Filed under Sociology

The Day the Purpose of College Changed

The governor had bad news: The state budget was in crisis, and everyone needed to tighten their belts. High taxes threatened “economic ruin,” said the newly elected Ronald Reagan. Welfare stood to be curbed, the highway patrol had fat to trim. Everything would be pared down; he’d start with his own office. California still boasted … Continue reading

I Owe It All to Community College

Tom Hanks on His Two Years at Chabot College: IN 1974, I graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland, Calif., an underachieving student with lousy SAT scores. Allowed to send my results to three colleges, I chose M.I.T. and Villanova, knowing such fine schools would never accept a student like me but hoping they’d toss … Continue reading

Why You Need to Leave Academia in 2015

Academia is broken. The time to leave it is now. If you don’t leave, you will be poor, mistreated, and unhappy. There’s a myth in academia, perpetuated by other (mostly unhappy) academics that says you can only be a successful PhD if you become a tenured professor and continue to publish in academic journals. This … Continue reading

How Sociologists Made Themselves Irrelevant

Early in 2014, President Obama announced a new initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, aimed at alleviating the problems of black youth. Not only did a task force appointed to draw up the policy agenda not include a single professional sociologist, but I could find no evidence that any sociologist was even consulted in the critical first … Continue reading

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

Student Diversity at 4,725 Institutions

This table shows the race, ethnicity, and gender of 20,642,572 students enrolled at 4,725 colleges and universities in the fall of 2012, the latest year for which figures are available. Of those, 56.8 percent were female, and 54.3 percent were white. Among minority groups, Hispanics made up the largest share, representing 13.6 percent of all … Continue reading