Filed under Sociology

NCAA’s New Enforcement Chief Sees Colleges as Customers

Call it the kinder, gentler NCAA. Hoping to quell criticism over high-profile problems in its enforcement division, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is pushing an unusual approach—treating athletics departments more like customers than adversaries. The idea, championed by Jonathan Duncan, who was named head of enforcement this week after serving for a year as interim … Continue reading

Survey: Nearly One-quarter Recall Negative Social Climate Experience in UC System

Almost one-quarter of University of California system students, staff and faculty members say they have personally encountered some exclusionary, intimidating, offensive or hostile conduct while on campus, and 9 percent indicated that such negative experiences had interfered with their abilities to study or work, a new university system survey says. Last week’s release of the … Continue reading

The Dangers of Victimizing Ph.D.’s

Every month or so, a disturbing story emerges from the frontlines of the academic job market, contributing to a growing genre of social commentary about the brutality of academe. A few weeks ago, Patrick Iber, a visiting lecturer at Berkeley, wrote yet another such essay, describing how his quest for a tenure-track position had been … Continue reading

Are All Studies the Study of the Self?

The modern obsession with self has led—most visibly, thanks to the Internet—to confessional blogging, Twitter and Facebook self-promotion, and, ultimately, to the “selfie” (the Word of the Year for 2013 according to Oxford Dictionaries). This emphasis on the first person might seem inevitable in an age dominated by what Tom Wolfe labeled the “Me Generation.” … Continue reading

Faculty Members Are Not Cashiers

This month Texas A&M University at Kingsville posted a new job ad for a faculty member in early-modern/Renaissance literature. The first line of the “job summary” reads, in all capital letters: “PROVIDE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE.” A bit lower, the job description mentions that the selected candidate will have to teach four courses a semester while … Continue reading

Women’s Rights Advocates: African Feminists Don’t Need American Validation

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Leymah Gbowee, scholars and international social justice advocates discussed women’s rights movements in Africa during a symposium this week at Barnard College in New York. Planned to coincide with the meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Barnard College hosted African Women’s Rights and Resilience, which covered … Continue reading

College, Federal Financial Aid Increasingly Benefits The Rich

It’s not just colleges and universities that are shifting their financial aid from lower-income to higher-income students. Tuition tax credits and other tax breaks to offset the cost of higher education—nearly invisible federal government subsidies for families that send their kids to college—also disproportionally benefit more affluent Americans. So do tax-deductible savings plans and the … Continue reading

Poorer Families Are Bearing the Brunt of College Price Hikes

America’s colleges and universities are quietly shifting the burden of their big tuition increases onto low-income students, while many higher-income families are seeing their college costs rise more slowly, or even fall, an analysis of federal data shows. It’s a trend financial-aid experts and some university administrators worry will further widen the gap between the … Continue reading

In Gay Marriage Suit, a Battle Over Research

It was, like a dozen others in recent months, a court battle over gay marriage. But this one was punctuated by charges of scholarly groupthink, the public repudiation by a university department of its own tenured professor, a reference to witch-burning and an economist’s assertion that in his view, those engaging in homosexual acts are … Continue reading