IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

December 14, 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

Inside Indiana Business

IUPUI researcher awarded $500K USDA grant

An IUPUI faculty member has been awarded a half-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how farming practices can increase crop resilience to climate change. ... Researcher Lixin Wang, an associate professor of earth science at the School of Science at IUPUI, says his study will include field research on Indiana farms starting next summer. "This research aims to understand whether conservation practices of cover cropping and no-till can jointly increase agricultural resilience to climate variability and reduce agricultural environmental impacts," said Lixin Wang.

IU Voices in the News

ProPublica

The pandemic hasn't stopped this school district from suing parents over unpaid textbook fees

Pamela Foohey, a law professor at Indiana University Bloomington who specializes in consumer, bankruptcy and commercial law, said filing small claims suits against parents is likely a useful way to collect unpaid fees for school districts. The filing fees are low, the courts rule in plaintiffs' favor when defendants don't show up and once a district has a judgment, it can return to court to seek a garnishment of a parent's wages or, in some cases, their assets. Unpaid debts can also be reported to credit bureaus, leading to additional consequences. "While a judgment on the default does not affect a consumer's credit score, the default on the debt will appear on a consumer's credit report and will negatively affect the credit score," Foohey said. "Both the default and the default judgment could be viewed negatively by a prospective landlord or employer."

CBS Chicago

As vaccine shipments roll out, Chicago area medical professionals are grateful and relieved

"I'm getting the vaccine on Wednesday at 5:30, and I'm super-stoked," said Dr. Gabriel Bosslet, associate professor of clinical medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Just 11 days ago, CBS 2's Chris Tye spoke with Dr. Bosslet about the exhaustion for health care staffers putting in well over 14-hour workdays for months. The pandemic has been painful, mentally and physically, for everyone. ... "Seeing these patients and their struggle and caring for them is really difficult. The hospitalizations are long and they don't always end up where we want them to," Bosslet said. "When you lose a patient with COVID, it takes a definite toll." Thus, watching trucks loaded with vaccines rolling out Sunday morning was like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. ... "It's our moonshot," Bosslet said. "I mean, it's our generation's man on the moon, and I think to think of it any other way is to do it a disservice."

The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU experts answer COVID-19 vaccine questions

So when will a COVID-19 vaccine be available to the average U.S. resident? The Herald-Times spoke with two experts at Indiana University to get answers to this and other questions related to COVID-19 vaccines. Gregory Zimet is a professor of pediatrics and clinical psychology at the IU School of Medicine. He is also co-director of the (IUPUI) Center for HPV Research. Shandy Dearth is a lecturer and director of undergraduate epidemiology education at IUPUI. She has spent most of her career focusing on infectious disease surveillance, emergency preparedness planning and response, and public health informatics. ... Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Wednesday and Great Britain approved it the week prior. So what was the hold up in the U.S.? "Mainly, it’s just every country has its own process to go through," Zimet said. He speculated that countries with national health services may have fewer bureaucratic hurdles. Both Canada and the United Kingdom have publicly funded health care. Whatever the reason, it’s still only a few days difference. And Dearth found some reassurance in the timeline for U.S. approval. "It tells me they’re not rushing through this," she said.

Related stories: WEHT

Evansville Courier and Press

Was Indy Attucks victim of racism? Bosse at Heritage Hills cross burning incident recalled

Many Hoosiers are drenched in nostalgia, longing for the days of the "Milan Miracle" -- Bobby Plump hitting a game-winning 15-footer as time ticked away, enabling tiny Milan to stun mighty Muncie Central 32-30 for the 1954 state boys' basketball championship at Butler Fieldhouse. But Indiana University history professor emeritus James H. Madison, author of "The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland" seeks a harder, deeper truth. ... As far as the Hoosier state was concerned, Madison was repeatedly asked the same question through the years: "Was Indiana a Klan state?" As a result, he was compelled to write "The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland." "There's a curiosity that has run deep for a long time," said Madison, who began teaching at IU in 1976. While the truth was too uncomfortable for some, Madison dove right in. He wanted to separate the myths and public stereotypes. ... "Some self-styled patriots have sought to sweep this kind of story under the carpet and replace it with myth. Out of ignorance, selfishness, or malevolence, they deny the past. They prefer to tell only comforting stories that celebrate American greatness. They manufacture bedtime tales suitable for frightened children. Such comfort history violates the craft of historical scholarship and enables Americans to sustain some of our worst traditions."

