Monthly Archives: September 2015

Is cyberbullying all that goes ‘over the line’ when kids are online?

In a TED talk this past spring, watched by over six million viewers, Monica Lewinsky called herself “Patient Zero” of cyber-fueled bullying and shaming. When this “scandal” unfolded, the concept of internet-enabled public shaming was relatively unprecedented. And Lewinsky’s case certainly brought the epidemic threat of digital social networks into public consciousness. Today, those born […] … learn more→

The rise of ad blocking puts publishers in a pickle

Ignoring web ads is as easy as clicking the x in the upper right, dissolving in an instant the shiny car someone, somewhere wants you to buy. This isn’t enough for everyone, which is why we have ad blocking.p> Ad blocking software makes it so no banner ads, pop-ups, tickers, or auto-playing videos will besmirch […] … learn more→

Intruders at Harvard: The rise and fall of America’s greatest university

In October 1986, New World Pictures released a romantic comedy called Soul Man, starring teen heartthrob C. Thomas Howell. At the time, Howell was often mentioned in the company of Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, and Matt Dillon, his co-stars in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of The Outsiders. He had made Red Dawn with […] … learn more→

Managing conflicting feedback on your thesis

There is something going on with thesis writing that we need to talk about beyond the whisperings I’ve heard amongst grad students. Here goes: Your thesis is not really yours. Yes, your thesis follows you around, wakes you from your sleep, gazes down on you while you cook, interrupts you when you’re having coffee with […] … learn more→

The gravest threat to Colleges comes from within

We are experiencing one of the greatest threats to the university as we know it. It is not about enrollments, revenues, regulation, rankings, or leadership. It is about the ability to engage in unfettered debate at American colleges. It is about the assurance of intellectual freedom, about what can and cannot be discussed. Colleges face […] … learn more→

College’s purpose then and now

“We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.” –from 1984, a catchphrase to prevent the citizens from thinking much about the purpose of the war. It’s fascinating how easy it is to lose track of relatively recent history. Oh, we know Rome built a huge empire, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and all the rest, but […] … learn more→

Big data shows the graduate pay premium is bigger for women

A new study using big data has confirmed that those who complete university can expect to earn, on average, a decent premium for their degree. This alone won’t come as a shock – previous studies have shown that attending university pays off for most graduates. But my colleagues (Neil Shephard of Harvard University and Jack […] … learn more→

A transnational occupation

My recent Academe article, “Palestinian Universities and Everyday Life Under Occupation,” is not an article that describes causes, but rather the consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory (OPT) for Palestinian faculty and students. Since this article went to press, the European Platform for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has issued its report on “Palestinian Universities […] … learn more→

Stop resisting a 2-tier system

Whenever I contemplate our current system of graduate education in the humanities, I’m reminded of the definition of insanity often misattributed to Einstein — doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Every year, graduate programs crank out thousands of new Ph.D.s, and every year fewer than 40 percent manage to land […] … learn more→

The Faculty as punching bag

I’ve been working on a book about the effect of the Internet on the terms of employment and working conditions of faculty at all levels.  As a result, I’ve read an extraordinary amount of “disruption” literature lately.  You know, Christensen, Carey, et. al.  – all those people who are just chomping at the bit to […] … learn more→