Monthly Archives: August 2014

Few hopes of a level playing field for today’s UK school leavers

I have worked with young people all my life, as a youth worker, academic teacher and youth policy adviser. I have observed their trajectories, listened to their aspirations, supported them in the steps they have taken and sought to influence policy that might produce purposeful and positive pathways to responsible adulthood – in their personal […] … learn more→

Colleges to get ratings system, administrators squeal!

Anyone in the industry knows that higher education, as it is today, isn’t working, and hasn’t worked for perhaps a decade or more. A decade is about how long the Federal government takes to realize the bleeding obvious, and so, at last, the government is thinking about maybe-sort of doing something about the disaster being […] … learn more→

Is the lecture really the thing that needs fixing?

One of my Twitter people asked me to share my thoughts on yesterday’s Chronicle article, “Can Universities Use Data to Fix What Ails the Lecture?” At the time, I skimmed the article and replied that LectureTools, the technological tool developed by Perry Samson to gather real-time data from students during a lecture, reminded me of […] … learn more→

Life for child migrants is even harder beyond the US border

Between 2003 and 2011, 8,000 to 40,000 unaccompanied migrant children from Central America were stopped every year on the southern border of the US. When this number boomed to more than 57,000 during the first nine months of 2014, president Barack Obama announced an “urgent humanitarian situation requiring a unified and coordinated Federal response” at […] … learn more→

All set with that

I recently returned from a vacation to southeastern Massachusetts, where my wife grew up and I know of as the home of the greatest restaurant in the world (apologies to Calvin Trillin, longtime advocate of Arthur Bryant’s barbecue joint in Kansas City). I refer to The Bayside, in Westport, Mass., which claims the honor via […] … learn more→

Consulting costs: The “other kind” of administrative bloat

Although the number of administrators and of administrative staff, as well as the levels of administrative compensation, have continued to increase inexorably, those are hardly the only elements of administrative bloat. Paradoxically, although one would think that, at some point, there would be enough administrators to cover almost any administrative need, the “need” to contract […] … learn more→

Let\’s clarify authorship on scientific papers

Imagine that one of your colleagues or friends publishes a new book and mentions you on the cover as the co-author. Without letting you know. You walk into a bookstore and see \”your\” book. Would you feel honored or embarrassed? Would you consider it your book? Would you take the credit if people complimented you? […] … learn more→

The Nixon flag in my office

On the bright morning of August 9, 1974, I stood with my parents and older brother on hot metal bleachers at El Toro Marine base, in Orange County, California. We looked up and squinted to watch Air Force One appear as a tiny speck on the horizon, grow into a full-size 707, and land on […] … learn more→

Learn english in College? Har.

While mostly I discuss what “college mathematics” has become, that’s only because I’m very intimately familiar with mathematics at all levels. I can speak from direct experience and observation. Nevertheless, I’ve been blessed with some success as a professional writer, and even taught a college level writing course. So while not “intimately familiar”, I still […] … learn more→

Book review: Mendeley

Upon starting my PhD in March 2011 I asked a recent doctoral graduate about his ideal referencing software. Despite not having used any and manually inserting all his citations and bibliography, he suggested Mendeley. Open to any suggestions, I downloaded a free copy and started using it. Mine was not a completely uninformed choice. I […] … learn more→