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August 23, 2007
An alert reader sent me a link to the Washington Monthly's rating of the top 30 community colleges in America.
August 22, 2007
The University of Oregon, a once-proud school, is proceeding briskly toward the status of Oklahoma State, a third-tier football factory run by a sports-mad billionaire alumnus. In the case of Oklahoma, it's T. Boone Pickens of oil; for Oregon, it's Phil Knight of shoes. Unlike OSU, however, Oregon's professors are putting up a fight. Their belligerence has annoyed boosters, who've fought back with ... well, you know the drill... denunciations of pointy heads, egg heads, and bald heads who care whether students graduate... Whether they learn anything...
August 22, 2007
A returning correspondent whose pet course got canceled for low enrollment writes:So, I've been thinking what I might do to make it run this spring, beyond hanging up posters in the fall, talking it up with my students, and so on.
August 21, 2007
In an unrelated discussion with the registrar at my cc, I learned that her previous college – a respectable-but-not-elite four-year private college – wouldn't give credit for college courses taught at a high school.
August 20, 2007
Over at Bardiac's, there's a thoughtful post on the frustrations of dealing with an administration that makes every class section just a little bit bigger every year. It brought back memories.
August 17, 2007
For some of us -- a small number -- Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano is the ultimate novel. "Lowry's book ... remains the single most potent novel of the 20th century," wrote John Hartley Williams, in The Guardian this summer, on the fiftieth anniversary of Lowry's death.
August 17, 2007
A few days before the start of some semesters, I suddenly realize the call to teach has left me, the way breath leaves the lungs. All those who profess for a living—clergy, lawyers, this guy—must feel deflated now and then too.
August 17, 2007
A returning correspondent writes:You and your readers were very helpful in responding to my questions about how to convince my college's leadership to consider my textbook project a professional rather than personal project. In fact, college leadership now officially considers my project to be professional rather than personal. But this has led to another situation. College leadership wants to discuss a "revenue sharing agreement."
August 17, 2007
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
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?



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