VUToday: A weekly roundup of Vanderbilt stories in the news

vutoday-emailUniversity News and Communications publishes VUToday, a compilation of Vanderbilt mentions in the media, each weekday. Read a selection of Vanderbilt news stories for the week of Aug. 15. To subscribe to the daily VUToday newsletter, visit

The Washington Post: Vanderbilt University removes ‘Confederate’ from inscription at front of dorm
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced Aug. 15 that the university will delete the word “Confederate” from the stone pediment at the entrance to a student dormitory known as Memorial Hall. “It’s been a source of controversy, contention and disagreement and various debates over the decades,” Zeppos said. The announcement received broad coverage, including articles in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, NPR, The Huffington Post, NBC News, ABC News, The Christian Science Monitor, Politico, Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Education, WPLN and The Tennessean, which quoted Vanderbilt Student Government President Ariana Fowler in addition to the chancellor.

The Wall Street Journal: Appeals court: Maker of web spy tool can be sued for alleged wiretap violations
A federal appeals court in Ohio has revived a lawsuit against a company accused of helping a husband spy on his wife and her online friend in violation of state and federal wiretap laws. The case is one of several in recent years to highlight the increasing presence of easy-to-use electronic spy tools in domestic life and divorce proceedings, where evidence of infidelity can carry a tremendous advantage. Mark Pickrell, adjunct professor of law and interim head of Vanderbilt Law School’s Appellate Litigation Clinic, which represents the plaintiff in the case, is quoted.

The Christian Science Monitor: Trump hands his campaign to the ‘alt-right’ movement
By allying with the alt-right—an energetic and controversial corner of the conservative insurgency—Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has joined forces with kindred spirits. Trump’s tapping of the alt-right could help solidify his base by letting Trump be Trump, and potentially propel him to hit Hillary Clinton’s weak points harder. Marc Hetherington, professor of political science, is quoted.

Science (AAAS): The Wari’s grisly end—the fall of a South American empire
When the end came for the first Andean empire, it wasn’t pretty. The Wari state controlled most of the Peruvian highlands and coast, integrating disparate cultures and building a network of roads that the Inca would later repurpose for their own empire. But its collapse around 1000 C.E. amid a severe drought unleashed centuries of violence and deprivation, according to new research by Vanderbilt researchers. Study author Tiffiny Tung, associate professor of anthropology, and Theresa Miller, a chemical engineering student at Vanderbilt who worked with Tung, are quoted.

The Huffington Post: Changing Cuba and the race to save the past
In Cuba’s interior cities, the cultural patrimony of the Cuban people in the form of millions of pages of records of daily life from the 1500s to the present are slowly disintegrating. An international team of historians led by Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History, is racing to save these irreplaceable documents, and a new project by David LeFevor of the University of Texas at Arlington has now joined the effort.

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