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Red Cup Nation

The student is lying on a public bench, at the end of a trail of vomit. He is unconscious; his front pocket gapes, a wallet falling partway out. An officer shakes him, and again, finally rousing him. “How much,” the officer demands, “have you had to drink?”

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education published a multi-part series about drinking at college:
A River of Booze: Inside one college town's uneasy embrace of drinking
6 Campuses and the Liquor Surrounding Them
Protecting the Party: With focus on sexual assault, students look out for one another while drinking just as much
Why Colleges Haven’t Stopped Binge Drinking: Decades of attention without much difference
On Camera, Alcohol Is Central to College Experience
4 Campuses Respond to Risky Drinking
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 6, 2014 - 45 comments

I Really Love My University, Which Is Why I'm Going on Strike

For the first time in its 39-year history, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation of the University of Oregon is on strike, and here's why . [more inside]
posted by bassooner on Dec 5, 2014 - 32 comments

Everything is Problematic

2012 was the year I hit peak radicalism... [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Dec 5, 2014 - 106 comments

"Dude, you're drunk. Leave her alone. Eat this pizza."

Nudging College Students to Prevent Rape and Sexual Assault: Would serial offenders have a harder time if more men and women felt personally responsible for stopping them?
An unusual feature of residential life at Pomona was the "sponsor program," wherein two sophomores (one male and one female) are assigned to live in every freshmen hall. Sponsors didn't enforce rules like residence advisors. Indeed, sponsors often used their upperclassmen friends to get fake IDs or knowledge of local liquor stores to help their new freshmen friends to obtain alcohol. But part of sponsor training involved being taught how to help or intervene in circumstances as varied as clinical depression, alcohol poisoning, an eating disorder, or a drug addiction. For the most part, you avoided butting into anyone's business on campus, even if that person was breaking rules. But you also did your best to prevent anything catastrophic from happening, being just slightly older and wiser. Even a light touch could accomplish a lot. "Dude, you're drunk. Leave her alone. Eat this pizza."
"Don't get raped" education is tired and unhelpful. "Don't rape people" education is (many claim) pie-in-the-sky idealism. What if the education focused on bystanders instead? Conor Friedersdorf writes about his own undergraduate experience and whether something like it might be expanded to other colleges.
posted by Lexica on Nov 30, 2014 - 78 comments

Campus rape

"Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began" Many trigger warnings. [more inside]
posted by urbanwhaleshark on Nov 19, 2014 - 533 comments

One of these things is not like the others

US News and World Report (USNWR) ranking of the top ten universities in mathematics are: 1. Berkeley ; 2. Stanford ; 3. Princeton ; 4. UCLA ; 5. University of Oxford ; 6. Harvard ; 7. King Abdulaziz University ; 8. Pierre and Marie Curie – Paris 6 ; 9. University of Hong Kong ; 10. University of Cambridge [more inside]
posted by benzenedream on Nov 12, 2014 - 27 comments

Freshman Disorientation

A Collection Of Disorientation Guides From Colleges Across North America. Unsanctioned student guides offer advice on the real college experience [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 25, 2014 - 24 comments

Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away  

Screens generate distraction - biologically impossible to resist - in a manner akin to second-hand smoke. Allowing laptop use in class is like allowing boombox use in class  -  it lets each person choose whether to degrade the experience of those around them. [CITATION PROVIDED] I've stopped thinking of students as people who simply make choices about whether to pay attention, and started thinking of them as people trying to pay attention but having to compete with various influences, the largest of which is their own propensity towards involuntary and emotional reaction.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 23, 2014 - 96 comments

Three Pie Charts That Prove You Shouldn't Slack Off in College

Students who did as little as possible during college continued to drift after graduation [more inside]
posted by Nevin on Sep 3, 2014 - 60 comments

About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago

Dan Savage, the University of Chicago, free speech, and LGBT slurs.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 12, 2014 - 354 comments

"Within the university system today, adjunct faculty are made invisible"

