A dispute centering on the celebrity professor Amy Chua exposes a culture pitting student against student, professor against professor.
Many people are putting off wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs and quinceañeras, underscoring persistent fears about the virus.
The Yale School of Medicine said the tone and content of a lecture by Dr. Aruna Khilanani, who has a private practice in New York, were “antithetical to the values of the school.”
College in a pandemic was not the experience that most students had in mind. But at year’s end, some see positive experiences and insights that came out of it.
In “America on Fire,” the historian Elizabeth Hinton offers a sweeping reconsideration of the racial unrest that shook American cities in the 1960s and 70s.
At Yale, a colleague said, he showed “there was a way to compete hard and well in financial markets, but to have our lives be about something that mattered more.”
The aftermath of the George Floyd protests and a decreased reliance on standardized tests have led to more diverse admissions at elite universities.
Even before the pandemic, many female scientists felt unsupported in their fields. Now, some are hitting a breaking point.
The psychiatrist, Bandy X. Lee, said she was let go after the lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz complained to the university. Yale said she violated ethics rules against diagnosing public figures, her lawsuit claims.
It may seem simple, but it bears repeating: sleep, gratitude and helping other people.
It may seem simple, but it bears repeating: sleep, gratitude and helping other people.
Absolution is off the table. And liberal ideals themselves are up for renegotiation.
An education program is immersing underprivileged students in Ivy League classes, and the students’ success has raised questions about how elite university gatekeepers determine college prospects.
He was most closely associated with the Yale School, which took on the foundations of literary scholarship in the 1970s and ’80s.
Kevin Jiang’s killing has attracted attention because of ties to Yale and has put a spotlight on an uptick in shootings in New Haven, Conn.
Analysis of a trove of data extracted from the Chicago Police Department has revealed major differences between how black and white officers, as well as male and female ones, actually enforce the law. This rare apples-to-apples comparison supports the idea that improving diversity in law enforcement may also improve the quality of policing.
Historically hard data from police departments has been extremely hard to come by, for a variety of reasons. As the authors put it in the paper:
Rigorous evaluation of the effects of police diversity has been stymied by a lack of sufficiently fine-grained data on officer deployment and behavior that makes it difficult or impossible to ensure that officers being compared are facing common circumstances while on duty.
…At present, a patchwork of nonstandard record-keeping and disclosure practices across roughly 18,000 U.S. police agencies has severely impeded broader policy evaluation.
This study by B.A. Ba et al., however, is based on highly detailed CPD records resulting from requests made to the department over a period of three years. It’s a collaboration between researchers from UC Irvine, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Columbia, and was published today in Science (access is free).
The records include millions of shifts and patrols from 2012 through 2015, which the team carefully sorted and pruned until it had a set that would allow the kind of analysis they hoped to do: comparing police work that is similar in all respects except the demographics of the officers doing it.
If on a Monday in March, in the same district at the same time of day, no serious differences could be found between Black officers and white officers, then race could be tentatively ruled out as a major contributor to how police do their work. On the other hand, if there were serious differences found, then that might indicate — as a topic for further study — the possibility of systemic bias of some kind.
As you might expect, the analysis found that there are indeed serious differences that, having isolated all the other variables, only correlate with the race of the officer. This may seem obvious to some and controversial to others, but the point of this work is not to assume or confirm assumptions, but to show plainly with data that there are disparities associated with race that need investigation and explanation.
Some of the specific findings can be summarized as follows:
- Minority officers (black and Hispanic, self-identified) “receive vastly different patrol assignments,” something that had to be controlled for in order to provide effective comparisons for the other findings.
- Black officers use force 35 percent less than white officers on average, with most of the difference coming from force used against black civilians.
- Black officers perform far fewer “discretionary stops” for “suspicious behavior.”
- Hispanic officers showed similar, but smaller reductions.
- Female officers use force considerably less often than male ones, again especially when it comes to black civilians.
- Much of the disparity in stops, arrests, and use of force results from differences in pursuing low-level offenses, especially in majority-black neighborhoods.
The data show (as a sort of inverse image of the above list) that white male officers stop, arrest, and use force more often, especially on people of color, and frequently as a result of minor crimes or “discretionary stops” with vague justifications.
