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November 3, 2010 - 9:12pm
Contemporary Americans, wrote the philosopher Richard Rorty, are "rich fat [and] tired;" they live in an "Alexandrian" culture. Craig Brandon's new book, The Five-Year Party: How Colleges Have Given Up On Educating Your Child and What You Can Do About It, describes, in bland and angry prose, just the sort of universities Alexandrian cultures get. *****************************************
November 2, 2010 - 9:45pm
We spend so much time worrying about what is wrong with our U.S. higher ed system that it is easy to lose sight of how much the system has improved over the past 20 years. This is a mistake, as if we fail to honor our successes we will forget that change can and does happen, and that our colleagues are working incredibly hard each and every day to improve our institutions.
November 2, 2010 - 9:45pm
I'm playing in a poker tournament next week for an association's foundation fund. Apparently I will be playing something called "Texas Hold 'Em." I've never played poker before. I've watched it on television. Several of my friends frequently play the game. I am participating mostly so that I can "lose" my money for a good cause. I hope I can last for a few minutes at least as I do I have a basic understanding of cards.
November 2, 2010 - 9:30pm
Anyone in the academy already knows that if a letter of recommendation praises a student as a ‘hard worker,’ the subtext reads, ‘not very bright.’ High prestige scholarships put a high premium on leadership and service to others, but at some point in the transition from Gen X to Gen Y, service fell to a distant second place. Every student I meet seems to have attended some sort of leadership seminar, institute, or retreat and leads something. Most have founded an NGO. Scholarship administrators fume that while many have founded, few have achieved much of anything.
November 2, 2010 - 8:46pm
The Boy's school recently had Back to School night, so the four of us went to see what there was to see. TB actually had 'greeter' duty at the front door, which taxed his patience a bit, but was a source of pride anyway. We wandered the hallways looking at various displays the kids had prepared, and talking with TB's and TG's teachers.In TB's class – he's in the fourth grade – the kids had done essays on what they want to be in fifty years. The essays were left out on the tables for parents to read. As an exercise in shoe-leather sociology, it was striking.
November 1, 2010 - 9:45pm
Project Information Literacy has a new report out based on surveys of over 8,000 undergraduate students at 25 campuses, as well as some follow-up interviews. The findings are both cheering and sobering.
November 1, 2010 - 9:41pm
As regular readers know, Marc Bousquet and I are not each other’s biggest fans. That said, he has really outdone himself this time. In a remarkable tirade on InsideHigherEd – sheesh, I take a week off and the standards drop – Bousquet wrote:
November 1, 2010 - 9:15pm
I'm a big fan of LinkedIn. It's often my go-to social media site for professional networking, recommendations, and group discussions. My LinkedIn profile serves as my online professional fact sheet. It tells you just enough about me to get you interested. I've found that LinkedIn is a fantastic place to give and receive recommendations. I find that my connections on the site have a terrific willingness to engage. LinkedIn has a more professional feel to it than other social media sites.
November 1, 2010 - 9:15pm
Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities, by Mark C. TaylorSTRENGTHS:Concise: 221 small pages with big font.Provocative: Big ideas and insightful critiques of the higher ed labor market, curriculum, organizational structure etc.

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