Archive by Author

The Social Construction of Geography

I appreciate that geography can be an iffy matter.  The way we look at the world changes the way we look at the world.  Who owns those rocky islands between Japan and China?  Do we really have to list Crimea as part of Russia now? But some things are settled, even if we don’t like […]

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On Bargaining

Over the years lots of individuals have asked me how to negotiate for a new faculty position, a new job, a raise, or a promotion.  There are three basic rules to follow: Don’t be a doormat:  Rarely do I hear of positions where there is zero negotiation.  I know it’s nice to have a job, […]

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Why Free College Tuition is a Bad Idea: Water and College

President Obama has come out for what Tennessee has put forward, which is free college tuition at the community college level.  If we skim over the idea, it sounds terrific – go to college for free.  Who can be against that? Let’s recognize nothing is free.  Colleges have to get money from somewhere, so all […]

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The Small Liberal Arts, and Not-So-Liberal Arts, College: RIP

A conundrum exists in postsecondary enrollment. I have written repeatedly that we need more students participating in the post-secondary sector. At the same time, most of public higher education seems reluctant to consider alternative models of offering degrees that would be cheaper and of consequence. This would likely involve fewer tenure track faculty. The bloom […]

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Christmas 2014

One way to look at this past year is to look forward. Barry retires in August. I have a sabbatical in September and we will go somewhere for a year, probably to India or Turkey. I find out in March. We will return to Hong Kong in May for the second stage of my fellowship […]

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I Read This and You Probably Should Too: The Entrepreneurial State

The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato is not a sizzler that will keep you awake until you find out how it turns out. She’s an economist so the prose is workmanlike and the text can be excruciatingly dull—until you consider the ramifications of her argument. Remember Elizabeth Warren’s “you […]

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I Read This Book and You Can If You Want To: “These Kids: Identity, Agency, and Social Justice at a Last Chance High School” by Kysa Nygreen

I approached this 217-page book with a fair amount of hope but finished it disappointed. Any book, especially an academic text, can be a disappointment and yet the text can be a learning experience. If I were to suggest that someone read this book I would probably recommend it for its flaws rather than its […]

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On Community

A month ago I wrote about how mentoring is a two-way street and how much I have gained from those who I have tried to mentor. It got me to thinking about community and our relationship to others. Over the course of my life there have been moments that I have engaged in activities that […]

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I Read This Book and You Have To: It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd is a fun, thoughtful, essential book to read for anyone who is trying to make sense of how teenagers make use of social media. Her narrative voice is great; from page 1 until the end of the book 213 pages later, the reader has […]

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Paying for College

Over the last several years we have rightfully been obsessing about student debt. Many students are taking on too much debt. The cost of college can also be a turnoff for poor students who understand debt but don’t necessarily understand foregone earnings. Why go to school for four years, incur debt, and end up with […]

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