Division and Change in Higher Education

Most universities are struggling to maintain enrollments, endowments, and educational quality. Meanwhile, student applications, sources of revenue, and credibility among constituents are all in a steady decline. We are told that the very survival of the academy will depend on our ability to change, but divisions and conflicts get in the way. This admonition is … Continue reading

A Familiar Anger Begins to Boil Again in Mexico

The fate of 43 college students missing and presumed killed and burned to ashes in a mass abduction in September has bred ire and indignation in many corners of Mexico. Spectators held up posters with the faces of the students at a soccer match last week between Mexico and the Netherlands. Thousands of demonstrators, mostly teachers … Continue reading

Errors That Lead to Chronic Career Disorder

Look deep into the ranks of the unemployed and the underemployed in the nation and you’ll find many who have earned a college degree. Education and degree attainment were supposed to be the gateway to opportunity, the key to career success and satisfaction. Unfortunately, for many, it hasn’t worked out that way. Add to this … Continue reading

Confessions of a Young, Prolific Academic

Read enough columns about the crisis in the humanities, the publish-or-perish dilemma, or the faculty job market, and you’re likely to think that we academic writers spend our days and nights imprisoned in dimly lit cubicles, praying for relief. But we’re not all miserable, and I think it’s time to give an alternate take on … Continue reading

Are We Forgiving Too Much Student-Loan Debt?

Back in 2007, Congress made a simple promise to student-loan borrowers: Stick with a public-service career for 10 years, making monthly payments along the way, and we’ll forgive the rest of your debt. Now, as the bill gets closer to coming due, a growing chorus of analysts and observers is asking: Was that the right … Continue reading

Why Ph.D.s Shouldn’t Teach College Students

Despite a college degree’s enormous cost, almost halfof college freshmen (43%) don’t graduate even if given six years. If they graduate, a 2011 national study found, 36% of the 1,600 students tested “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” in four years. And in the just-published follow-up, which tracked those students since their graduation … Continue reading