Remembering Title IX Abuses

Recently, Title IX has been in the news because of the Biden administration’s promised (and, as of yesterday, delivered) rejection of much-needed Trump-era reforms. As we are approaching the 50th anniversary of the statute, introduced as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, it is worth revisiting the history of Title IX and reviewing its … Continue reading “Remembering Title IX Abuses”

The Limits of Expertise

As a professor devoted to his college’s “pre-disciplinary” core curriculum, I was hooked by David Epstein’s title, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. The book is chock-full of anecdotes and evidence that people with breadth or range—indeed, amateurs in the true sense of the word—can contribute immensely to enterprises in environments that seem, … Continue reading “The Limits of Expertise”

Birds of Paradise: The Moral Poverty of Faculty Freedom Fighters

Carl Dobsky’s brilliant, fiery painting “Birds of Paradise” has been the focus of attention at his recent exhibitions, because it accurately and effectively captures the zeitgeist of contemporary American life. The painting is set in the backyard of a bourgeois Los Angeles home, where a laughing group of partying Angelinos drink red wine from large … Continue reading “Birds of Paradise: The Moral Poverty of Faculty Freedom Fighters”

Connecting Degree Return-On-Investment with a Better Financing System

While some nerdy people like me thought that college was fun, and so stayed in it for life, for most people it is a chore to be completed with the goal of higher income. College is a big investment—of time, of expenses such as tuition, and of wages unearned due to one’s being in school. … Continue reading “Connecting Degree Return-On-Investment with a Better Financing System”

The Public Discourse Program at UNC-Chapel Hill: Expanding Students’ Minds

Since the rise of social media, many students have gotten used to discussing difficult topics within the protection of their own echo chambers. Students are often not expected to defend their points of view or engage with others of differing opinions. While universities frequently support such closed-mindedness with “safe spaces” and the barring of certain … Continue reading “The Public Discourse Program at UNC-Chapel Hill: Expanding Students’ Minds”

Why Johnny Can’t Relax

Alarming rates of depression and anxiety in college students are drawing headlines. A recent study reports that 41% of college students show symptoms of depression, and nearly three-fourths have experienced “overwhelming anxiety.” Whatever one thinks of statistics like these (and I question them), college students have reason to be fearful and sad because they’re surrounded … Continue reading “Why Johnny Can’t Relax”

Don’t Write a Blank Check to Your Alma Mater

When persons of means contemplate death, the question of where to leave their financial assets becomes acute. If they are higher education graduates, their former campuses have “advancement teams” ready to answer questions, provide forms, and urge investments in their institutions. Sometimes they will appeal to altruism, sometimes ideology, and sometimes ego. Would you like … Continue reading “Don’t Write a Blank Check to Your Alma Mater”

Self-Identified “Compelling Interests” are Not a License to Discriminate

To what extent can a selective educational institution advantage certain racial groups in admissions decisions without discriminating against other groups simultaneously? How can said institutions balance external demands for fairness and group representation with their core mission to educate students sufficiently? How much influence should an institution itself wield, compared with other stakeholders (including the … Continue reading “Self-Identified “Compelling Interests” are Not a License to Discriminate”

The Debate Over Canceling Student Loan Debt

From the earliest days of his administration, President Biden has been under pressure from activist groups and many fellow Democrats to take action to relieve students of their college loan debts. For example, a coalition of 105 organizations urged him to unilaterally cancel most or all of the more than $1.6 trillion that students owe. … Continue reading “The Debate Over Canceling Student Loan Debt”

Did You Know? COVID-19 Relief Funds and Campus Mental Health

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging colleges and universities to use their COVID-19 relief funds for student mental health programs? Over the past two years, there has been a major uptick of concern about mental health on college and university campuses, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing repercussions. … Continue reading “Did You Know? COVID-19 Relief Funds and Campus Mental Health”