News Roundup | 11.29.17

University Senate Votes to Send Tax Act Protest Letter

The Emory University Senate voted Tuesday to send letters to U.S. representatives and senators for Georgia to express concerns for the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In particular, the letters mention that the House bill repeals U.S. Code sections 117(d), which allows individuals to deduct qualified tuition expenses from gross income, and section 127, which excludes employer assistance with tuition payments from gross income. “Taxing the scholarships and educational assistance described in these sections would put higher education out of reach for many of our employees and their families,” the letters read. The House passed its version of the bill Nov. 16 and the Senate Budget Committee passed the Senate’s version of the bill Tuesday. — Richard Chess

Emory’s First Provost Dies at 84

Emory University’s first provost and former interim president and chancellor, Billy Frye (54G 56G), died Nov. 14 at the age of 84. Frye died from complications related to a previously diagnosed lung disease called bronchiectasis, which also affected his heart, according to his wife Elisa Frye. Billy Frye was regarded in the Emory community as a leader who served as an impetus for the University’s campus development, according to a Nov. 21 University press release. He arrived at Emory a few years after brothers Robert W. Woodruff and George Woodruff gave Emory a then-record donation of $105 million, and helped expand the University during his 15-year tenure. Billy Frye received Emory’s Thomas Jefferson Award in 1997 for his service to Emory and the Emory Medal, the highest alumni honor, in 2011. “[Billy] was always my hero and I marveled at my good fortune at finding someone who was such fun to be with who was also so dedicated to the mission of  the University,” Elisa Frye said. A memorial on campus is planned for Spring 2018. — Madison Bober

CLC Commences Concrete Pour

The second major concrete pour for the new Campus Life Center (CLC) was postponed to this morning, Nov. 29, according to the CLC newsletter. Finishing the concrete takes approximately six to eight hours. Upon the CLC’s completion in summer 2019, Student Involvement, Leadership and Transitions (SILT); Belonging and Community Justice; Civic and Community Engagement; Social Justice Education; Sorority and Fraternity Life; University Center; and Student Government Finance will move to the CLC, according to the newsletter. — Anwesha Guha

Emory Vaccine Center Associate Director Elected AAAS Fellow

Walter A. Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center and professor of medicine, pediatrics and global health, has been named a 2017 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), according to a Nov. 20 Emory press release. A member of the AAAS may be elected as a fellow when “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished,” according to the AAAS website. Orenstein is the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Immunization Program. He joined Emory University after 26 years at the CDC. — Madison Bober

Washington Post Determines Moore’s Accuser’s Story Fake

The Washington Post found that former Atlantan Jaime Phillips fabricated a story that she had been impregnated as a teenager by former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and had an abortion. Investigations by the Post suggested dubious motivations on Phillips’ end, including a GoFundMe fundraising site she created but has since deactivated to finance her transition to from Georgia to New York to work against the “mainstream media,” the Post reported. Post reporters saw Phillips walking to the offices of Project Veritas, a group that targets news media with false cover stories or undercover recordings in an attempt to expose corruption and other misconduct, according to its website. Nine other women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. The Post broke the first allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore on Nov. 9. Moore denied the allegations at a Nov. 27 campaign rally, according to CBS News. — Anwesha Guha

Scaramucci Resigns from Board of Advisors After Threatening to Sue Student

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci resigned Tuesday from the Board of Advisors to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (Mass.) after threatening to sue Tufts law student Camilo Caballero and the editor-in-chief of the university’s student newspaper, The Tufts Daily, Gil Jacobson, according to the Post. Caballero wrote two opinion pieces critical of Scaramucci for The Tufts Daily, according to the Post. Scaramucci told The New York Times that he stepped down so the university would not face unnecessary scrutiny. He also said in the interview that he stood by his threat to file a defamation suit against Caballero and Jacobson if Caballero did not apologize and The Tufts Daily did not retract the two op-eds. A petition asking Scaramucci to be removed from the board has received more than 300 signatures as of Nov. 28, according to the Post. Scaramucci was invited to speak at Tufts Monday, but the university canceled its invitation, according to the Post. Scaramucci, who attended Tufts University as an undergraduate student, worked as the White House communications director last summer for less than two weeks. — Molly Ball

Judge Blocks Trump’s Executive Order on Prohibiting Funding to Sanctuary Cities

Federal judge William Orrick III issued an injunction Nov. 20 to permanently block President Donald J. Trump’s executive order denying funding to sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials, according to The Washington Post. Some U.S. cities have declared themselves as a “sanctuary city” in response to Trump calling for more deportation enforcement of undocumented persons residing in the country. The ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, Calif., and follows a temporary halt on the order that the same judge issued in April. The judge found that forcing local officials to cooperate with the Trump administration’s efforts to deport undocumented immigrants violates the separation of powers doctrine as well as the Fifth and Tenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution.  — Madison Bober

DOJ Says Harvard Not Complying With Investigation

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said Nov. 17 that Harvard University (Mass.) is not complying with its investigation into whether the school uses race as a factor in admission decisions, according to The Washington Post. The DOJ began investigating Harvard Aug. 3 to determine if the university is discriminating against Asian-American applicants. Harvard has not provided any requested documents since September, the DOJ reported. According to two Nov. 17 letters sent by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to Harvard, Harvard is obligated to provide the requested documents under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The letters indicate that Harvard responded to the requests for documents and challenged the DOJ’s authority to investigate. The letters further state that if the university fails to provide documents to the department by Dec. 1, the agency will file a lawsuit against the school. — Richard Chess

Correction (11/30/17 at 10:36 a.m.): The first brief’s title was corrected to read “University Senate” instead of “Faculty Senate.”

Correction (12/2/17 at 2:24 p.m.): A sentence was removed from the first brief that stated that Emory University might take legal action if the tax plan passed.

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