It’s Time to Abolish Letters of Recommendation

Every year, professors around the world write millions of letters of recommendation. They write letters for admission to graduate schools, law schools, and medical schools. They write letters for tenure cases to help colleagues with their promotions. They write letters for students who wish to study abroad. They write letters for fellowships and scholarships. They … Continue reading “It’s Time to Abolish Letters of Recommendation”


Conservative Arguments in Support of Undocumented College Students

In 2011, the leading Republican presidential candidates met for a debate and former Texas governor Rick Perry was booed by the audience. During the debate, he was asked to explain his approval of a policy at the University of Texas that gave scholarships to undocumented students. The audience did not approve. Governor Perry was right … Continue reading “Conservative Arguments in Support of Undocumented College Students”


Why Humanities Programs Suffer as the Humanities Themselves Do Great

In recent years, the media has given us dire warnings about the “crisis of the humanities.” In article after article, one reads about falling enrollments in college English departments and funding cuts. Inside Higher Ed, a popular website that covers higher education, reports that English majors have declined 20 percent since 2012. History programs have … Continue reading “Why Humanities Programs Suffer as the Humanities Themselves Do Great”


Defining Faculty Roles: Scholarship First, Activism Second

Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on faculty roles in higher education. Part II by Jay Schalin is here and Part III by John Wilson is here. Let’s imagine that you felt a lump in your body and went to the doctor. Once you sat down in the examination room, the … Continue reading “Defining Faculty Roles: Scholarship First, Activism Second”


Should We Stop Asking College Students to Evaluate Their Instructors?

At the end of every semester, at nearly every college in the country, millions and millions of students fill out student evaluations of teachers. These forms ask very sensible questions. Did the teacher effectively communicate the material? Were they available for students? Department chairs and deans take these evaluations very seriously. At teaching-intensive institutions, these … Continue reading “Should We Stop Asking College Students to Evaluate Their Instructors?”