At Wash. U. and Webster, a Fight to Unionize Adjunct Professors -- With Different Results

Photo by Kelly Glueck
Elizabeth Sausele

"I have to work at Trader Joe's to afford to teach at Webster," says Elizabeth Sausele. Sausele, 50, has a master's in divinity and a doctorate in education with an emphasis in intercultural studies. She worked on her dissertation in Rwanda, studying adolescent trauma in the wake of war and genocide. For the last six years, she's taught at Webster University's Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the private, non-profit university in Webster Groves. Currently, she teaches two classes a semester. It doesn't pay the bills. "Trader Joe's pays me more to stock bananas than Webster pays me to teach," she muses.

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Saint Louis University Has 46-Year History of Negotiating with Protesters

Danny Wicentowski
Hundreds of students and protesters gathered around the Saint Louis University clock tower in October, and organizers demanded an end to "white supremacy."
Saint Louis University is having a bit of a statue problem.

The statue, a proposed monument to the Occupy SLU movement of students and protesters who camped out on the school's midtown campus for six days in October, has raised the self-righteous hackles of some of the Jesuit university's alumni. Some donors have threatened to cut off support. One alumna told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch she closed her wallet because SLU president Fred Pestello chose to negotiate with the protesters, a sign that the St. Louis institution is becoming a "liberal environment."

Indeed, with all the hubbub over Pestello's handling of Occupy SLU and subsequent donor condemnation, you'd be forgiven for thinking the recent news coming out of SLU is, well, new. You would be wrong. A look back at the 1969 occupation of SLU's Ritter Hall reveals that negotiating with protesters has long been part of the university's heritage.

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Washington University: Top Safety School Pick for Wealthy Ivy League Rejects

Categories: Education

bluepoint951 via Flickr
Washington University.
Any high school student dreaming of college considers applying to a "safety school" to get a guaranteed acceptance just in case no other schools work out.

For some, community college is a helpful fall-back. For others, it's the nearby state school.

For those equipped with an ivy league budget but short on ivy league smarts, you can't get much better than Washington University in St. Louis.

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Catholic High School Cor Jesu Fires Gay Teachers, Former Students to Protest

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The all-girls Catholic high school Cor Jesu Academy: No boys or gays allowed.
For Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro, this was supposed to be a summer to remember. But not like this.

Earlier this summer the couple traveled to New York to get married, and upon returning to St. Louis signed a mortgage on a house together. By the end of July they were anticipating the start of the school year at Cor Jesu Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school near Affton where the newlyweds were employed as teachers.

But after the school got ahold of the couple's mortgage application, Reichert, a P.E. teacher and coach, and Gambaro, a social studies teacher, announced on a private Facebook group that the administration had terminated them both, citing a violation of school's morality clause.

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Anti-Religious Discrimination Bill Could Cause Religious Discrimination: MO Reverend

Categories: Education

A Republican lawmaker wants to make classrooms fair game for God.
Should Missouri protect religious expression of public schools?

That seems to be the question at the bottom of the Student Religious Liberty Act, which would prohibit school districts from discriminating against students' voluntary expression of religious opinions, including in homework assignments. The bill passed the state legislature last month and is waiting for Governor Jay Nixon's signature (or veto), but critics say the bill is a rehash of existing laws and could, in fact, open the door to religious discrimination in the classroom.

"We want school board members to have a real clear understanding of the rights of students," says the bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Elijah Haahr. "We don't want students to be marginalized. Whether it's a Hindu viewpoint or a Satanist viewpoint, our goal is to make sure they have the same opportunities."

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Two Anti-Evolution Bills Die In MO Legislature

Evolution may be a divisive topic, but the fossil record provides compelling evidence for the theory. (Also an infinite supply of "Homo erectus"-derived chuckles.)
Whether it was blocking Medicaid expansion, comparing abortion to car-shopping or cutting taxes, Missouri's Republican legislators threw their weight around this year's session.

But amid the victories, two Republican-sponsored anti-evolution bills died quietly in committee. One would have given parents the option of withdrawing their children from classes that taught evolution, and the other instructed science teachers to acknowledge the "controversies" of the biological and chemical foundations of evolution.

"We're talking about a science class here," bemoans Charles Granger, a professor of biology and education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "Teach whatever you want in a theology class, but in science you have to teach the observable facts."

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Five Things We Learned from Tony La Russa's Commencement Address at Washington U.

@Cardinals | Twitter
"You guys dug it out and played .500 ball."

Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa doesn't just inspire greatness on the field -- he also inspires greatness in life. Last Friday, La Russa gave the commencement address at Washington University in St. Louis, bidding thousands of students good luck as they go from the minors to the big leagues.

If anyone knows about playing a hard nine to earn respect, it's La Russa. From mediocre player to outstanding manager to a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the former Cardinals skipper has attacked baseball with the mind of a chess player over the years, and it paid off with multiple World Series titles, National League pennants and Manager of the Year awards.

But the advice La Russa offered Friday applies to more than just college graduates or baseball players. Below, check out La Russa's five best nuggets of wisdom that will help anybody grind out a couple of wins and become a "plus" player in the game of life.

See also:
- Tony La Russa, Former Cardinals Manager, Unanimously Voted into Baseball Hall of Fame
- 6 Photos of Tony La Russa Cuddling with Puppies That Will Make You Happy Forever

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Lunch to Blame for Why KSDK Staffers Didn't Stop Kirkwood High School Lockdown: NYT

alisdair on flickr
"Let's take a long lunch. What could go wrong?"
When Kirkwood School staff called KSDK NewsChannel 5 earlier this year to confirm that the stranger who'd wandered on campus was actually a reporter and to prevent a full-blown lockdown, they couldn't get an answer.

Turns out, everyone was out to lunch.

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STLCC: Undocumented Students with U.S. High School Diplomas Can Pay In-State Tuition

Categories: Education

Universidad Ya!
Students at a college fair held by Universidad Ya!
After an adjustment to its enrollment policy, St. Louis Community College will now allow undocumented immigrant students with a U.S. high school diploma to pay in-jurisdiction tuition rates, a move that is celebrated by Latino groups as a huge step forward for immigrant youth.

According to STLCC's new policy, "Undocumented Students with a US high school transcript will be admitted to St. Louis Community College and will be eligible to pay maintenance fees based on their residence in accordance with existing residency requirements. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid."

Universidad Ya!, a Washington University-affiliated program that helps undocumented immigrant students get into college, celebrated the move as an important step forward for Latino immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and grew up as Americans.

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Harris-Stowe State Teachers Become First University in Missouri to Unionize

Categories: Education

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Harris-Stowe State University.
Faculty members at Harris-Stowe State University have voted to unionize, making the troubled school the first university in Missouri to do so. And fat bonuses to administrators, as well as big payoffs to "consultants," might be the reason it happened.

The measure passed with 79 percent of the faculty voting in favor of being represented by the National Education Association, the largest professional union in the United States with more than 3.5 million members.

Now that the HSSU faculty has the NEA's legal resources at their disposal (the alliance will be known as HSSU-NEA), it hopes to take on some of the major gripes they have with the school, including those big payoffs.

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