Monthly Archives: July 2014

Higher education of tomorrow

Without stretching the imagination, it is easy to envision the college of tomorrow by simply extrapolating from the trends of today. There will remain five basic types of higher-education institutions: 1. Two-year schools. Much as they are today, these will have a dual purpose. First, they will prepare students for ‘hands on’ careers requiring a […] … learn more→

Middle-tier universities in Australia aren’t doomed to wither and die

The “future of universities” has been the subject of much speculation in recent years. Online learning, declining government support, global competition between universities and the rise of universities in Asia are maligned as threats to universities in Australia. The recent budget announcing further significant cuts to Commonwealth support for higher education and further deregulation of […] … learn more→

The new glass ceiling in academe

In honor of International Women’s Day, the university where I am currently a postdoctoral fellow held a conference on “glass ceilings in academia.” The midcareer professor who organized the conference invited me and a couple of other female postdocs to speak about our experiences as young women in the profession. But is the “glass ceiling” […] … learn more→

53 interesting ways to communicate your research

It really was a pleasure to finally sit and talk shop with a fellow traveller. At the end of our breakfast Sara kindly gave me a copy of a book called “53 interesting ways to communicate your research”*, an edited collection of advice which features some of her writing. The book is the latest in […] … learn more→


I must be getting old because I didn’t know what a \”selfie\” was until a few months ago, when a friend referred me to a short, hilarious essay by the actor James Franco on \”The Meanings of the Selfie\” in The New York Times. What partly defines the genre, Franco says, is that you immediately […] … learn more→

New Zealand’s Southern Alps have lost a third of their ice

A third of the permanent snow and ice of New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to our new research based on National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research aerial surveys. Since 1977, the Southern Alps\’ ice volume has shrunk by 18.4 km3 or 34%, and those ice losses have been accelerating rapidly in […] … learn more→

Why we said goodbye to fossil-fuel investments

This spring, after considerable study, Pitzer College announced a comprehensive and ambitious climate-action plan, including a commitment to divest the endowment of substantially all fossil-fuel-company stocks by the end of 2014. It was not a decision made lightly, but one that we felt was a key step in more fully aligning the college’s actions with […] … learn more→

Get politics out of the Common Core

There can be no significant reform of higher education without a major overhaul of primary education and extensive changes in secondary education. One of the reasons students are graduating without being prepared to compete in today’s workplace is that far too many arrive at college without the knowledge and background to do college-level work. They […] … learn more→

Higher Ed needs more cash, not more catchwords

California’s public higher education systems are plagued by years of funding cuts. Everyone knows that. All the clever ideas – the silver bullets that will “save” us – collapse in the face of one simple fact. Nobody can deliver quality higher education on the cheap. We need to fund our state universities. Critics of public […] … learn more→