Daily Debriefing

by Marina Shkuratov | 10/30/11 11:00pm

Lee Forest, who was hired by Harvard University in September as its first director of bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender student life, declined the position citing personal and professional reasons just days before he was slated to assume the role, The Harvard Crimson reported. In response to the announcement by Forest, who was set to start on Tuesday, Assistant Dean of Student Life Emelyn dela Pena organized a meeting of LGBT organization leaders on Friday. Emily Miller, who previously served as the graduate assistant for LGBT student life, will serve as interim coordinator of LGBT student life while a committee searches for a new director, according to The Crimson. Members of Harvard's LGBT organizations expressed concern that the lack of a defined leader will hinder advocacy efforts by the LGBT community. Harvard's search committee will reconvene in January or February to begin the search for a replacement, The Crimson reported.

Jorge Posadas, student life director at San Antonio College, announced that he will charge a fee if reporters from the college's newspaper, The Ranger, wish to interview him face-to-face, the San Antonio Express-News reported. In an email to The Ranger, Posadas said that participating in an interview constitutes an official engagement with "repercussions" he is "not willing to accept," The Ranger reported. Posadas later admitted that his request was "inappropriate" and said he had misinterpreted the paper's inquiry as a request for professional consulting. Posadas' past relationship with The Ranger has been characterized by an aversion to in-person interviews and he previously threatened to charge a reporter with harassment if the student continued to attempt to speak with him, The Ranger reported.

Following a statement by Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., urging the state to reduce spending on certain degree programs such as anthropology, over 7,000 individuals signed a petition to support the liberal arts in Florida's higher education institutions, Inside Higher Ed reported. During an interview with The Herald Tribune, Scott asked state universities to increase spending on science-related degree programs which he said are more likely to create jobs by reducing spending on the liberal arts. The petitioners claim that a well-rounded education is necessary to create critical thinkers and problem-solvers and that Florida's universities should not serve as vocational schools, according to Inside Higher Ed. The American Anthropological Association requested a meeting with Scott to discuss his attack on anthropology and has publicly defended the discipline's relevance to recent scientific discoveries, Inside Higher Ed reported.