I have often been critical of college presidents not standing up for political issues that directly impact our institutions. As waves of protests and condemnations of the executive order took hold over the weekend, another event occurred. College presidents seeing the order as a direct assault on the values of higher education started speaking up. One after another, they condemned the President’s action. Rather than sharing my thoughts, I want to take the opportunity to share the unanimous voices of higher education’s leaders standing up to an attack on the values we hold dear- both as higher education and as a country. The sheer number of responses shows just how united American higher education is in fighting this attack on our values.
Higher education is the path for economic and social mobility. This has been the mantra used to call for additional public support to arguments regarding the centrality of higher education to American society. While we all know that higher education often falls short of these goals, higher education is consistently held up as the best path for mobility in this country. However, new data published by the New York Times holds up a mirror on higher education and it isn’t pretty. In today’s post, I will share my reaction to this new data and suggest it is time to acknowledge the inherent privilege built into higher education.
Legislators in Missouri and Iowa have introduced bills to eliminate tenure at public colleges and universities in those states. It is too early to know if these proposals will receive support. However, following attacks on faculty and public institutions in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and other states, we must treat this legislation seriously. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a Q&A with Representative Rick Brattin, the author of the Missouri legislation. Representative Brattin’s comments reveal the folly of his proposal and the lack of basic understanding of faculty. In today’s post, I want to republish the Q&A along with my response which is in brackets below.
January 20th is a monumental day in the history of the United States. President-Elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office and assume the presidency from President Obama. Following the oath and inaugural address, Trump will have lunch in the Capital before the start of the Inaugural Parade. In various forms, the parade has occurred since George Washington’s inauguration. Representatives of the armed forces, community groups, and marching bands typically participate in the parade. With the unusual and acerbic nature of Trump’s campaign, colleges and universities that have agreed to participate in this year’s parade have faced controversy and backlash from campus constituencies. In today’s post, I want to share my thoughts on the controversy and why I believe the bands should participate in the parade.
I approach this issue from a different perspective than many. I have actually marched in a presidential inaugural parade.
Happy New Year! I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions but I do enjoy picking out books that I’m going to read for the year. Some years I focus on popular books that I’ve never read or on non-higher education books. For this year, I have identified 10 books that are mostly focused on faculty and academic governance. This is an area I ended 2016 thinking about and want to continue into 2017. Below are my books for the year along with blurbs from Amazon. What are you reading this year?