Tag Archives: Academe

Higher Education in Hong Kong

For the last month I have been in residence as a Fellow at the University of Hong Kong.  The Fellowship is a three-year interdisciplinary arrangement where I am in residence.  My obligations are relatively minor: we outlined a plan over a three year time horizon that involves offering a lecture or two every time I […]

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Alice Goffman, Ethics, and Advising

A few years ago, as a graduate student at USC, I visited the American Sociological Association’s website. A name grabbed my attention. “Goffman,” I thought, “She can’t be related to the Goffman.” Alice Goffman, as it turns out, is the daughter of renowned sociologist Erving Goffman. I hurried to Google. She received her Ph.D. from […]

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The Disconnect Between Innovation and University Rankings

A few weeks ago, I made the case that university rankings offer little of relevance or substance to prospective students.  This week, I would like to discuss the similarly tenuous relationship between university rankings and the stated ambition of many contemporary universities to be innovative. Two years ago, the president of Arizona State University, Michael […]

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I Don’t Give Shots…

I’ve found that a lot of folks don’t really understand what someone with a Ph.D. in education does.  They grasp that I teach, but not what I teach.  They somewhat get that I do research, but the fact that the research doesn’t take place in a lab is perplexing.  They are confused by the perpetual […]

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Mergers and Aquisitions

It’s March 2011. California’s next governor calls a morning news conference to make a stunning announcement: The Apollo Group’s University of Phoenix will pay $2.3 billion to buy the California State University system. “The previous administration left us with few alternatives,” explains the new governor, who won election on a campaign pledge to end California’s […]

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When Entrepreneurialism “Disrupts” Academic and Artistic Rigor

Imagine, for a moment, the following scenario: A department of economics, with an internationally-respected, highly-selective graduate program that provides full funding for PhD students, receives a $70 million donation from a capital venture fund.  The donation, introduced by prominent figures from the financial investment world (perhaps Robert Kraft or James Dimon), is earmarked for the […]

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Escaping the Digital

“What’s the Point of a Professor” was a New York Times opinion piece by Mark Bauerlein that has generated wide response and conversation about the role of the professor in the 21st century. Bauerlein argues that professors are becoming more like “accreditors” and fail to inspire and invest in students like the professors of old. Although […]

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The Wonder of Big Science I

A few months ago Barry and I went up to Vandenberg Air Force Base to watch his rocket ship take off.  About 2,000 individuals who had been working on the project assembled in Buellton the night before the launch.  If you’re looking for a good time, then meeting 1,000 engineers and their families in Buellton […]

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Book Review: The Teacher Wars – Dana Goldstein (I read this and you should, too.)

As a first-year PhD student at Stanford we all had to take a course whose title I forget but was taught by David Tyack.  It was a superb seminar largely because David had us read primary texts and Tyack was a phenomenal teacher.  In a quiet, conversational, engaging and funny manner David had us read […]

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On Academic Life: You Didn’t Really Do It On Your Own

I often wonder how fate has intervened at various times in my career to lead me to where I am today. For example, I often think about the possibility that I might have ended up working in the mines of northern Mexico in the state of Durango, where my father was born sometime around 1917. […]

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