University of Arizona Professor Fatally Shot, Main Suspect Is Former Student

A former University of Arizona student allegedly shot and killed a professor Wednesday at the university’s Tucson campus.

The suspect, 46-year-old Murad Dervish, has been charged with killing Dr. Thomas Meixner, the head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, according to University of Arizona Police Chief Paula Balafas in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses placed Dervish at the scene of the crime and reportedly saw him running out of the building moments after the shots were fired.

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Goldwater Institute Helps Uncover Free Speech Concerns at the University of Arizona

University of Arizona

A recent report shared that there may be issues concerning free speech on the University of Arizona campus following the disclosure of bias complaint documents.

“Colleges throughout the country have set up anonymous reporting systems where students inform on their peers to campus authorities, creating social justice activists who blow the whistle on their classmates’ politically incorrect social media posts or professors who fail to use the most up-to-date ‘wokeisms,'” According to a press release from the GI. “Now, the Goldwater Institute has uncovered what the University of Arizona tried to hide: an Orwellian campus reporting apparatus that fosters a culture of fear over free speech.”

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University of Arizona Says Pandemic Is Not Over, Pushes Vaccines

The President of the University of Arizona is still pushing COVID-19 precautions, despite the fact that even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has significantly reduced its COVID-19 guidelines. 

“The pandemic is not over … though our situation is much improved over the start of last academic year,” University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said in an interview with the school newspaper. “While transmission of COVID-19 remains persistent around the nation, we have successfully navigated the past two years with continued innovation, support and cooperation from students, faculty and staff. We have the tools to continue our success and we know how to use them.”

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Goldwater Institute Grills the University of Arizona After Refusal to Release Public Records of ‘Bias Reporting’ on Campus

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute this week contacted the University of Arizona (UA), demanding it grants a reporter’s public record request for copies of complaints filed under UA’s Bias Education & Support Team (BEST).

“College campuses should be places of free and open exchange, where students can respectfully discuss opposing viewpoints and think critically about the major issues of the day. But instead, progressives are using bias response teams to implement their own, illiberal agenda across the country,” wrote Goldwater Institute Legal Programs Manager Kamron Kompani.

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Commentary: There Is No Room for ‘Privileging Feelings’ in the Marketplace of Ideas

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In 2015, the University of Chicago issued a statement, referred to as the “Chicago Statement,” in response to “recent events nationwide that have tested institutional commitments to free and open discourse.”  Through the statement, the University reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to free speech and expression, including its “overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.”  

The statement emphasized that:

“[E]ducation should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.”  

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Arizona Universities to Follow Federal Order for Workers to be Vaccinated

Workers at the University of Arizona must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

That’s the news from university President Robert Robbins in response to President Joe Biden’s order that any public or private organization that benefits from federal tax dollars must install a vaccination mandate.

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Merit System Is Unjust Because It Rewards Productive Individuals, Professors Argue

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Professors from the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs are arguing that “success and merit” are “barriers” to the equity agenda. 

“Admitting that the normative definitions of success and merit are in and of themselves barriers to achieving the goals of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary but not sufficient to create change,” professors Beth Mitchneck and Jessi L. Smith recently wrote for Inside Higher Education.

Mitchneck and Smith attributed those definitions to a “narrow definition of merit limited to a neoliberal view of the university.” Specifically, they express concern that universities receive funding and recognition based on the individual performances of professors’ own work such as peer reviewed journals and studies. 

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Arizona Universities Mandate Masks, Setting Up Showdown with Governor’s Office

In direct defiance of legislation banning vaccine passports and mask mandates, three major Arizona universities will require masks for students, setting up a showdown between the schools and the state government.

“All three Arizona universities said Wednesday they are going to require face masks on campus in certain situations, regardless of new state legislation apparently designed to preclude them from doing that,” Tuscon.com reported. “And more than half the Republican state legislators are asking Gov. Doug Ducey to withhold funds from schools who they say are violating a different ban on mask mandates and take the errant districts to court.”

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CDC Awarded University of Arizona $15 Million to Study Vaccine Effectiveness in Children

University of Arizona

The CDC awarded the University of Arizona (UA) $15 million to study COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and immunity in children and underserved communities. Children as young as 4 months to minors as old as 17 years will be eligible for study of the emergency use authorization vaccine. The announcement didn’t specify who qualified as an “underserved community.” The grant was awarded specifically to the Arizona Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Other Essential Workers Surveillance (AZ HEROES) study, originally designed with a focus on frontline workers such as firefighters. 

AZ Heroes lead official and associate dean for research and professor at Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Jeff Burgess, asserted that this research would offer a better understanding of how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in youth.

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