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An open letter from faculty leaders at the University of Rochester is critical of how the university is handling policies dealing with sexual harassment.

The critique comes from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and it was published this week in the campus newspaper, the Campus Times.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

RIT officials say an alum of the university has just given them $50 million, the largest donation ever made to that institution.

Austin McChord is a 32 year old, 2009 graduate of RIT, who started a company called Datto. That’s a Connecticut-based data protection company that also employs about 200 people in downtown Rochester.

McChord is also an RIT trustee, and he says he started his company in 2007 with an idea he had while he was a student.

Pittsford-Israel education connection

Dec 11, 2017
Pittsford Central School District.

Educators from Pittsford and schools in a city in Israel are exchanging ideas through a partnership designed to build global citizens.

It's called Partnership2Gether, and Ziva Babyan  is a school principal in Modi'in, Israel.

She is joining 11 educators from Israel visiting the Pittsford Central School District.

Babayan says the program benefits students and educators.

"To meet another's culture, to meet another system, and to look to see what I can use in my school," she said.

Alex Crichton / WXXI News

Rochester School Board President Van White has a message for anyone concerned about 690 Saint Paul Street. He says until the data shows otherwise, the building is safe.

“Monroe County Department of Health, again, these are people who get degrees and research and understand it. They’re not educators in this building. I’m not the one making the call saying the building is safe. These folks have degrees and have looked at this kind of thing. They're saying it’s safe.”

Nine professors and students who filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the University of Rochester three months ago, on Friday filed a lawsuit against the university, President Joel Seligman and Provost Robert Clark.

(the court papers are at the end of this story)

The 192-page complaint echoes many of the allegations contained in the EEOC complaint, many of which centered around Professor Florian Jaeger, in the university’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Jaeger has denied the charges, and was placed on administrative leave.

freeimages.com/shutesandladders12

The New Year could bring an expansion of a program that allows professionals with graduate degrees in a number of other fields to transfer their real work experience to a New York State teaching certificate. 

Right now, the transitional G teaching certification is available only to those in the STEM fields, but the State Education Department wants to open it up to professionals in any other discipline where there is a teaching certificate title.

That could include English, foreign languages, social studies, and music.

It's expected that the tax reform bill approved by the U.S. Senate early Saturday morning will contain a provision that has upset some officials at the nation’s larger universities.

It calls for a 1.4 percent excise tax for colleges that have larger endowments.  Congressman Tom Reed, a Southern Tier Republican, has been a proponent of the tax.

His district includes Cornell University, and its president opposes the tax which she says would reduce their ability to help economically disadvantaged students and conduct research for the public good.

University Police at the College at Brockport detained a number of people for questioning Wednesday night in connection with an alleged hazing incident.

The college issued a statement saying the search warrant was conducted at 104 Monroe Avenue in Brockport, a residence that borders the campus of that SUNY school.

Officials say that the people detained have been identified as being members of a group that calls itself “The Delts.”

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Rochester charter school community came together Wednesday morning to call on elected officials for more funding for their schools.

Those who spoke said Rochester charter schools get 68% of what districts get from the state, and that they shouldn’t have to fight for equal funding.

Duncan Kirkwood, Western New York Advocacy Manager for the NorthEast Charter Schools Network said its time charter schools worked together to ask for their fair share.

The law firm representing professors and graduate students at the University of Rochester who have filed a complaint alleging they were harmed by the actions of Professor Florian Jaeger and the way the university responded now say they plan to file a federal lawsuit next month.

Jaeger faces allegations of sexual harassment, and he has been on administrative leave since September.

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