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 […]

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 […]

Hampshire College Professor Margaret Cerullo Assures Students, “You Don’t Have to Read It to Know What’s in It”

I haven’t been so excited about alternating narrators since first reading Faulkner as an undergraduate.  I am counting the days till Boxing Day, when I can repair to my aerie high atop Copley Square and settle in with Christine Benvenuto’s Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On and Joy Ladin’s Through the […]

Academic Bombast: A Little Bit of Cis and That

Academics can be full of surprises. Just when you are about to write off the lot of them as pompous and often criminally inclined boors whose bloated prose only a Judith Butler could love, they redeem themselves with a bit of self-aware mockery. Wags at the University of Chicago have come up with a nifty […]

Commencement: Higher Ed’s Last Chance to Think Critically on Behalf of its Graduates

The envelope, please. Broadway has the Tony Awards; Hollywood, the Oscars; and then of course there is the eponymously named Booker Prize. As a species we are fond of handing out honors for accomplishments small and large. Higher education is no different, and this month begins the academy’s own silly season of awards. I am […]

It Takes One to Know One: Professor Carmola’s Ethical Lapses

UPDATE: Addison Criminal Division ============== 05/09/11 State vs. Carmola, Kateri 51-1-11 Ancr/Criminal Nancy S. Corsones Plea Conference As I believe I have mentioned a time or two, one of the most endearing characteristics typical of college faculty members is their utter lack of a sense of irony. When you put that together with their finely […]

Mills College President Janet Holmgren Dogged by Controversy

One of the perks of working for a college president is that occasionally you get to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.  I, for example, once attended a Rose Garden swearing-in ceremony and met President Clinton, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan and General Colin Powell.  It was thrilling.  Another time I sat inches away from […]

Profiles in Academic Courage and Class: Robert Paul Wolff

I have been following the kerfuffle surrounding a recent blog post by The New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz and the consternation it has caused within academic circles with amused interest.  The timing of this dust-up could not be more exquisite, for Peretz is about to be honored by Harvard, his alma mater and employer.  Marty, […]

Administer with Care

Every enterprise has its own in-jokes, I suppose. In academic circles, and by that I mean in ballrooms of tony convention hotels in Washington, San Francisco, Miami, or San Diego where porcine college presidents, vice presidents and deans gather for top-level meetings on issues of national importance. In academic circles you are guaranteed a chuckle […]