Newsletter for September 13

New Title IX investigation; #3 in U.S. News rankings; Metra increases service in HP to near-CTA levels; Pod Save America stopping by the IOP

By Pete Grieve and Euirim Choi

Subscribe to the Maroon Newsletter here. 

Good morning. In three days, College first-years move in; the Law School began orientation on Monday; next week is the Harris School’s welcome week; the University-wide graduate student orientation is on Tuesday.
An offer for new subscribers: Send any questions you may have about student life/classes/Hyde Park to and we’ll do our best to have someone from our staff answer in the next edition of this newsletter. Send us whatever you want, we’ll keep it anonymous.

The Department of Education has opened an investigation into the University of Chicago for possibly mishandling sexual violence, bringing the number of open investigations up to three, per the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Title IX tracker. Public record requests will reveal more information about the complaint in the coming days. The investigation was opened at an interesting time for Title IX enforcement as the Department works to rescind Obama-era Title IX guidelines and provide interim guidance. The University, however, said it's not changing its disciplinary policies. 

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U.S. News has UChicago ranked third in the 2017–18 best national university category. The top four rankings remained unchanged from last year: #1) Princeton #2) Harvard #3) UChicago and Yale. U.S. News also ranked the University the “15th Best Value School” and the “20th Most Innovative School” in the nation.

  • Politico’s Benjamin Wermund reports that the rankings are “so closely followed in the academic world that some colleges have built them into strategic plans.” His article discusses the unintended consequences of the jockeying to rise in the rankings (focusing on how it promotes economic inequality). A recent op-ed in the Tribune co-authored by the president of Northwestern offers an insider's perspective on how universities are gaming the rankings.

Metra has increased service in Hyde Park to near-CTA frequency under a new schedule that went into effect yesterday. Trains will arrive every 20 minutes through most of the day on weekdays.

The University sent a letter to each member of Illinois’s congressional delegation expressing concern about President Trump’s decision to rescind his predecessor’s DACA program in six months.

  • The only letter that was made public was the one sent to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). In the letter, the University thanked the senator for his “consistent leadership on DACA” and affirmed support for “efforts by you and others in Congress to address this issue through legislation that protects the ability of DACA-eligible students to live in the United States and pursue their education and careers here.”

** Reminder: The University is not taking a stance for or against the bill Durbin introduced reviving the DREAM Act.

The Institute of Politics has posted some of its fall quarter speaker events. Obama administration alums and Pod Save America hosts Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau, and Tommy Vietor will participate in a student-moderated talk on October 9. Other notables: Former Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch (Sept. 27), Indivisible co-founder Leah Greenberg (Oct. 3), RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (Oct. 10).

New Div School dean of students: Joshua Feigelson has been appointeddean of students for the Divinity School. Feigelson had previously started and managed a social startup venture dedicated to civic learning and served as the campus rabbi of Northwestern University Hillel. Feigelson received his Ph.D. in religious studies at Northwestern.


Editor Cole Martin writes in:

According to contributor Rohit Chandran, the University is right in striving to protect free expression, but Zimmer's recent Charlottesville letter may be at odds with many of the University’s past actions. He wonders: “Does the University invest in entities that profit from the restriction of free expression, and if so, are these investments legitimate?”

Innovation: The O-Book, a booklet provided to incoming first-years that provides information about O-Week, has been replaced by a mobile app released yesterday. (Download for iOS and Android)
California lawmakers formally asked California public and private universities to vigorously support First Amendment rights in a bipartisan resolution that they passed last month. The resolution explicitly endorses the Chicago Statement of Free Expression, which was drafted at and adopted by the University of Chicago.

Rajan speaks out: Booth professor Raghuram Rajan’s new book, I Do What I Do: On Reform, Rhetoric & Resolve, has hit stores. In the book, Rajan describes and reflects on his time as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2013–16. Rajan quickly restored investor confidence in India’s rocky economy after he became governor, but he was ultimately forced to step down from the role and return to the University of Chicago due to opposition from several prominent Indian politicians. 
Community event on Obama library: The Obama Foundation is taking public feedback on the development of the Obama Presidential Center tomorrow at 5:45 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
Judge Posner’s retirement: We reported in the newsletter last week that Richard Posner, a senior lecturer at the Law School, retired from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Maroon spoke to one of his former clerks, Law School professor Randy Picker, who provided some interesting details about Professor Posner:

  • On Posner’s role in antitrust law: As a “key part of the Chicago School…he focused on the idea that the antitrust laws were designed to protect consumer welfare and that courts had too frequently condemned practices that actually might help consumers. He was an influential part of the Chicago revolution in antitrust.”
  • On Posner’s productivity: “I have never seen anyone as productive. He has his life organized to make this possible but he is a remarkably efficient writer.”

The Chicago Debate Society will hold a public debate on September 26 on the question, "Is the use of violence by groups such as antifa justified to oppose hate speech?" 

George and Amal Clooney have taken in a Yazidi refugee from Iraq who is living at their home in Augusta, Kentucky and studying at the University of Chicago.

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