Monthly Archives: June 2015

What is an “outstanding” publication?

I’ve recently taken part in a couple of discussions about the kinds of papers and books that are highly ranked in quality reviews, reviews like the UK’s REF. Those in the discussions aimed to understand what counts as “outstanding”. This aim wasn’t simply borne from an instrumental interest, getting clear about what to do in […] … learn more→

It’s a mess: graduate schools are failing to prepare students for jobs

Arthur Levine, the head of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, has been a vituperative critic of teacher education programs for years. His recent announcement that he’s partnering with MIT to start a new teacher education graduate degree program has brought new attention to these teacher training programs – and to teacher training generally. Levine’s […] … learn more→

Professors aren’t born: they must be nurtured

p>There is a growing call globally for universities to develop and nurture more black professors. In South Africa, the issue is sharpened by the country’s racist legacy. It has been more than two decades since the official end of apartheid and there are still alarmingly few black professors in South African universities. There is an […] … learn more→

A degree of uncommon success

One of the problems with the master’s degree in the arts and sciences has always been its lack of identity and concrete purpose. It’s an award on the way to a doctorate, but it’s also a bauble that gets handed out as a consolation to those who leave the Ph.D. path. It’s a credential to […] … learn more→

The terror in Higher Education

I feel a little bad writing under a pseudonym. Yes, I realize it’s a level of cowardice on my part, but having seen so many of my colleague’s lives and careers destroyed for openly trying to stop what’s going on in higher education, I just didn’t have the courage. Besides, my name is irrelevant, and […] … learn more→

Wisconsin controversy: with fewer tenured positions, who benefits from academic freedom?

Sitting here in Madison, Wisconsin, a chancellor of two UW institutions, I find myself at the vortex of an enormous national conversation about tenure and shared governance. After decades of being enshrined in Wisconsin state law and often seen as the national gold standard for tenure protection, tenure policy in Wisconsin will now instead be […] … learn more→

New report on student debt asks the wrong question

Last week, Third Way released a report stating that people who attend public four-year universities graduate at higher rates if they have a goldilocks level of debt—some, but not too much. At best, that finding is flawed and unhelpful. This and other studies that use loan debt as their unit of analysis are dangerous because […] … learn more→

Language and power – Philosophy and propaganda

David Johnson is my main editor at Al Jazeera America, so to the extent you appreciate the pieces I write there, you have him to thank (along with several brilliant assistant editors). All mistakes, of course, are my own! But he\’s also a philosopher and what one might call an \”alt-academic,\” someone who took his […] … learn more→

When bad judgment is at the top of the menu

Recently a food stand on my campus was the topic of online discussions because it was named Grills Gone Wild. The name was, of course, a play on words related to a series of videos in which young, frequently intoxicated women bared their breasts or engaged in other lewd behavior for the camera. The discussion […] … learn more→

An editorial on the Confederate flag—from 2001

During the 2011 fight to repeal Ohio’s Senate Bill 5, I began to write op-eds on the many aspects of that legislation that would have reduced collective bargaining rights for all public employees in the state and would have completely eliminated those rights for college and university faculty. Initially the goal was to place op-eds […] … learn more→