Tag Archives: Reform

The Veil of Perfection: Academic (In)Vulnerability

In light of the blog I posted last week, I started to think about constructive ways to think about talking about race, racism, and seemingly difficult topics. I want to be clear, I’m not writing this as a pundit on race or Black Studies, because I’m not—I’m writing this simply as a Black man. There […]

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Melting in Summer

In the summer after high school graduation, many college-intending students often discover themselves to be without the crucial knowledge, resources and direction necessary to smoothly transition to college.  Though they’ve completed all the high school requirements, been accepted to at least one college, applied for financial aid, and indicated their plans to enroll in postsecondary […]

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The Shape of Things to Come

Critics used to deride the use of business terminology to speak about higher education.  Students were not “consumers” because higher education was not a “business.”  Twenty years ago, even a decade ago, the language of the market seemed anathema to many of us in academe.  Such language was akin to having moneychangers in the temple. […]

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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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Summer Reading: Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite

There is a lot to like and dislike in Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite & The Way to a Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz.  The title pretty much sums it up.  What’s thoughtful is also trite and/or an overstatement. Deresiewicz, a former Yale prof who didn’t get tenure, looks on students at […]

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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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What’s in a Title: Non-Profit or For-Profit Colleges

If you’re going to make money as a for-profit college, fair enough.  I understand the strengths and weaknesses of for-profits probably as well as anyone.  I’ve supported them when they are doing what they are supposed to do, and I’ve criticized them when they fall short. My friend and colleague, Bob Shireman, with whom I […]

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Creativity: The Key to Future Employment?

This week, while canvassing for research that might help my end-of-semester papers, I came across a recently published report filled with interesting accounts about the difficulties Millennials in California are facing on the job market.  Seemingly every month, similar reports lament the perceived inadequacies of the U.S. workforce.  Many narratives promote a greater investment in […]

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The Demise of Small Liberal Arts Colleges

(Written with James Dean Ward) The small private liberal arts college may soon be an endangered species. About one-third of the nation’s approximately 4,500 private nonprofit and for-profit institutions have student bodies of 1,500 students or less. Of these, roughly half, or 750, are experiencing financial pressures because of bond indebtedness, according to a recently […]

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