Tag Archives: Students

The Ivory Tower—An Investment or a Gamble

While planning to review Ivory Tower, Andrew Rossi’s inventive documentary about higher education, I felt fortunate to have an arts house landmark theatre in St Louis. But I had a friend visiting for the weekend, so I sat alone at the noon showing at the Tivoli theatre in the University City Loop. It was an […]

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Graduates and Servants

What does it mean to be an indentured servant? Ask a senior in a selective college and you might be surprised by his or her answer. This semester I interviewed over 30 undergraduate juniors and seniors about financial aid, and one interview in particular stands out. I spoke with a graduating senior who had already […]

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The Pros and Cons of Editing for Promotion, Tenure, and the Intellectual Life

I am frequently asked about the invisible rules for promotion and tenure, or for advice on what is a good use of one’s time. These are fair questions and I’m probably the right person to ask since I am asked to review an awful lot of dossiers over the course of a year. There are […]

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How is a Dissertation Like Falling in Love?

Even a cursory reading of pop psychology reveals that humans attempt to recreate the love they once felt from their parents in the arms of another adult later in life. Falling in love, then, is a precarious practice and—as with all hazardous yet vital life activities—there is a constant possibility of torment. So too then, […]

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A Research Agenda for For-Profit Colleges and Universities

At first glance, the topic of a research agenda for for-profit institutions may seem to be a rather narrow, technical issue, of concern largely to those closely affiliated with those institutions—at most, some of those who work in them, who regulate them, who study them, and maybe even some of those who take courses in […]

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Tomorrow is Independence Day

Tomorrow is Independence Day. For many, July 4 is a day of rest spent with family and/or friends eating and drinking (and in my case avoiding getting a really bad sunburn). In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to point out two random facts about Independence Day … 8 of the 56 signers of […]

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Outsourcing and Its Consequences IV: Final Considerations

This is the fourth installment in a four-part series focusing on outsourcing in higher education. Part I is here, Part II is here, and Part III is here. Last year, the California State Legislature considered outsourcing courses to external providers. The Democratic-controlled legislature was troubled that students could not get the classes they needed. The […]

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Commissioners, Campaigns, and Crazy Kittens

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking during the public comment session at the California Student Aid Commission meeting. Every month, Governor-appointed Commissioners meet to tackle some of the challenges mentioned in the most recent string of 21st Century Scholar blog posts. We have been working closely with the Commission over the […]

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Outsourcing and Its Consequences III: “Lead Generation” and Slippery Slopes in Higher Education

This is the third installment in a four-part series focusing on outsourcing in higher education. Part I is here and Part II is here. Until September 2013, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) prohibited the use of commissioned agents in international student recruitment. There are numerous purist reasons to disdain what has come […]

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Stats, Stories, and Policy Design

In my last post, I mentioned Illinois’ new testing plan, which sets different testing standards based on student demographics including race and class. The policy oozes the flawed logic that has defined the accountability era: Statistics—and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, in particular—represent the gold standard of educational research. Before you either tune me in or […]

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