Charlotte Allen

Coping with ‘Professional Students’ in Community Colleges

The party’s over for community college students in California, notorious for large numbers of young and not-so-young people using the low-cost system to drift in and out of classes, fill up their time while looking for something better, or simply find themselves. The Board of Governors of the state’s cash-strapped two-year system has decided to get […]

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National Dream University—a Scam that Fell Through

The University of California (UC) has put the kibosh on plans to set up National Dream University, a low-cost, low-admissions-standards college where illegal immigrants were to be trained in activism on behalf of…illegal immigrants. National Dream U. was supposed to be a collaboration between UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the union-subsidized National […]

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Are Credit Hours Necessary?

Untraditional students seek higher education because they hit a wall. Once they’ve committed themselves to obtaining a degree, however, they often hit another wall: the archaic “credit hour” rules enforced by the U.S. Education Department that demand extended time in classrooms and discourage self-study and flexible online offerings. Amy Laitinen of the New America Foundation […]

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The Problem with Bonuses for Masters Degrees

Carol Howley, a nursing instructor at Chicago’s Richard J. Daley College, pocketed $307,000 in extra salary over the years by enrolling in doctoral classes at Chicago’s Rush University and receiving her doctorate. There’s only one problem, though: Rush has no record of Howley’s attendence. Cook County prosecutors recently indicted her for theft of government property. […]

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Harvard’s Cheating Scandal

Yesterday Harvard University announced its investigation of about 125 undergraduates who are believed to have improperly collaborated on a take-home final examination last spring. It is tempting to use this case to generalize about an Ivy League sense of entitlement, declining student morals in general, or perhaps the failure of Harvard and other universities to […]

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When Universities Raid Their Law Schools

Earlier this month Annette Clark, dean of Saint Louis University’s law school, abruptly resigned from her job via e-mail after only a year. She left after accusing the Jesuit university and its president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi, of looting the law school in order to fund other, non-law-related programs on the Saint Louis campus.  This was […]

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Can We or Can’t We ‘Target’ Women and Minorities?

Why is it admirable to “target” women and minorities for some educational programs but a violation of federal civil right laws to “target” them in others?           That’s the question that must be asked about a federal lawsuit filed by seven Mississippi women, five of them African-American, against for-profit Virginia College, […]

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UCLA Offers Low-Cost College for Leftist Illegals

How to attend UCLA on the cheap? Be an illegal immigrant. Actually, be a leftist illegal immigrant.  UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the union-subsidized National Labor College in Maryland have teamed up to establish “National Dream University” for the undocumented. The tuition is low: just $65 per credit hour, in contrast to […]

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That Response to My Article Was Strange

Scott Rose’s 1,085-word letter to the editors of Minding the Campus does not contest–or find any factual error in–my Aug. 1 article titled “Regnerus and the ‘Liberal War on Science.‘” My subject was the academic hysteria over University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus’s article in the journal Social Science Research concluding that the adult children of […]

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Regnerus and the ‘Liberal War on Science’

The ongoing controversy over University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus is a textbook example of how a legitimate scholarly dispute can turn into a political witch-hunt. Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at Texas’s flagship campus in Austin, published a peer-reviewed paper in June in the journal Social Science Research concluding that the adult children […]

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Gender Quotas on Philosophy Panels?

First it was gender quotas for the sciences–and now it’s gender quotas for philosophy. Two philosophy professors are calling on their colleagues to boycott academic conferences that don’t feature at least one woman as a keynote speaker.

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Should We Pay Students to Graduate?

College is supposed to last four years, right? However, only 31 percent of entering freshmen at U.S. colleges and universities manage to graduate in four years, and only 53 percent obtain their bachelor’s degrees within six years. Indeed, the six-year figure–which typically entails a 50 percent increase in overall tuition–has become so common that it’s […]

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Online Education–Almost as Good as Face-to-Face?

