Dillard University, in New Orleans, will be dedicating one of its campus buildings to alumnus Michael D. Jones, a civil rights advocate who has broken color barriers as a lawyer, and his wife Shaun. The university's International Center for Economic Freedom will soon be called the Michael & Shaun Jones Hall (Jones Hall).
Michael D. JonesJones first made history by becoming the first Black partner of the global law firm, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, based in Chicago, and later by partnering with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to represent Maryland’s four historically Black universities in a lawsuit against the state. The HBCUs sued Maryland for not providing enough funding, duplicating their academic programs at nearby predominantly white universities and for continuing segregationist practices and policies. The lawsuit, which Jones worked pro bono for over a decade, eventually resulted in a $577 million settlement with the state.
On Dillard's Board of Trustees since 2006, Jones has been serving as chairman since 2014. Additionally, he and his wife have established the Michael & Shaun Jones Endowed Scholarship at Dillard, which provides scholarships to two students annually.
Paul Quinn College, a private historically Black Methodist college in Dallas, Texas, will unveil its newly-designed basketball court Tuesday.
The court, designed to feature the college's connection to Dallas through historical images of the city's skyline, will be housed in the 1,100-person capacity Health & Wellness Center. The center is the first new building on campus in almost 50 years.
Naming rights for the basketball court as well as other sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Dr. Tayo Clyburn, dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Colby CollegeColby College, a private liberal arts college in Maine, is banning discrimination based on caste, or inherited social class, and is one of the country's first colleges to do so.
In its nondiscrimination policy for the campus community, the college added caste to its list of protections.
Brandeis University in Massachusetts, also announced in late 2019 that it would prohibit caste discrimination on campus.
"It's important that we take a step back, reflect on the policies that we call upon to promote inclusivity and safeguard members of the community," said Dr. Tayo Clyburn, dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Colby, on the updated policy.
Dr. Anming Hu, engineering professor acquitted of hiding ties to Chinese universityThe University of Tennessee at Knoxville has offered to rehire Dr. Anming Hu, an engineering professor who was recently acquitted of federal charges, which wrongly accused him of hiding a relationship with a Chinese university while receiving NASA research grants.
In addition to his role at UT Knoxville, Hu had been a faculty member at the Beijing University of Technology. He received NASA research grants for some of his work at UT. A 2012 law prohibited NASA from collaborating with China or Chinese companies, and the government interpreted this law to include Chinese universities.
Hu was arrested in February 2020 for wire fraud and making false statements. Prosecutors argued Hu hid his position at Beijing University when applying for NASA research grants. A judge ruled, however, that there was no evidence that Hu took money from China or had anyone in China work on the NASA-funded projects. In addition, the judge pointed out that NASA's funding restrictions were unclear. Last month, the judge acquitted Hu.
UT Knoxville's offer to rehire him includes backpay, payment for an immigration attorney, and $200,000 for over three years to reestablish his research.