Jordan Weissmann at The Atlantic has a story on the revelations that George Washington University rejected applicants on the grounds that they would have required financial aid. Apparently the university had advertised itself as "need-blind" in its admissions policies, but in fact the admissions office ended up rejecting marginal needy applicants in favor of marginal … Continue reading GWU Admissions and the Economics of Higher Ed
An article on the plight of adjunct professors in higher education, "Labor of Love or Cheap Labor? The Plight of Adjunct Professors," was brought to my attention by its author, Celine James. Ms. James kindly asked me for my thoughts about her article. I thought Pileus readers might be interested in what I sent her. … Continue reading Adjunct Professors and the Modern Guild
Reason has a symposium on the future of higher education in its latest issue. For my money, the best contribution comes from Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie, who sounds remarkably Oakeshottian in this passage: The real existential threat to higher ed comes from folks who conceive of college as a sort of high-end vocational-tech program. Right-leaning … Continue reading *Reason* on the Higher Ed Bubble
Apropos my "Don't Go to Grad School" post from a couple of weeks ago, here are some hard data on the employment difficulties of new PhD's in the hard sciences and humanities.
It's that time of year again: sending in the last of the grad-school reference letters. Over time, my answers to students who request grad school reference letters, particularly for PhD programs, have become more and more emphatic: don't do it. It doesn't matter how smart you are, or how good your grades have been. The … Continue reading Don’t Go to Grad School
Tyler Cowen makes the case that a large, inefficient public sector can be a good thing: we should not be trying to squeeze the entire economy into the shoebox of the dynamic but risky “Economy I.” For public choice reasons, as well understood by Karl Polanyi (an underrated public choice theorist if there ever was … Continue reading Saturday Afternoon Bemusement
For those of you who are trying to supplement your child's schooling or wish to buck the entire public/private school system altogether, I'd like to recommend the Khan Academy. Started by former hedge fund manager Sal Khan, the Khan Academy is essentially a free on-line school that teaches everything from basic addition to the French Revolution … Continue reading Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
From George Will's recent column on gender politics: "At Bryn Mawr, 4 percent of 2010 graduates majored in chemistry, 2 percent in computer science. At Smith, half of 1 percent were physics majors; 1.4 percent majored in computer science. In 2009 at Barnard, one third of 1 percent majored in physics and astronomy." But does … Continue reading Are These Facts Surprising?
It is approaching the time of year when high school students will be applying to college and university. That means that rating metrics will again be getting press. Of course there is the standard U. S. News and World Report ratings, which are the biggest, most influential, and among the least dispositive ratings available. (I … Continue reading Rating Educational Institutions
In its usual flurry of end-of-term decisions, the Supreme Court issued an important opinion affecting liberty on college campuses (or what's left of it). The opinion concerned the lawsuit by a Christian group at the Hastings College of Law, a public school affiliated with the University of California. The Christian group was denied the right … Continue reading Coercion as freedom
My preferences run towards the Atlantic rather than the New Yorker (at least in the past given the Atlantic has been on a downward slide lately that makes it less and less part of my reading life), but I gotta give it to New Yorker for this very well done cover. Curious how Pileus readers interpret it, aside from the obvious.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting on the latest brouhaha from Texas: Faculty members and administrators in Texas are speaking out about a recent state law that requires them to post specific, detailed information about their classroom assignments, curricula vitae, department budgets, and the results of student evaluations. A conservative group whose administrators have … Continue reading Those Terrible Texans