Daily Debriefing

by Sam Rauschenfels | 4/13/11 10:00pm

Yale University senior Michele Dufault died Tuesday night in an accident in the machine shop of Yale's Sterling Chemistry Laboratory, according to the Yale Daily News. Dufault was killed when her hair was caught in a lathe, a machine that uses a rotating mechanism to mold wood or metal, according to an anonymous police official familiar with the investigation, the News reported. The New Haven Police Department received a 911 call at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning requesting help at the laboratory, but the investigation will be handled by the Yale Police Department, according to the News. The university's Occupational Health and Safety Administration has also opened an investigation into the accident, which could last anywhere from a few weeks to six months, the News reported.

Brown University's total debt has climbed to $609 million a 35 percent increase from 2009 as a result of the country's financial crisis, according to The Brown Daily Herald. The increase is largely due to a $100 million, 10-year loan that Brown took out in 2009 as insurance against possible future economic problems, The Herald reported. This loan is atypical for the university because it is short-term and does not fund any ongoing projects, according to The Herald. Brown has not used any of the money and does not plan to do so, according to Beppie Huidekoper, Brown's executive vice president for finance and education. The rest of the debt increase is a result of the university's $59 million loan, which has funded infrastructure projects including the renovation of the Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory, as well as dormitory buildings, according to The Herald.

Difficulties faced by adjunct faculty members in higher education create a substantial divide between tenured or tenure-track faculty and their adjunct counterparts, according to speakers at the annual conference for the National Center for Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, according to Inside Higher Ed. Two-thirds of professors nationwide are adjunct faculty members who usually earn far less for the same amount of work than tenured or tenure-track professors, Inside Higher Ed reported. Speakers at the conference said that adjunct professors often teach courses at several different colleges, hold other jobs or rely on pensions to make ends meet. Hiring adjunct faculty makes tenure or tenure-track positions possible, however, because adjunct professors' full workloads and lower salaries free up time and money for tenure and tenure-track professors and help pay for other institutional expenses, Robert Samuels, a lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles and speaker at the conference, said.

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