On Class and Skills and Education

In a comment to yesterday’s post about the liberal arts, Eric Lund makes a good point: The best argument I have ever heard for doing scholarship in literature and other such fields is that some people find it fun. I single this out as a good point not because I want to sneer at the […]

Administrative Bloat? Numbers Need Context

A currently popular explanation for the increasing price of higher education is that all those tuition dollars are being soaked up by bloated bureaucracy– that is, that there are too many administrators for the number of faculty and students involved. While I like this better than the “tenured faculty are greedy and lazy” explanation you […]

PNAS: SM, Canadian Grant Officer

(This post is part of the new round of interviews of non-academic scientists, giving the responses of S.M., a Canadian government employee who would prefer not to be identified by name. The goal is to provide some additional information for science students thinking about their fiuture careers, describing options beyond the assumed default Ph.D.–post-doc–academic-job track.) […]

Is College Worth It?

As I noted the other day, we’re entering graduation season, one of the two month-long periods (the other being “back to school” time in August/September) when everybody pretends to care deeply about education. Accordingly, the people at the Pew Research Center have released a new report on the opinions of the general public and college […]

Identifying the Real Source of Student Entitlement

College graduation season is upon us, at least for institutions running on a semester calendar (sadly, Union’s trimester system means we have another month to go). This means the start of the annual surge of Very Serious op-eds about what education means, giving advice to graduates, etc. The New York Times gets things rolling with […]

Annual Mis-Reporting on Graduation Rates

It’s NCAA tournament time, which is time for everybody to break out the moralizing stories about the pernicious aspects of college athletics that they’ve been sitting on since the football season ended. The Associated Press (via the New York Times) clocks in with a particularly discreditable entry, a story on a study of racial disparities […]