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Emote, protest, get naked for your professor, and get credit
Such assignments do not prepare students for the world of work and adult responsibilities, where their emotions do not factor in performance reviews, where they are expected to communicate in a clear and logical manner, and where they will have to know certain facts in order to build a bridge, argue a legal case, treat a heart attack victim, or teach children to read. Nor do such assignments prepare them to participate as free and literate citizens in a constitutional republic.... More »
May 22, 2015

A liberal calls out intolerant leftists who smother free speech on campus
The rise of intolerance on campus and beyond makes a new book by columnist and television commentator Kirsten Powers a must-read. If you do not yet believe that American higher education is smothered in intolerance of diverse ideas, read The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.... More »
May 20, 2015

With friends like these, the humanities needs no enemies
Do we still need the humanities? Yes, now more than ever. But the current academicization, politicization, and jargon mean that college may be the worst place to look for them. That's where you go for Queerness, libidinal data, and negotiated flesh. On the bright side, it may be that the liberal arts and humanities will flourish once they escape the airless vaults of academia.... More »
May 18, 2015

College faculty should work full-time; here's one thing to keep them busier
I believe that colleges need to dramatically step up their game in terms of student course selection and coordination of electives across disciplines, and also to link more substantively to the employer community.... More »
May 15, 2015

Is it possible to calculate how much value a college adds?
According to a new report by Jonathan Rothwell and Siddharth Kulkarni of the Brookings Institution, yes.... More »
May 13, 2015

Pending bills represent progress toward reforming higher ed in North Carolina
Pending bills represent progress toward reforming higher education in North Carolina. However, they are only scratching the surface of the work that needs to be done. The scandals at UNC-Chapel Hill show that the UNC system desperately needs to be made more transparent. And more attention should be directed to reducing the cost of a university education by making the system more efficient. Even so, some reform is better than none.... More »
May 11, 2015

Big-name commencement speakers: revered tradition or a waste of time and money?
There is an argument to be made for giving students the commencement speaker they want. Many schools choose based on student input: it’s their graduation, and they or their parents paid hard-earned money to make that happen. But how many of those students would spend money on a commencement speaker if given the choice to save it?... More »
May 08, 2015

Brown University doubles down on "diversity"
Despite howls of denial, there can be no doubt that "diversity" hiring (i.e., hiring faculty who wouldn't have been hired but for their race, ethnicity, gender expression, etc.) produces "diversity hires" with lower academic qualifications just as surely as lowering admission standards to enroll more underrepresented minorities admits students who have lower qualifications.... More »
May 06, 2015

Reforms aimed at fighting grade inflation are falling short
The methods that some universities have devised to combat grade inflation—capping high grades and adding more "contextual" information to transcripts—are problematic. While it may be good for universities to experiment with some of these reforms, they don't appear to be final solutions to a complex problem that has been festering for decades.... More »
May 04, 2015

Scandal reveals two cultures at Chapel Hill
Among the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill there are two quite different views of the university's recent athletic/academic scandal.... More »
May 01, 2015

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