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This is the first September in a very long time that I haven’t been on a campus. It feels a little strange. Sending good vibes to everyone who’s there.

I’m not usually a fan of apathy, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

Kudos to the students, faculty and staff of Florida colleges and universities who responded to the state’s ideology survey by channeling Melville’s Bartleby: “I would prefer not to.”

Apparently, response rates were shockingly low, and to the extent that they existed at all, they proved the opposite of what the survey was intended to prove. For example, more respondents identified as conservatives than as liberals.

Well done. Demagoguery works by provoking strong emotional responses. When those emotional responses don’t happen, it’s flummoxed. I don’t know the precise mix of genuine apathy and rage-driven boycott in this case, to be fair, but in this particular case either one works.

Hat tip to Lexa Logue for highlighting this study. Yu April Chen, Ran Li and Linda Serra Hagedorn published a study examining whether students who went to community college before earning the bachelor’s degree suffered a wage penalty as opposed to students who started at the four-year school.

As the study noted, “results of the regression analyses indicated no community college penalty in postbaccalaureate salaries.” The findings were statistically significant both one year and four years after graduation.

I hope that policy makers take notice. If we’re suddenly concerned about the ROI of college attendance, supporting community colleges is an easy, accessible way to get started.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve read a few hundred bills that have been introduced in my state’s Legislature.

Until doing that, I hadn’t realized how often the word “notwithstanding” pops up in bills. It’s typically in a sentence that starts with “notwithstanding existing language to the contrary …”

I don’t plan on adopting that usage myself—it seems a bit imperious—but I can see the appeal. It’s a way of delegating the details and ripple effects to other people to figure out.

To understand administration, imagine being those other people.

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