Professional Excellence: Can It Be Learned in College?

After spending thirty years in a corporate environment, I embarked on a second career as a member of the faculty and staff of a liberal arts college. Each semester I would dedicate one class to the topic of “business courtesy,” highlighting for the students the personal behaviors that can distinguish them in the workplace. Since … Continue reading “Professional Excellence: Can It Be Learned in College?”


Which College or Whether College? Maybe the Feds Can Help, After All

When I enrolled in college back in the prehistoric days of 1966, the process was simple. I went to the high school guidance office, browsed some college catalogs, spoke with the guidance counselor about which school might be right for me, and sent off one application. Once accepted, my parents drove me to campus to … Continue reading “Which College or Whether College? Maybe the Feds Can Help, After All”


Welcome to Freshman Orientation, Now Meet Your Career Counselor!

Every semester during my thirteen years of teaching at a liberal arts college, several senior year students would approach me and ask if I “knew of any jobs out there.” The issue went deeper than the angst of seniors about their employment prospects, however. I found that the school often failed to thoroughly inform students … Continue reading “Welcome to Freshman Orientation, Now Meet Your Career Counselor!”




Americans used to save for college; moves toward making it free are not progress

I am strongly committed to higher education, especially in the sciences and math where we are lagging other countries. I also understand that there are students of limited means, and they need a hand up in life. But we seem to no longer draw rational lines between serious students who need assistance, and the many non-serious students who squander it.


The Goucher College video app is a terrible idea

Back in the early 1990s, while I was in the middle of a long business career, I recall reading that the University of Pennsylvania had decided to add an unusual essay requirement for their undergraduate applicants. Specifically, the students were asked to submit “Page 217” of their 300-page autobiography. Remember now, these budding autobiographers were all of 17 years old.