Universities Must Take Responsibility for Student Drinking

Trash strewn throughout neighborhoods, young men uprooting stop signs, people peeing in front yards, drunken brawls, people breaking into strangers' homes and falling asleep there, men punching pizza delivery drivers, and women vandalizing police cars.  No, it's not Skid Row, a gang-infested community, or a post-apocalyptic landscape.  Rather, it's 1 a.m. in a relatively upscale professorial neighborhood of State College, Pennsylvania.  The National Public Radio show This American Life recently profiled the city and Pennsylvania State University, which was recently ranked the #1 "party school" by the Princeton Review....more

I listened to the "Party School" program this week and was blown away by the "happy ...more

The F-Word (Furlough)

Universities around the country, but particularly in California, are furloughing faculty and staff for the first time in the fall. On many campuses, the furlough plans remain amorphous, with staff unions or faculty passing resolutions and university administrators countering with contradictory mandates. It's a mess. ...more

Should students feel the brunt of university budget cuts?

I opened my local newspaper this morning to find faculty opining that any cuts to their salaries should be reflected as reduced time spent in the classroom. For example, the article quotes Professor Keith Watenpaugh of the University of California, Davis religious studies department: ...more


Is it time to end the university as we know it?

This past weekend, I considered a critique of universities as abusive employers and suggested that American universities are, in some ways, profoundly broken. Mark Taylor, chair of the religious studies department at Columbia University, takes this critique to its (il)logical conclusion, calling for us to "End the University as We Know It." He begins with this analogy: ...more

I agree with many of the critics of the op-ed that some of the points were off target and ...more

Are universities abusive employers?

The economy sucks. You're not sure what to do, but you really enjoyed college, especially all that great stuff you read for your English major. You're thinking you should go back to school. After all, people have been predicting for more than a decade that there is a big wave of retirements coming to the professoriate soon. Should you invest the next several years in graduate school so you can become a professor? Um, no. ...more

Are the humanities dispensable?

Earlier this week, the New York Times published an article titled "In Tough Times, Humanities Must Justify Their Worth." The article by Patricia Cohen begins, ...more

The humanities are important because they provide a well-rounded education. Education should ...more

Big Academic is Watching You: Digital Surveillance at Universities

I have heard a couple of professors say that some students are so ingenious when it comes to cheating on tests that the profs feel they should give the students credit for their resourcefulness, even while they fail them on the tests. University administrators, however, are taking a harder stance when it comes to another common form of cheating on campuses: music piracy. Higher stakes in music piracy enforcement ...more