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August 17, 2007 - 7:26am
It is rankings time again, as everyone interested in colleges and universities know. This annual celebration gives everyone something. It gives the rich elite colleges a way to demonstrate their presumed superiority and it gives everyone else an opportunity to identify the errors, misconceptions and ideological biases that inform the lists. As often observed, when institutions rise in spurious rankings, they publicize the results; when they fall in the same rankings, they critique the methodology.
August 16, 2007 - 9:35am
Students are returning to Hinterland’s campus in droves, and it’s not even dorm move-in yet, let alone the start of the semester. I can’t recall another time with this many early birds, thousands of them, soon to be tens of thousands. What does it mean? Is the economy so bad that summer jobs are finished early or never got started? Is it an index of intergenerational squabbling—they’re sick of mom and dad? Or is it a new lurch toward conservatism, with confident youth eager to finish their degrees and get started making money?
August 15, 2007 - 10:37am
When universities, and university systems, become very rich and very byzantine, it's both hard to run them and easy to fleece them. "Spending 17 years in a laboratory doesn't exactly set you up for running what is in effect a multibillion-dollar corporation," sniffed one California state official when asked to comment on the dismissal of Robert Dynes, president of the University of California system, who was fired over dinner the other day at Trader Vic's.
August 15, 2007 - 6:44am
According to this article, Anthony Campbell, the Dean of Students at Rider College (N.J.), has been indicted on charges of “aggravated hazing” in the alcohol poisoning death of a student, Gary DeVercelly, who died while pledging a fraternity. It's always heartbreaking to hear of an 18 year old dying. As a parent, stories like these scare the hell out of me. But I'm having trouble connecting the dean to the death.
August 14, 2007 - 8:50am
There's a nifty piece (and discussion) in yesterday's IHE about a new classification system adopted by the Education Department to distinguish two-year schools from each other. It's worth checking out. A few responses, acknowledging that there's far more there than I'm responding to:
August 13, 2007 - 7:09am
This weekend, TW and I attended a wedding at City Hall in New York, followed the next day by a reception closer to us (and open to TB and TG). (I've known the groom since early grad school. To give you some idea of just how long ago that was, George Bush was President, the price of gas shot up, and we were at war with Iraq. Good times...) Vignettes from the weekend:
August 10, 2007 - 5:01pm
You should skip my explanations and go straight to enjoying the videos at the end of this post.
August 10, 2007 - 7:49am
I was in one of those discussions recently at which phrases like “you're not wrong, but...” got tossed around. That happens a lot. In trying to bring clarity to some fairly shaggy but long-established processes (the legal term is “past practice”), we're frequently running into conflicts between what would actually make sense and what we can realistically expect to achieve, given the different understandings held by various stakeholders. It's a hazard of a place with a long history and lots of long memories.
August 9, 2007 - 11:41am
I've taken for my title the great name of a great blog, Bitch, Ph.D., because this post will be a bitchy consideration of an essay that appears in this morning's Inside Higher Ed. In this post, I will unpleasantly take issue with the style and content of this essay.

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