"The academy is no longer an investment of time worth making... I was a priest who had lost his faith, performing the sacraments without any sense of their importance." Yet another sad piece on academia, woe.
Stewardship and Legacy: Sweet Briar and the Future of Women-Only Higher Education (Previously) [more inside]
"Alumnae like to describe Sweet Briar College as a magical place ... That sense of magic evaporated in early March, after the board of directors decided that Sweet Briar’s failure to increase its revenue in recent decades had driven it to the brink of financial collapse. The board had voted unanimously on February 28 to close the 700-student college at the end of the current academic year."
”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."
"Young Minds in Critical Condition" (SLNYT) "Having strong critical skills shows that you will not be easily fooled. It is a sign of sophistication, especially when coupled with an acknowledgment of one’s own “privilege” … We should be wary of creating a class of self-satisfied debunkers—or, to use a currently fashionable word on campus, people who like to “trouble” ideas," opines Michael Roth, on the status quo of liberal education. Also "The case for a liberal education", 2014/05/09, The Boston Globe; and, "There's Nothing Liberal About Specializing in Philosophy" The Atlantic, 2014/05/09. Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, recently authored “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters”, and teaches "The Modern and The Postmodern", offered on Coursera.
Academics are farmers and intellectuals are hunters - and the hunters may be the future of the liberal arts, writes Jack Miles.
College Rankings! Seems like everyone's talking about 'em. There's the good ole controversial US News & World Report rankings, but thanks to the the librarians at UIUC, this wonderful site has links to many, many, many different rankings, including ones that let you make your own rankings. There's also rankings of some of the more important non-academic features of colleges, too. Does college rank really matter?