The Ugly Side of the Elites: Derek Bok Knows What’s Good for You

Former Harvard University President Derek Bok has an essay in today’s Inside Higher Ed that I find disturbing. It’s not that Improving the Quality of Higher Education contains frightening revelations about the current state of post-secondary education–indeed, for most of the essay Bok simply repeats points he has made in his earlier books Our Underachieving […]

Inside the Ivory Tower, Where the Wild Things Are

Fess up. Just like me, you’ve been spending lazy summer afternoons pondering the question of the moment: why can’t higher education get no respect? Put another way, why have U.S. college and university campuses become the collective laughingstock of thinking people everywhere? Look no further that today’s home page of Inside Higher Education, an on-line […]

HOORAY for Harvard President Drew Faust!

Yesterday Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, became one of my personal heroes.  She spoke the truth, and spoke it plainly, as she explained the university’s wise and courageous decision to refrain from divesting in fossil fuel-related businesses. She pointed out the troubling inconsistency in the notion that, as an investor, [Harvard] should boycott a […]

RIP Sheldon Hackney

Sheldon Hackney, head of the NEH under President Clinton, former president of the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University, is probably the most famous person I have ever known. I worked with him, or more accurately, for him, on Martha’s Vineyard, where he chaired any number of boards. Sheldon died earlier this week, at what […]

Gee, Did I Say Something Wrong?

When last Miss wrote about Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, he was making Lincolnesque statements about outsourcing the campus’s parking lots. Today’s statement announces his imminent retirement. Apparently President Gee decided that the Columbus, despite its name, is just too far from the bounding main for his liking, given that he made his […]

A Campus Combats its Whiteness: The University of Kentucky’s Search for a Diversified Provost

Question: What upcoming contest has Lexington turf accountants working overtime? If you answered “the Run for the Roses”: no mint juleps for you.  The match-up that has fans of diversity rushing to place their bets is a barn-burner at the University of Kentucky, where three diverse finalists are running neck and neck in the Provost’s […]

MIT, A Heroic Campus Patrol Officer, and the Right Thing

Press releases from colleges and universities rarely evoke feelings from me, other than a vague sense of embarrassment or a twinge of nausea, but yesterday’s announcement from MIT made me cry: MIT announces plans to commemorate Patrol Officer Sean Collier Absent the phalanx of committees and recommendations that usually accompany a “naming opportunity,” the good […]

RIP Randolph Bromery, 1926-2013

Randolph Bromery was Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts from 1971 until 1979.  After he retired from that position, he became the go-to guy for troubled or scandal-wracked institutions in the Commonwealth. If a campus was destroying itself from within, Chancellor Bromery would ride to the rescue–and fix things, for real. I stood in awe […]

Carbon Footprints in the Snow: Unity College Takes on the Oil Companies. Sorta.

January in Collegetown, USA is bleak: if it’s not bone-chillingly cold, it’s overcast and foggy.  The days are short and the nights are long, and last week I spent $750 for one hundred or so gallons of oil to heat my home. So I read with interest in this morning’s update from the Chronicle of […]

Hiding in Plain Sight: Alcohol and the Suicide of Trey Malone

It was with great sadness, professional interest, and morbid curiosity that I read the full text of a recent suicide’s note to his family and friends. It is almost unheard of that there be public access to such text, but the parents of this sad young man thought his final words to them should be […]