”Practicing openness and making oneself radically vulnerable is not only scary, it is the opposite of what we are taught to do within the logic of the contemporary university (and society more generally). Our marginalization, meager pay and lack of job security, along with the attacks on professors by students and the administration’s refusal to back up even tenured professors, all contribute to a culture of paranoia and enmity (among administration and faculty, among tenure-track faculty and adjuncts, among professors and students). Even when we manage to maintain our commitment to our students (and we do), the university seeks to capture this affective relationship and use it to further exploit us when we ask for fair wages or better conditions with the reprimand that ‘we are doing this for the students and not the money.’ Just as the practitioners of modernity gutted the erotic and sold us the pornographic, administrators attempt to gut the material and affective conditions of teaching and sell us ‘passion.’” Dr Priya J. Shah: "My Last Day as a Professor."
posted by koeselitz on Jun 6, 2014 - 40 comments

Out to Pasture: Herding Education to Slaughter

Friedrich Nietzsche, famously a full professor at the tender age of 24, was in a good position to develop an acute sensitivity to the university as machine: "The student listens to lectures . . . Very often the student writes at the same time he listens to lectures. These are the moments when he dangles from the umbilical cord of the university. The teacher . . . is cut off by a monumental divide from the consciousness of his students . . . A speaking mouth and many, many ears, with half as many writing hands: that is the external apparatus of the academy; set in motion, that is the educational machinery of the university." [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 29, 2014 - 13 comments

"descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone"

In the past month since publishing his essay, "Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege," Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang has become a hero of many in right-wing politics for his refusal to believe that he enjoys privilege. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 3, 2014 - 283 comments

In the Name of Love

How Professors Use Their Time: The Long, Lonely Job of Homo academicus [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Apr 9, 2014 - 27 comments

[spoon icon] [glass of milk icon] [ Ovaltine jar icon]

Someone is leaving what appear to be coded messages in the stacks of Weldon Library at the University of Western Ontario. (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 25, 2014 - 63 comments

Work Makes You Sick: Speed Ups on the Academic Assembly Line

Mental health problems are on the rise among UK academics amid the pressures of greater job insecurity, constant demand for results and an increasingly marketised higher education system. [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Mar 7, 2014 - 22 comments

Administrative, not faculty, salaries are driving rising tuition

Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says The report, "Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education," says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012...What’s more, the report says, the number of full-time faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined 40 percent, to around 2.5 to 1. Full-time faculty members also lost ground to part-time instructors (who now compose half of the instructional staff at most types of colleges)...And the kicker: You can’t blame faculty salaries for the rise in tuition. Faculty salaries were "essentially flat" from 2000 to 2012, the report says. And "we didn't see the savings that we would have expected from the shift to part-time faculty," said Donna M. Desrochers, an author of the report.
posted by mediareport on Mar 6, 2014 - 88 comments

"'You aren't black on the inside' - childhood friends"

I, Too, Am Harvard. A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2014 - 38 comments

Much sledding. So university. Wow.

The University of Tromsø, Norway, is the world's northernmost university. Finnmarksløpet is the world's northernmost sled dog race. Starting winter 2015, "dog sledding and the Finnmarksløpet sled dog race are now being offered as a part of their own university course for the first time ever in Norway and Europe." [more inside]
posted by iviken on Feb 24, 2014 - 7 comments

Helping you beat Turnitin.com Since 2012

With recognition software making the use of recycled term papers impractical, a new service is now allowing students to hire unemployed professors to write term papers from scratch.
posted by reenum on Feb 10, 2014 - 139 comments

"We Just Can't Have You Here"

“What makes you think I will be safer away from school, away from my support system?” School was my stimulation, my passion and my reason for getting up in the morning. “Well the truth is,” he says, “we don’t necessarily think you’ll be safer at home. But we just can’t have you here.” (article contains description of cutting behavior)
posted by dsfan on Jan 24, 2014 - 54 comments

Broken Pledges

Bloomberg has been publishing a series of articles on the misdeeds of the fraternity system in the U.S., particularly how Greek organizations "dodge liability for mayhem at their local chapters, oppose anti-hazing bills in Congress and pressure colleges to drop restrictions on recruiting freshmen as pledges. Colleges face litigation from fraternities and the withholding of donations by wealthy alumni." [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Dec 30, 2013 - 127 comments

Revitalizing lies to perpetuate your disguise

The Black Bruins [Spoken Word] by Sy Stokes
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 29, 2013 - 4 comments

Confession of an Ivy League teaching assistant

The revelation that the median grade at Harvard is an A- prompted lots of discussion, especially among Ivy-league educated journalists. Some speculated high grades reflect intelligence. Others say professors just want their students to get jobs, or, selfishly, they want favorable teaching evaluations. As a teaching assistant in the economics department at Columbia, I too inflated student grades, but for none of those reasons. I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining.
posted by latkes on Dec 13, 2013 - 164 comments

