IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

August 31, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

IU Making Headlines

The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU unveils COVID-19 testing dashboard

The Indiana University Board of Trustees made it clear that even tenured faculty can be dismissed for not complying with COVID-19 health and safety directives. The board's academic affairs and university policy committee unanimously approved a measure Thursday clarifying that noncompliance with the directives will be considered serious personal or professional misconduct. Passing the measure was necessary from a procedural standpoint, but it was not intended to single out faculty. "I was very, very serious about just feeling badly that this was -- it was the policy on faculty that the trustees have to focus on, as if we view them as some kind of problem children," said John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs. "Not at all. The technical reason is that it's a trustee policy."

Related stories: Indiana Public Media

IU Voices in the News

The New York Times

Think you're making good climate choices? Take this mini-quiz

For many people around the world, of course, hopping on a plane to Paris or eating fewer steaks isn't an option to begin with. A report last year in the medical journal The Lancet suggested far less red meat for people who eat a lot of it, like Americans and Canadians, but not the world's poor, who need more animal protein for better health. "We don't live in a world where everyone has sort of a carbon budget, like a carbon credit card, where we only get to expend X tons of CO2 per year," said Dr. Shahzeen Attari, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington who studies climate perceptions and decision-making and who was not involved in the survey. ... Understanding the ranking of various activities could also help people who might take a single climate-friendly action and call it good enough. If that one action is recycling, it would have a small emissions impact compared to less flying, or trading in an SUV for a bicycle. Dr. Attari pointed out, though, that doing better doesn't have to mean extreme self-denial. "There is also this idea that being pro-environmental means you need to tighten up your belt," she said. "It doesn't always necessarily need to be less. It can be just doing the same thing, but a lot smarter."

USA Today

How QAnon and other dark forces are radicalizing Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic rages

Filippo Menczer, a computer science professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, and director of the Observatory on Social Media, said social media’s tendency to reinforce people’s beliefs in a digital group setting is particularly conducive to conspiracy theories. "If something is a fringe movement, there are a few people scattered around the world who believe this weird stuff. Now, with Twitter and Facebook, it’s really easy for these people to find each other," Menczer said. "When you are in a group -- a strongly, densely connected group -- you are more likely to reject opinions that are not aligned with the group." Facebook’s algorithms are particularly adept at helping people find groups they might be interested in, where users engage in conspiracy talk, Menczer said.

The Indianapolis Star

Indianapolis is missing some sidewalks. That could present an environmental challenge.

The city's urban sprawl makes it hard to keep track of all of the roads, sidewalks and other infrastructure that needs to be maintained, said Frank Nierzwicki, an urban planner with 30 years of experience working in Indiana. "If you look at the land size of (Indianapolis), it's pretty huge," said Nierzwicki, who also teaches urban development at Indiana University. "It's pretty much the whole county." ... Indianapolis has been praised as a pre-planned city, Nierzwicki said. In many ways it's seen as an example for other cities across the state, partly in thanks to recent development. "The reputation Indianapolis has on walkability and accessibility is actually pretty highly thought of throughout planners in the state of Indiana," Nierzwicki said. 

ABC 57

VIDEO: Pro teams and athletes boycott after Kenosha police shooting

Dr. Darryl Heller, Director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center at Indiana University South Bend, joins Vahid Sadrzadeh to discuss the ongoing protests in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake and what's next as pro athletes boycott games in sending a message in solidarity.

LEO Weekly

I've got corona questions: An honest-to-god epidemiologist tells us what to expect

I have questions about the pandemic. I bet you do, too. You might also think that you can get those answers with a simple Google search. Alas, we cannot. ... What we can do, however, is ask someone who knows. Dr. Ana Bento knows. She's a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Indiana University. She's been all over the world studying bacterial and viral illnesses of all kinds, including COVID-19. ... I asked her some of the most common questions asked by, well ... me. You'll probably want to hear her answers, too. DAN: How much longer are we going to have to do this, do you figure? Will it be different in Indiana/Kentucky than anywhere else in the U.S.? Would you expect to see tighter restrictions -- shelter in place, etc., before the end of the year? DR. BENTO: The short answer is: It's not going to go away anytime soon. There is certainly no indication we should expect it to go away in the coming months. There is no reason to expect it to be different in Indiana or Kentucky, either. ... With increased testing, we should expect to catch more infections, and in particular catching asymptomatics, thereby averting new infections by "breaking" chains of transmission. But this is far from over.

The Wichita Eagle

Kansans with COVID-19 dealing with the effects weeks, months later

Dr. Natalie Lambert, an associate research professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, uses social media to collect data about what patients experience. For her research into the long-term effects on COVID-19, she came across a large cohort to study in the Survivor Corps Facebook page. In collaboration with Survivor Corps, Lambert had a survey posted in the Facebook group. The results were published in a study called COVID-19 "Long Hauler" Symptoms Survey Report. "Everyone tells this story that it is the flu, but what type of flu gives you memory problems ... It's not a flu as we can think of it," Lambert said.

The Conversation

Could religious exemptions trump a COVID-19 vaccine mandate? Well, that depends

Written by Ross D. Silverman, professor of public health and law, IUPUI. The longer COVID-19 rages on, the more the United States appears to be hanging its hopes on the development and rapid, mass distribution of a vaccine. Getting a safe and effective vaccine out to the public could be a game changer, health experts believe. But stopping the virus's spread will only happen if enough people choose -- or are required -- to get vaccinated. But while some people may see it as their "patriotic duty" to get vaccinated, others won't.

Fox 59

Here's how IUPUI contact tracers help track the spread COVID-19

Contact tracers, the people responsible for letting you know if you've been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, are facing challenges while working overtime to help track the spread of the virus in our community. It's one call after the next. "People want to protect their friends, family and community," said Izabella Robinson. This is her way of helping during the pandemic. She's a contact tracer and part of the IU COVID-19 team. It's her job to ask questions and help the students and staff on the other line. ... "It's an absolutely critical piece to the strategy," added Dr. Adrian Gardner. He's an infectious disease physician and the director of the program for Indiana University.

Indianapolis Business Journal

Tourism experts disagree on wisdom of planned convention center expansion

Experts say holding off on the project is a wise move for the city -- one of the most convention-dependent in the United States -- but added the expansion could be hard to justify even in a few years. "We don't know how quickly things are going to recover from the pandemic," said Amanda Cecil, director of the Events and Tourism Institute at IUPUI. "There are just too many unknowns right now across the board. I wish I had a better outlook but ... it's pretty grim."


Indiana gets a 'D' for its vote-by-mail procedures, according to Brookings scorecard

Indiana could use a tutoring session on vote-by-mail procedure. The state has received a "D" grade in its process, according to a Brookings Institution report, but political scientists aren't surprised and don't anticipate the state to put much effort into improving. "Indiana doesn't bend over backward to make it easy to vote," said Gerald Wright, political science professor at Indiana University Bloomington. ... Marjorie Hershey, a professor emerita of political science at Indiana University Bloomington, and Wright both said they are not surprised the Indiana received a D grade. Indiana is among a small number of states that require a voter to "fit a category" to vote by mail, Hershey said.

Big News

President McRobbie to retire in 2021 after 14 years at the helm; presidential search to begin

This story has been covered by: Indianapolis Business Journal (column), The Bloomington Herald-Times, Inside Higher Ed, Campus Technology, U.S. News and World Report, Indianapolis Business Journal, The Bloomington Herald-Times, Inside Indiana Business, WTHR, Indiana Public Media, WFYI, WISH-TV, CBS4, South Bend Tribune, Sports Illustrated, Indiana Daily Student, Inside the Hall.

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