The researchers are careful to point out that as conclusive as the patterns may appear to be, it’s important to understand that there is no causal mechanism studied or suggested. In fact they expressly point out that the data could be interpreted in two directions:
One explanation for these disparities centers on racial bias, i.e., white officers are more likely than Black officers to harass Black civilians. Technically, it is also possible that Black officers respond more leniently when observing crimes in progress.
More study is required, but they point out that one explanation — leniency by Black officers on minor offenses — has very little effect on public safety (violent crimes are addressed largely the same regardless of race and gender). The other — systemic racism — is significantly more harmful. Though they are “observationally equivalent” in the context of this data specifically, they are not equivalent in consequence. (Nor in likelihood — nor are they entirely incompatible with each other.)
In a valuable commentary on the paper and its implications, Yale’s Philip Atiba Goff notes that its findings are rich in implications that we ignore at our peril:
The magnitude of the differences provides strong evidence that — at least in some cities — the number of officers who identify with vulnerable groups can matter quite a bit in predicting police behavior. Although this does not settle the matter, the work stands alone in its ability to make apples-to-apples comparisons across officers – regardless of how many may be bad apples.
Given that Ba et al. find negligible demographic differences in officers’ responses to community violence, such a large difference in discretionary stops compels a reader to ask: Are any of those excess stops by white officers necessary? Should a department even be making them, given the demonstrated risk for abuse so evident in vulnerable communities?
Are any of those excess use of force incidents by white officers necessary? And if the excess force is not necessary for public safety, why does the department target Black communities for so much physical coercion? These questions are difficult to answer outside a broader engagement with the purpose of policing — and its limitations.
In other words, while it may require further study to get at the core of these issues, police departments may look at them and find that their resources are not necessarily being used to best effect. Indeed they may have to face the possibility — if only to refute it — that much of what officers do has little, no, or even negative value to the community. As Goff concludes:
With violence trending downward the past three decades, mostly troubling small geographic areas, and possibly occupying a small portion of police activity, what should the role of police be? Failing to take seriously the possibility that the answer should be “much less” may end up frustrating both researchers and a public that has been asking the question for far longer than most scientists.
This revealing study was only possible because the authors and legal authorities in Chicago compelled the police there to release this data. As noted above it can be difficult, if it is even possible, to collect large-scale data from any department, let alone from many departments for analysis at a national scale. The authors freely admit that their findings, in their specificity to Chicago, may not apply equally in other cities.
But that’s meant to be a call to action; if when finally given access to real data, researchers find problems of this magnitude, every department in the country should be weighing the benefits and risks of continued obfuscation with those of openness and collaboration.
The Trump administration had claimed that the school’s practices hurt white and Asian-American applicants, violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Appointed head of the incoming administration’s task force on health equity, the Yale University scientist “is not sitting in her ivory tower.”
As a scholar and a federal appellate judge, he changed the shape of laws on campaign finance and corporate governance.
The department says the school’s admissions practices violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yale’s president says the allegation was based on “inaccurate statistics and unfounded conclusions.”
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Jed Rubenfeld, a high-profile professor who helped students obtain sought-after clerkships, denied he had harassed anyone.
The United States is currently in the middle of an affordable housing crisis that’s putting the nation’s most economically insecure citizens at risk of becoming homeless even as a pandemic continues to spread across the country.
But one Atlanta startup called PadSplit is using the same model that Airbnb created (which ultimately drove up rental and housing prices across the country) to bring down costs for subsidized housing and provide relief for some of the people most at risk.
America’s second housing crisis
Twelve years after the last housing crisis in the United States caused a global economic meltdown, the U.S. is once again on the brink of another real estate-related economic disaster.
This time, it’s not speculators and investors that will carry the weight of the coming collapse, but low income renters faced with still sky-high housing costs and no income thanks to historic unemployment caused by the nation’s COVID-19 epidemic, as Vox reported.
Before COVID-19 swept across the world, half of U.S. renters were spending roughly 30 percent of their income on apartments and homes. One fifth of the population actually spent over half of their income on rent, and now, with roughly 10 percent of the country unemployed, that population faces eviction and the prospect of homelessness.
To solve the problem of housing insecurity, PadSplit borrows a page from the Airbnb playbook by creating a marketplace where homeowners can list rooms for rent for long-term stays.
Each room comes furnished with wifi and includes access to laundry facilities. And the company provides access to free telemedicine services and reports weekly payments to credit agencies so renters can build their credit scores.