Writing in the New York Times, University of Virginia English professor Mark Edmundson argues that online education is never going to be as good as live education with a real professor in a real classroom. In a sense, he’s right. There’s nothing like a top teacher: someone who can not only present complex material lucidly and […]

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The Meaningful March of the MOOCS

On July 16 Coursera–one of the new ventures by prestigious universities or their professors that offer free-of charge MOOCs (massive open online courses) to the general public–announced that twelve more institutions have joined the Coursera consortium that initially consisted of Stanford, Princeton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. One of the new […]

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What’s Yale Doing in Singapore?

Yale’s brand-new college in Singapore, a joint venture with the National University of Singapore (NUS), is “the first new college to bear Yale’s name in 300 years–and the first attempt to start a liberal-arts school in one of Asia’s leading financial centers,” the Wall Street Journal reports. But here’s one key way in which Yale […]

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A College with 90,000 Students May Go Under

The City College of San Francisco, the largest college in California with 90,000 students, appears to be on the brink of closing. California’s Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges put it on probation and gave it just eight months to demonstrate why it should stay in business. Without accreditation, City College will be ineligible […]

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Dissenting Scholarship Draws ‘Misconduct’ Inquiry

Mark Regnerus is a tenured associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. He published a paper in the peer-reviewed sociological journal Social Science Research. The paper, detailing the results of a study of children growing up in households headed by same-sex couples, concluded that those children may be at disadvantage “when it comes […]

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WASC Was Right to Deny Ashford Accreditation

Andrew, I understand that you were critiquing the accreditation system in general. I agree that it’s not perfect and could focus more directly on what students actually learn rather than on inputs and processes. I do think, though, that when a university doesn’t even have an adequate system in place for monitoring and assessing student […]

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You’re Wrong About Ashford, Andrew

I agree with Andrew Gillen that a large segment of entrenched academia reflexively opposes for-profit colleges and online education. These people don’t even like the MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) started by MIT and Harvard! That said, I don’t see any evidence that the WASC acted unfairly when it refused accreditation to Ashford University’s massive, […]

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Science Quotas for Women–A White House Goal

When college women study science, they tend to gravitate toward biology—about 58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in biology go to women. In contrast, women earn some 17 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science and just over 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees in physical sciences and mathematics. The likely reason for this, found in the study The Mathematics […]

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More Rumbles at UVa

The post-mortem continues on the two weeks of turmoil that included the abrupt forced resignation and the equally abrupt reinstatement of University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan. Everyone on all sides of the dispute over Sullivan’s ousting seems to agree that the Board of Visitors, UVa’s trustees, behaved secretively, discourteously, and ham-handedly when it handed […]

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Peace Breaks Out in Virginia

You’ve got to hand it to Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell. On June 22 he ordered the University of Virginia’s governing board to make it clear by June 26–yesterday–whether its fifteen voting members wanted to reinstate the university’s controversially ousted President Teresa Sullivan–or didn’t. If the board refused to “make a clear, detailed, and unified statement […]

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What Commencement Speakers Might Have Said

Now that commencement speakers have finished their work, what messages did they dispense to the class of 2012, graduating into the worst economy since the Great Depression? Mostly generic words of anodyne idealism: “Live your dream,” “go change the world”–conventional bromides that graduating classes have heard since college life began. Few speakers gave the new […]

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New Diversity Groups at CUNY: ‘White/Jewish’ and ‘Italian-American’

It’s “diversity” in higher education gone mad: An embarrassed City University of New York system (CUNY) yesterday hastily denied a report that it had set up a separate “minority” designation for its Jewish faculty. As CUNY professors joked about “yellow stars” for their Jewish colleagues and Jewish Press columnist Yori Yanover wrote that CUNY’s chancellor, […]

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Uh-Oh–The First Loophole in Student Loan Debt

Carol Todd of Nottingham, Maryland, persuaded a bankruptcy judge in Baltimore to “discharge”–that is, wipe the slate clean on–nearly $340,000 in student loan debt. The grounds were that she has Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism that apparently prevents her from getting or keeping a steady job. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gordon ruled on […]

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