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 […]

ACE: Where “Inclusive Excellence” is an Oxymoron

A press announcement from the American Council on Education (ACE) trumpets the release of The Education Gap: Understanding African American and Hispanic Attainment Disparities in Higher Education, yet another entry in the endless stream of apologias explaining away the overall poor performance of the eponymous minority groups.  Before plunging into the slough of despond The […]

A New Entry for Academic Trompe L’Oeil? Racial Slurs in UCLA Johns

Or maybe it should be “racial slurs about UCLA johns.” Whatever. The Daily Bruin reports: University police are investigating racial and sexist slurs, similar to those posted on a Vietnamese Student Union sign earlier this week, that were found written on the door of a bathroom stall in Powell Library Wednesday. Second-year psychobiology student Antonette […]

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 […]

OCR Establishes College Admissions Standards for Fourth Graders

I have resolutely stayed out of the government-is-too-big-for-its-britches debate that is raging during the hot stove run-up to the 2012 election. Public higher education is so overly administered that there is nothing really new to add to this conversation. But a recent ruling by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) concerning the University of Utah’s […]

Should the Nanny State Intervene to Fix Commencement?

Remember the “African proverb,” “it takes a village to raise a child,” Hillary Clinton borrowed for a book title? One would think this month that the village wise men and women would be out in force to congratulate the children they have nurtured with their tutelage. One would think. But one would be wrong. My […]

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 […]

Move Over, Amy Bishop: It’s STILL All About Process

Shush…be quiet…listen carefully: those mewling sounds you hear ever so faintly are urgent cris du coeur on behalf of former University of Virginia student George Huguely from academics worried about his right to “due process” from the university. This would be the same George Huguely who has withdrawn from the University of Virginia and therefore […]

Fuzzy Math: What President Obama Could Learn From Community College Students

On Tuesday, March 30, President Obama made remarks at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, on the occasion of the president’s signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. It was a feel-good moment for those of us who have taught in community colleges, have relatives and friends who attended them, or have ourselves benefited […]

Financial Aid: An Unfortunate Model for Health Care Reform

As college admissions’ offices are gearing up to flood the USPS with acceptance packets and rejection letters, parents of college-bound teenagers are shifting through their piles of “I’ll read it later” to pull out the US News & World Report that’s been out of sight since last August, when parents and their kids bought it […]