students are disproportionately likely to struggle with mental-health issues. The researchers surveyed roughly 500 economics Ph.D. candidates at eight elite universities, and found that 18 percent of them experienced moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety.…

Turning to AI to help with peer review

A handful of academic publishers are piloting AI tools to do anything from selecting reviewers to checking statistics and summarizing a paper’s findings. In June, software called StatReviewer, which checks that statistics and methods in manuscripts are sound, was adopted by Aries Systems, a peer-review management system owned by Amsterdam-based publishing giant Elsevier. And ScholarOne,…