It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through January!
This is what I’m up to this Monday morning.
1. I’ve been working on finalizing my spring course—Current Issues in Higher Education: Policy and Practice—and I’m really excited about focusing on the following big issues:
- Concurrent enrollment/dual enrollment/early college
- Free community college movement
- Basic needs (in)security
- Student loan debt/crisis/forgiveness
- Student protection/support during mergers/closures
Expect to hear from me and others on these topics over the next few months here at Inside Higher Ed.
2. What’s on my to-read list at the beginning of this week, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023?
- “The New Case for Social Climbing: Meritocracy is make-believe. It’s all about who you know” by Xochitl Gonzalez in The Atlantic. I’m really interested in thinking through the role of social capital and institutional best practices in helping students build social capital.
- Closing the College SNAP Gap: Strategies For States and Colleges to Reduce Food Insecurity Among Students, a new Hope Center publication. I’m also excited to attend a somewhat related event next week—Ending Hunger in Massachusetts.
- “3 steps for addressing health equity in Mass.” by Lumas Joseph Helaire and “Poll Shows parents not grasping scope of learning losses” by Michael Jonas in Commonwealth.
- “How Should We Think About Our Different Styles of Thinking” by Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker.
- “What to Know About Biden’s Income-Driven Repayment Proposal” by Tara Siegel Bernard in The New York Times.
- “DeSantis Allies Plot the Hostile Takeover of a Liberal College” by Michelle Goldberg (actually read this last week but will do a closer read this week and look at the 1,900-plus comments).
We’ll see if I actually get through these before new “things to read” show up in my email inbox. Let me know what you are reading this week.
3. I’m also digging into a fantastic stack of books on higher ed and I’ll be writing about these books in the coming weeks:
- Unwelcome Guests: A History of Access to American Higher Education (2022)—Harold S. Wechsler and Steven J. Diner
- Wealth, Cost, and Price in American Higher Education: A Brief History (2023)—Bruce A. Kimball with Sarah M. Iler
- Breaking Ranks: How the Rankings Industry Rules Higher Education and What to Do About It (2022)—Colin Diver
- It’s Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom (2022)—Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth
- Unsettling the University: Confronting the Colonial Foundations of US Higher Education (2022)—Sharon Stein
4. I’m editing a piece on SAT test-optional policies for The Conversation. I hope to be able to share a link to this soon.
Mary Churchill is professor of the practice and director of the higher education administration program at Boston University, where she also serves as associate dean. She is co-author of When Colleges Close: Leading in a Time of Crisis.