Currently, the company manages 1,000 units in the Atlanta area and has expanded its presence into Maryland. The company’s renters include teachers, grocery store employees, restaurant workers — all people whose services are considered essential during the COVID-19 epidemic. “40 percent of our population has been functionally homeless,” said company founder, Atticus LeBlanc. “The average income [for our renters] is $25,000 per year.”
The average age of an occupant in a PadSplit room is 39, but renters have been as young as 19 or as old as 77, according to the company.
A quick scan of PadSplit rates in the Atlanta area shows rents of roughly $140 to $250 per week for rooms in existing homes. “We are focused on longer term stays for lower income,” said LeBlanc.
The company screens tenants and landlords, including criminal background checks and employment verification. “We sit between a hotel provider and a longer term apartment,” said Leblanc. “Where we need to both be an immediate housing provider for people who are in difficult situations while also underwriting that [person].” Owners looking to rent on PadSplit also need to prove that they haven’t been convicted of a felony within the last seven years.
LeBlanc, a New Orleans native turned Atlanta entrepreneur was named for Atticus Finch, the fictional lawyer whose fight for social justice in “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a staple of schoolroom lit assignments, and a model for white liberal southern gentry.
“My mother… said she wanted to give me someone to live up to,” says LeBlanc.
With a degree in architecture from Yale University, LeBlanc has run a real estate development and construction business in Atlanta for over 12 years. He launched PadSplit in 2017, after writing up the idea for the business in response to a competition from the Atlanta housing non-profit, House ATL and the non-profit Enterprise Community Partners.
LeBlanc’s plan was selected as one of the finalists and he received a small grant from the organization and the JPMorgan Chase foundation to pursue the business.
With the help of John O’Bryan, a serial entrepreneur who had built businesses in the vacation rental industry, LeBlanc built up the marketplace that would become PadSplit, starting first in Atlanta and moving out to surrounding suburbs and into Maryland. LeBlanc later brought in Frank Furman, a Naval Academy graduate, US Marine Corps veteran and former McKinsey consultant to help grow the business.
Now, the company, a Techstars accelerator graduate, has $10 million in new financing from Core Innovation Capital, Alate Partners, the Citi Impact Fund, Kapor Capital, Impact Engine and Cox Enterprises to expand PadSplit into Texas, starting with Houston and quickly ramp up hiring.
“PadSplit provides a truly unique solution to a complicated national problem that’s becoming more dire each day,” said Arjan Schütte, Founder and Managing Partner of Core Innovation Capital, in a statement. “We’re proud to support Atticus and the PadSplit team as they expand into new markets and introduce critical housing supply at a time when so many require affordable housing.”
Making money in affordable housing
According to LeBlanc, affordable housing is built around two things. One is the subsidy owners receive from the federal government and the second is a percentage of the cost of rentals. To convince owners that being in the affordable housing market was a good idea, LeBlanc just proved to them that they could get higher risk-adjusted returns versus other long-term rentals.
So far, that’s been proven out, he says. Through its model of fixed costs and weekly rent payments, PadSplit occupants have been able to save roughly $516 per month, according to data supplied by the company. Lowering rent has also allowed tenants to build credit, move into their own apartments and bought vehicles — or even, in some cases, houses of their own.
The company estimates it has also saved taxpayers over $203 million in subsidies by eliminating the the need to build subsidized housing units. Property owners have also benefited, the company said, increasing revenues on properties by over 60 percent.
And LeBlanc isn’t just the founder of PadSplit, he’s also a customer. “I rent a room downstairs in my personal home,” he said.
Ultimately, LeBlanc sees housing stability and a path to home ownership as one of the key tenets of economic equality in the United States.
“Every zoning law in America was based on a system that had no racial equity. We’re still battling those vestiges that exist in almost every jurisdiction,” he says.
And for LeBlanc the problem goes back to nearly 100 years. “If you acknowledge that racial inequality led to income stratification where it was impossible for returning Black GIs to get access to the same wealth building opportunities that white returning GIs had.. it’s no surprise that you have lower incomes by a substantial margin for African Americans as you do for whites.”
LeBlanc sees his business providing an additional revenue stream for the owners who rent properties, and an on-ramp to the financial system for people who are at risk or historically disenfranchised.
“We wanted to create a value proposition that is valuable to anyone in the housing space,” said LeBlanc.
The Trump administration’s charge that the university discriminates against Asian-American applicants was disputed by many Asian-American students and others.
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