The Indianapolis Star

Hoosiers struggle as Congress debates COVID-19 relief

With the critical CARES Act programs expiring, unemployed workers will lose their temporary safety net. ... The law offered gig workers and the self-employed something they typically do not have -- access to a temporary federal funding source that can be used to stabilize their income during a period of no work, said Bradley Heim, professor and executive associate dean at Indiana University's Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington. Traditionally, those workers are ineligible for jobless benefits because no employer is paying into the unemployment insurance trust fund on their behalf, said Heim, whose expertise lies in tax policy. Unlike with other recessions where there was a gradual slowing down of the economy, the pandemic-induced recession resulted from government shutting down businesses to get people to stay home and reduce the disease's spread. "If you're going to be demanding that people do that, you have to provide some money for those people to be able to survive," Heim said. "That's where the expansion for this came from."

The Indianapolis Star

'They don't have answers': Police struggle to clear cases with soaring homicide rate

Natalie Hipple, a professor in the department of criminal justice at Indiana University, said clearance rates are "not a particularly good" measure of police performance and community safety. She added that homicides are statistically rare and "the most infrequent of all crimes, including violent crimes."  ... Witnesses are not the only factor determining whether police can solve a case. In fact, criminal justice experts say some of the other aspects of homicide cases are out of a detective's control. "Research tells us gun homicides are harder to solve because there is usually less physical evidence, and perpetrators don’t have to get very close to their victims," said Hipple. ... Hipple in an email explained that while shootings may leave some evidence behind, it may not be conclusive. "Ballistics evidence rarely ties people (shooters) to incidents," Hipple said. "Instead that kind of evidence ties incidents to incidents via a gun or shell casing. You still don’t know who pulled the trigger."

The Times of Northwest Indiana

Positive COVID cases on rebound in NWI; actual daily deaths hit record high

The average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Northwest Indiana is on the rise again, and daily deaths remain at or near record levels. Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties saw a decline in new positive cases in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, but the number has been increasing since Nov. 29, according to data provided by Indiana University Northwest associate professor Micah Pollak. "We've been kind of lucky," he said. "The state has kind of rebounded to where it was before Thanksgiving." ... The number of tests administered daily has picked up, resulting in a slight decrease in the seven-day average positivity rate in Northwest Indiana. "Things are kind of stable," Pollak said. "Things aren't getting better, but they're not getting worse."

Indianapolis Business Journal

You should make time now to plan for 2021

Written by Todd Saxton, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, and M. Kim Saxton. clinical professor of marketing, at the IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. Right now, most of us are ready to say bon voyage to a tough year and look forward to the next. Bidding adieu to 2020 is certainly something to be thankful for! While we are all ready for COVID-19 to be over, we still have a way to go on this journey. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we remain firmly inside the tunnel. How long we stay here is largely dependent on us. It might be helpful to consider the future in three buckets.

The Conversation

Puerto Rico wants statehood -- but only Congress can make it the 51st state in the United States

Written by Rashid Carlos Jamil Marcano Rivera, Ph.D. candidate in political science, Indiana University. Puerto Ricans requested statehood on Nov. 3, 2020, with 52.3% of voters asking to change the island’s status from unincorporated territory to U.S. state. This is the sixth time statehood has been on the ballot since Puerto Rico ratified its Constitution in 1952. Voters rejected the status change in 1967, 1993 and 1998. The 2012 election results were unclear because some voters did not answer both parts of a two-part statehood question. In 2017 statehood won decisively, albeit with very low turnout of around 23%. Puerto Rico didn’t become the 51st state then, and it is unlikely to achieve statehood any time soon. Only Congress can add new states to the Union, via an Admission Act or House Resolution that requires approval by a simple majority in the House and Senate.

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