Political science

Senate votes to defund political science research, save tuition assistance in budget bill

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Senate votes to ban federal funding for most political science research and to restore tuition assistance to active-duty service members.

Fiscal cliff deal averts across-the-board spending cuts

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A last-minute deal in Congress puts off mandatory spending cuts for two months and extends a tax break for college tuition.

Despite student debt concern, income-based repayment lags

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Despite ever-growing concern about student debt, enrollment lags in federal government programs that tie loan repayment to borrowers' income.

Timeliness in mind, Princeton press plans to roll out new book in e-chapters

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In an attempt to be more timely and relevant, Princeton plans to publish early chapters of forthcoming book on 2012 election in electronic form, free.

House passes bill to bar spending on political science research

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House-passed bill, driven by concerns about “meritless” research, would bar National Science Foundation from spending funds on political science research.

 

 

Santorum's views and history on higher education

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He questions whether higher ed is necessary for everyone, and calls colleges godless, but in the Senate, the candidate had a history of supporting colleges.

In wake of Coburn amendment repeal, social science groups plot path forward

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The budget passed by Congress last week removes controversial restrictions of NSF funding for the discipline -- but advocates for social science researchers say the battle isn't over.

Conference Connoisseurs visit the City of Brotherly Love (and cheesesteaks)

Our conference-going gourmands check out the culinary treats of the City of Brotherly Love.

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Dog's degree disappoints a cat family (essay)

The news that the BBC-sponsored dog named Pete, using the alias Peter Smith, has procured an online M.B.A. from the American University of London has sent our household into a literal tailspin.

It is not the first time that our cat, Finn Segal, has disappointed us by failing to live up to our expectations, but this may be the last straw. Perhaps most disconcerting is that even now he shows no concern and has stubbornly assumed his usual meatloaf position in a sunny spot.

It’s not that Finn, with a little training, could not master the computer keys. He is already adept at stepping on the capslock and delete buttons. And he darn well has a working knowledge of the internet; it’s just that this slacker would rather spend 8 hours a day watching cat and chipmunk videos on YouTube than applying himself to “International Finance.” 

Especially galling is the fact that not only could our cat have been a contender, but he also let slip through his paws the definitive answer to the time-honored question of “Just who’s smarter: dogs or cats?”

In fact, I will wager a six-month supply of Revolution Parasiticide (for fleas, ear mites, and heartworm) that Finn was the first to complete an online class. Just last winter, we enrolled in an online course in "Introduction to Poetry." While it is true that we registered under my name alone, Finn was with me every step of the way.

Moreover, I am now willing, given the present circumstance and dismaying news about Pete, to come forward with an admission: Finn logged more hours than I did. By the fourth lesson, he had moved into the alpha chair in the study, freeing me up to take care of other tasks around the house and the town. I have many warm memories from that time, when I would peek into the study and see Finn curled up on my desk chair, quietly napping as a soothing voice read from the works of John Keats, Sylvia Plath and Wallace Stevens.

As of today we are instituting a new instructional regime for Finn. He will still be allowed to go outside and he will still be permitted to watch YouTube -- but only after he has completed his M.B.A.-related coursework for the day.

After all, if he could complete a session devoted to the poems of John Ashbery, Finn should have no trouble at all with “Taxation and Accounting.”

Carolyn Foster Segal is professor emerita of English at Cedar Crest College. She currently teaches at Muhlenberg College.

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