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Princeton Agrees To Nearly $1M In Back Pay To Female Professors : NPR

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Blair Hall on the campus of Princeton University. The university has agreed to pay nearly $1 million in back pay to female full professors, but did not admit liability in the Labor Department’s investigation.

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Blair Hall on the campus of Princeton University. The university has agreed to pay nearly $1 million in back pay to female full professors, but did not admit liability in the Labor Department’s investigation.

John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

One of the nation’s most prestigious universities has agreed to pay nearly $1 million in back pay to female professors following allegations of pay discrimination.

The Ivy League university will pay $925,000 in back pay and at least $250,000 in future wages, as part of an agreement announced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The agreement resolves pay disparities uncovered by a multi-year investigation that affected more than 100 female full professors, the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said.

The federal government’s investigation found between 2012 and 2014, pay disparities at the university “existed for 106 female employees in the full professor position,” the Labor Department said.

If confirmed, those findings would appear to violate federal equal opportunity laws.

The New Jersey-based university entered what is known as an “early resolution conciliation agreement.” A university spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement to NPR that it accepted the agreement to forgo what would likely be a costly and drawn out litigation process.

Princeton did not admit any liability in the investigation, Ben Chang, a spokesperson from Princeton, said in an emailed statement. He said that university officials did an internal analysis during the two year period the Labor Department says it was in violation, but found “no meaningful pay disparities based

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Astronauts Prepare To Receive Cosmetics And A New Toilet : NPR

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Northrup Grumman’s Antares rocket lifts off from the NASA Wallops test flight facility in Virginia on Oct. 2. The rocket was scheduled to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

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Northrup Grumman’s Antares rocket lifts off from the NASA Wallops test flight facility in Virginia on Oct. 2. The rocket was scheduled to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

Thom Baur/Northrup Grumman /AP

Hygiene and self care are vital — even in zero gravity. Which is why astronauts on the International Space Station are preparing for a fun delivery: a skincare serum from the cosmetics maker Estée Lauder, as well as a new and improved toilet.

Astronauts won’t actually be using the brand’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex, says Robyn Gatens, the acting director of the International Space Station. Instead, the plan is for them to take photos and video in space of the $105 per bottle serum that the company will then be able to use for advertisements across its social media channels. According to ABC News, it will cost Estée Lauder $17,500 per hour.

Estée Lauder will auction off at least one of the 10 bottles they’re flying into space for charity, Gatens said in an interview with NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Even if the astronauts wanted to record themselves using the product — a la the Get Ready With Me videos that many an influencer has posted to YouTube to show off their beauty routines — they wouldn’t be able to. As government employees, they’re restricted from participating in sponsoring products.

That doesn’t mean they’re strangers to commercial and marketing activities — something NASA has set aside 90 hours of crew time for. In 2019, for example, DoubleTree by Hilton sent their

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Work Or Online Learning? Homeless Families Face An Impossible Choice : NPR

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Freda and her 9-year-old son visit the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. She and her five children have been living in the front room of a friend’s apartment, sleeping on pads of bunched-up comforters.

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Freda and her 9-year-old son visit the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. She and her five children have been living in the front room of a friend’s apartment, sleeping on pads of bunched-up comforters.

Maddie McGarvey for NPR

The closure of school buildings in response to the coronavirus has been disruptive and inconvenient for many families, but for those living in homeless shelters or hotel rooms — including roughly 1.5 million school-aged children — the shuttering of classrooms and cafeterias has been disastrous.

For Rachel, a 17-year-old sharing a hotel room in Cincinnati with her mother, the disaster has been academic. Her school gave her a laptop, but “hotel Wi-Fi is the worst,” she says. “Every three seconds [my teacher is] like, ‘Rachel, you’re glitching. Rachel, you’re not moving.'”

For Vanessa Shefer, the disaster has made her feel “defeated.” Since May, when the family home burned, she and her four children have stayed in a hotel, a campground and recently left rural New Hampshire to stay with extended family in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Her kids ask, “When are we going to have a home?” But Shefer says she can’t afford a “home” without a good-paying job, and she can’t get a job while her kids need help with school.

For this story, NPR spoke with students, parents, caregivers, shelter managers and school leaders across the country about what it means, in this moment, to be homeless and schoolless.

Vanessa Shefer (right) walks with her family along the Passumpsic River in St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Ian

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6 Actionable Tips : Life Kit : NPR

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Changing your career.
Changing your career.

Most people spend a third of their lives — or 90,000 hours — at work.

When all those hours include stress due to wage gaps, societal pressures, commuting (or endless Zoom calls), it can be a lot. And if it feels like you should be doing something more with your life, you probably should.

Cue the BIG career change! (Pretend you hear trumpets as you read this.)

After many years as a healthcare professional, I switched careers and became a podcast producer and host. And what’s wild, now that I’ve done it once? I anticipate another big career switch down the road in my lifetime.

But it doesn’t start off so easy. It takes an immense mindset shift, planning, and decision making that will affect you and the people around you.

I’ve gathered some of the tools that helped me over the years, and invited my friend and feminist career strategist Cynthia Pong to unpack these tips too.

1. If you don’t know where to start, identify what you really need to change.

Be clear about what the problem is. You may not need a full-on change to get you into the space that you want.

Pong says, “Try to be as specific as possible. Is it the people you work with? Is it the schedule that you have to work? Is it your supervisor?”

Take incremental steps to pinpoint the issue. If it’s your boss or co-workers, think about switching departments. If it’s the whole place, leave the people behind and do similar work elsewhere.

When we’re unhappy or in crisis, it’s hard to think of the options we may have to pivot away from our current specialty or try a different department.

If you’ve exhausted all options, it’s time to shore up your resume.

2. Consider less-traditional ways

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‘Unacceptable’ Offers Juicy Details On The Largest College Admissions Scandal : NPR

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A new book tells the story behind Operation Varsity Blues, the largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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A new book tells the story behind Operation Varsity Blues, the largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Elissa Nadworny/NPR

The college admissions process has long been sold as a system of merit: Do well in school, write a killer essay, score well on the SAT, and you’ll get in. Yet the recent nationwide scandal, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, laid bare just how much money, instead of aptitude, often drives admissions at elite colleges.

In March of 2019, federal prosecutors charged 50 people with participating in a scheme to cheat the college admissions system at select colleges nationwide. The investigation into widespread cheating and corruption included Hollywood celebrities, Division I college coaches and wealthy parents who conspired to cheat the process. At its center was a college counselor named Rick Singer, who made millions by bribing coaches at major universities to admit his clients’ children as athletes for sports they often didn’t play, and by rigging SAT and ACT test scores.

In the new book Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit, & the Making of the College Admissions Scandal journalists Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz , who covered Operation Varsity Blues for the Wall Street Journal, give life to the largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The interview was edited for brevity.

What did you find most interesting about Operation Varsity Blues?

Melissa Korn: I found the complexity of the scheme to be the most interesting part. This wasn’t just one corrupt guy helping a crooked parent. Each prong of the operation, both testing and bribery/fake athletes, involved multiple players