Possibly the future of academic publishing

...one of the jobs of a publisher, I really believe, is to keep all forms in play, precisely because it is in keeping all forms in play (which forms are themselves always being reshaped in some fashion as they come into contact with each other) -- that creativity has the widest possible purchase on how things might turn out. Eileen Joy, co-director of open-access quasi-scholarly print-on-demand press Punctum Books, gives a talk on the state and future of open-access publishing in the academy and the arts.
posted by shivohum on Nov 20, 2013 - 15 comments

Apartheid's odd role in the vibrancy of the social and human sciences

JM Coetzee's foreword to John Higgins's new book Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa, which among other topics, includes an extended interview with Nelson Mandela ally and academic Jakes Gerwel on the importance of the humanities in both the anti-apartheid struggle. In an excerpt from the interview, Gerwel stated that Apartheid was to a large degree also “a battle of and over ideas, a battle of the priority of one set of ideas over another, and in this struggle the human and social sciences played a great and liberating role.” A (pdf) history of South African education under apartheid.
posted by spamandkimchi on Nov 5, 2013 - 9 comments

"I Quit" Lit

"I Quit Academia" -- An Important, Growing Subgenre of American Essays
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 30, 2013 - 34 comments

That is not an exhaustive list, but it’s exhausting.

A collective narrative of trying to make it on $17,000 a year: bargaining testimony from a UCSC student-worker
We make only $17,000 a year. We make only $17,000 a year in a town where almost that entire paycheck goes to rent. So today I’m going to talk about how academic workers try to get by on $17,000 a year.
posted by andoatnp on Oct 30, 2013 - 54 comments

No SATs, No Grades, No Problem

Bard College has introduced a new admissions criteria: No consideration of SAT scores or grades. Students can now submit four 2500 word essays and be admitted if their work is judged to be of B+ or better quality by faculty. Is this system just waiting to be gamed?
posted by reenum on Oct 11, 2013 - 112 comments

Administrators Ate My Tuition

Washington Monthly examines the rapid increase in the numbers of middle managers at universities and the correlation to the rampant increase in tuition costs at American universities.
posted by reenum on Oct 8, 2013 - 184 comments

Death of an adjunct

"Duquesne has claimed that the unionization of adjuncts like Margaret Mary would somehow interfere with its mission to inculcate Catholic values among its students." - Daniel Kovalik
posted by jeffburdges on Sep 18, 2013 - 114 comments

The Tuition Is Too Damn High

Over the past couple of weeks, Wonkblog has examined the fast rising cost of college tuition in the United States and its effects on society. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 8, 2013 - 48 comments

Intellectuals vs Academics

Academics are farmers and intellectuals are hunters - and the hunters may be the future of the liberal arts, writes Jack Miles.
posted by shivohum on Aug 28, 2013 - 47 comments

Meritocracy is..fluid..

White definitions of merit and admissions change when they think about Asian-Americans.
posted by kanuck on Aug 13, 2013 - 60 comments

Does Open Access Diminish Publishing Opportunities for Grad Students?

The American Historical Association just released a statement that "strongly encourages graduate programs and university libraries to adopt a policy that allows the embargoing of completed history PhD dissertations in digital form for as many as six years." The statement is aimed at publishers who are disinclined to consider books based on dissertations that have been made freely available in open access databases. Some responses cite a 2011 survey, "Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?," that found most publishers self-reported they would indeed consider publishing such dissertations, but also suggested university libraries are refusing to buy books based on dissertations that have previously been available online. "The Road From Dissertation to Book Has a New Pothole: the Internet," a 2011 article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, quotes editors who are wary of publishing such books, and discusses the process by which students can restrict access to their work at companies like ProQuest, "the electronic publisher with which the vast majority of U.S. universities contract to house digital copies of dissertations." [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Jul 23, 2013 - 40 comments

More inspirational than Bill Cosby

Joss Whedon speaks at Wesleyan commencement
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 29, 2013 - 41 comments

