Category Archives: academia

college application Bingo

We spent last week visiting prospective colleges with my daughter, which is why I was offline. The information sessions and tours are very well done but they do tend to blur because of institutional isomorphism. If you’re getting sleepy on your umpteenth … Continue reading

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why we need theory for social change

Margaret A. Post, Elaine Ward, Nicholas V. Longo, and John Saltmarsh have edited the new volume, Publicly Engaged Scholars: Next-Generation Engagement and the Future of Higher Education. It’s a great anthology that describes 30 years of work reconnecting higher education to … Continue reading

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an article in The Conversation

(Albany, NY) In lieu of blog post here, I have an article in The Conversation today entitled “The Waning Influence of American Political Parties.” An excerpt: According to the General Social Survey, fewer than one in 10 young adults actively … Continue reading

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Bourdieu in the college admissions office

In the college admissions office of a very highly respected liberal arts college, the admissions officer asks the prospective applicants what they think they might like to study. The first two teenagers say “business,” which is not in the curriculum … Continue reading

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the Journal of Universal Rejection

(Washington, DC) On a week when I got an article rejected almost instantly and then participated in an editorial committee for a different journal that celebrated our rising rejection rate, I just have to plug the Journal of Universal Rejection. … Continue reading

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when is cultural appropriation good or bad?

The Oberlin College Cultural Appropriation Controversy is almost certainly getting more attention than it deserves because it reinforces critiques of political correctness in higher education. Nevertheless, it provides an interesting case to consider the general questions: What is cultural appropriation, … Continue reading

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to what extent can colleges promote upward mobility?

The expectation is widespread that colleges should provide pathways to prosperity and success for individuals–and also make the distribution of wealth and power in the whole society more fair and equitable. Higher education seems to have that potential because it does promote upward mobility for individuals. … Continue reading

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a co-op model for a college

Here is a model for a new kind of college that I think could compete well with the available choices today, put beneficial pressure on the whole market, and avoid the “institutional isomorphism” that makes so many of our colleges … Continue reading

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special issue of Diversity & Democracy on political engagement

The latest issue of Diversity & Democracy (vol. 18, no. 4, fall 2015) was edited by members of my team at Tisch College in conjunction with AAC&U. The topic of the whole issue is “Student and Institutional Engagement in Political … Continue reading

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college and the contradictions of capitalism

National attention has turned to political debates and conflicts at one flagship Land Grant state university and one Ivy League. Mizzou and Yale exemplify the whole higher education system, which is a political flashpoint–for good reasons. On one hand, universities are designed to stand somewhat aside … Continue reading

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