Joining the Ranks: Demystifying Harvard's Tenure System

'“The ad hoc process is greatly shrouded in mystery; remarkably little is written about it,” says current Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Development Judith D. Singer. She smirks wryly as she swigs coffee from her mug, as if this is something she’s explained a hundred times before. “What the ad hoc process does is it takes a recommendation that has come up out of a department, been through a dean, and says, ‘Let’s look at this with a fresh set of eyes. Let’s look at the totality of the evidence and make a dispassionate decision about whether the recommendations that have come up are really in the best interest of the University,’” says Singer.'
posted by un petit cadeau on Apr 15, 2013 - 26 comments

Chliean student protests resume for 2013

Students in Chile held one of their largest marches yet, continuing a campaign for greater public funding of education and in protest of Chile's significant economic inequality, particularly as it affects access to education. (Previously.)
posted by eviemath on Apr 11, 2013 - 2 comments

MOOCs of Hazard

Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well... [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 3, 2013 - 39 comments

Hotkey ',' to Corner the Global Energy Market.

Columbia students stuff Nutella in their pants to the tune of $1,000s a week. (SLNYT) Last month one of Columbia’s undergraduate dining halls began serving Nutella every day, not just in crepes on weekends. The problem was that the Columbia students went through jars and jars of Nutella — at least 100 pounds a day. Apparently they were not just eating it in the dining hall. They were spiriting it away in soup containers and other receptacles, to be eaten later.
posted by grobstein on Mar 7, 2013 - 100 comments

"surely the most disastrous president’s column ever written"

In the winter edition of Emory Magazine, Emory President James Wagner wrote a column about compromise, and cited the Three Fifths Compromise as a positive example. The column has since been amended with a clarification, which precedes the column in italics. The Emory Wheel and Inside Higher Ed have both written overviews about the controversy. On Wednesday, the Emory Faculty voted to censure the President.

(An extensive list of media coverage and commentary on Wagner's column is available here.) [more inside]
posted by crocodiletsunami on Feb 22, 2013 - 62 comments

Get an A by exploiting a loophole in the grading curve

In several computer science courses at Johns Hopkins University, the grading curve was set by giving the highest score on the final an A, and then adjusting all lower scores accordingly. The students determined that if they collectively boycotted, then the highest score would be a zero, and so everyone would get an A.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 18, 2013 - 162 comments

Students all over the world are demanding a new curriculum.

A Renaissance in Economics The American President Ronald Reagan once quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” I get the same shivers when someone introduces themselves as an economist.
posted by infini on Feb 13, 2013 - 39 comments

Great Big Ideas: One-hour lectures by experts summarizing entire fields

In the Fall of 2011, The Floating University assembled a video course entitled Great Big Ideas. Each of its dozen lectures is the product of a challenge given to an eminent authority and expert teacher to take "everything a non-professional needs to know about your subject in less than 60 minutes" and to bake the result into "a multi-media presentation, produced with the highest quality video and graphics." The lectures cover topics as varied as psychology, demography, physics, political philosophy, and more. During its initial offering at Harvard, Yale, and Bard during the Fall 2011 term, GBI quickly became the most popular course at all three universities.
posted by shivohum on Feb 5, 2013 - 27 comments

Massively Open Online Course on Planning Online Courses Collapses

A MOOC on planning and running MOOCs run by a leading MOOC company has spectacularly collapsed [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Feb 4, 2013 - 57 comments

Select pictures to color and candy to eat

This year, cartoonist Lynda Barry is Artist in Residence at the Arts Institute of the University of Wisconsin, and her class "The Unthinkable Mind" starts today. This is the poster. This is the introduction to the class. This is the first handout.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 23, 2013 - 57 comments

"If you account for my access to academic journal subscriptions, my salary is really like half a million dollars."

This past Thursday, Forbes Magazine published a pair of articles: The Most Stressful Jobs of 2013 and The Least Stressful Jobs of 2013, the latter of which began with the sentence: "University professors have a lot less stress than most of us." 300+ outraged comments (and thousands of sarcastic #RealForbesProfessor tweets,) later they've added a retraction, and linked to a blog post that takes A Real Look at Being a Professor in the US. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 5, 2013 - 68 comments

A tax time bomb, slowly ticking away

Income based repayment is touted as a solution to rapidly rising college costs in the US. But there is a hefty tax bill looming for people who take advantage of this program.
posted by reenum on Dec 18, 2012 - 134 comments

Stress at MIT

The Tech, a newspaper at MIT, has published a report about MIT students' stress. (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Dec 10, 2012 - 70 comments

Great Wealth Is A Public Trust

Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 7, 2012 - 68 comments

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