course

Should We Charge Different Fees for Different Majors?

In the first couple weeks of any survey course in the principles of economics, students are taught that prices are determined by the interactions of consumers (demand) and producers (supply). Prices for many things, such as oil, or of common stocks, constantly change with the frequent shifts in the willingness of consumers and producers to […]

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The California College System under Scrutiny

A recent report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), entitled “Best Laid Plans: The Unfulfilled Promise of Public Higher Education,” explores a fair number of problems the California college system faces. However, I don’t think it covers them all. The report states openly and rightly the problems that California’s public colleges face […]

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Writer Purged for Causing Distress

Taking note of a posting by Naomi Schaefer Riley, John Rosenberg took a hard look at what passes for cutting-edge scholarship in Black Studies–and wasn’t impressed with what he found. Rosenberg’s post became all the timelier when the Chronicle announced that it had removed Riley from the Brainstorm blog. In an editor’s note that could […]

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A Major Expansion of Online Courses

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced yesterday that they will partner in a collaborative new higher-education venture, to be called EdX, that will offer a range of online courses to potentially tens of thousands of student worldwide, most of whom will not be enrolled at either Harvard or MIT. The EdX courses, […]

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UCLA: Still Obsessed with Diversity

What is it with universities in California? Financially strapped, troubled by protesters making impossible demands, and worried about the declining value of their academic programs, many of the state’s great universities decide to…redouble their commitment to a fast-fading political ideology. The latest example is the impending vote by the faculty of UCLA’s College of Letters […]

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What “Western Governors” Does Well

On most any college campus, first-year courses with more than a few dozen students have a high proportion of bored, disaffected, and/or uncertain students. Sometimes they feel that way because course materials just don’t excite them, or because they don’t seem relevant to their backgrounds and futures. But another reason is that neither the pace […]

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The Radicalization of the University of California

Are the 234,000 students enrolled in the massive University of California system receiving an education or a re-education? It’s the latter–or something fairly close–according to “A Crisis of Competence,” a report just released by the California Association of Scholars (CAS), the Golden State affiliate of the National Association of Scholars. The devastating 87-page report addressed […]

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The ‘Inequality’ Movement–A Campus Product

The sharp political focus on inequality, driven into the public mind by the Occupy movement and endorsed by President Obama in his State of the Union message, was born, not on the street, but on the campus. It thrives there, mostly under the aegis of elite universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia and Johns […]

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Unionize All Those Adjuncts?–Let’s Not

Some two-thirds of America’s college students are taught by adjuncts, and now the battle is on over whether these low-paid, low-status workers should be unionized. Adjuncts, also called contingent faculty, are teachers hired without tenure, paid a small fraction of those on tenure-track positions, (typically $2700 per course, with minimal benefits). All three college faculty […]

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The Terrible Textbooks of Freshman Comp

Freshman composition class at many colleges is propaganda time, with textbooks conferring early sainthood on President Obama and lavishing attention on writers of the far left–Howard Zinn, Christopher Hedges, Peter Singer and Barbara Ehrenreich, for instance–but rarely on moderates, let alone anyone right of center. Democrats do very well in these books, but Abraham Lincoln–when […]

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A Funny Book about Worthless Degrees

“Here are some [college] degrees that cost you roughly $30,000 in tuition, their much cheaper replacements, and the savings you’d realize:                   Degree                                  Replacement                                        Savings                   Foreign Languages                 Language Software                               $29,721                   Philosophy                             Read Socrates                                    $29,980                   Women’s Studies                   Watch Daytime TV                               $30,000                   Journalism                             Start […]

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The Ruinous Reign of Race-and-Gender Historians

In a ruling likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Montana Supreme Court last month upheld the state constitution’s prohibition on corporations directly spending on state campaigns. For those concerned with academic matters, the case is important for reasons quite unrelated to political debates about Citizens United. In a significant case involving […]

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Lady Gaga Makes It to Harvard

                        By Charlotte Allen What is it about academics and Lady Gaga? Last year it was a freshman writing course at the University of Virginia titled “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity.” This fall there’s an upper-division sociology course at the University of […]

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Higher Sex Ed

This article appeared on the National Association of Scholars site on August 30th. Eros is notorious for its power to thwart our better judgment and to baffle the rational mind. It can draw us to destinations we would do better to avoid and can prompt forms of resistance that are themselves out of balance and […]

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Romance Hinders Women in STEM Courses?

Another day, another bunch of dollars thrown at studies lamenting “the gender gap in science and technology fields.” The most recent comes from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation. From its Executive Summary: Our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is crucial to America’s innovative capacity and […]

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Literature Professors Discover Animals

English professors have long been straying far afield from literary studies, expanding into women’s studies, disability studies, ethnic studies, even fat studies.  Recently they have migrated into animal studies. An ambitious professor might be working on a paper for “Cultivating Human-Animal Relations Through  Poetic Form,.” a panel scheduled for  the November South Atlantic Modern Language […]

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Male Market Share and the Distortions of Women’s Studies

Has something finally changed in the sexual politics of academia? For more than a generation the verities of feminist theory and female interests have dominated administration policy, including who gets accepted to college and who graduates. Anyone who has taken part in academic life for the last thirty years is well aware of the organizational […]

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Big Is Beautiful

If there’s anything uniting faculty on different sides of the aisle nowadays it’s disapproval of large lecture courses. To the Left, lectures are authoritarian; to the Right, they are lowbrow. Better the egalitarian or members-only atmosphere of the seminar, they say. To anyone who is just “agin’ the guv’ment,” lecture courses suffer the stigma of […]

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15 Strangest College Courses

These are always fun. Samples: “Philosophy and Star Trek”, “Cyberporn and Society”, and “The Simpsons and Philosophy.”

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Majoring In Video Games

The LA Times just finished a 3-part series on the study of video game design, at the collegiate level. Over 200 schools offer courses in “some aspect of video game development.” On the one hand, these students are actually learning something that employers value – the average salary for a video game designer is $73,600. […]

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Across The Great Midwest

– The University of Michigan has opened a Computer and Video Games Archive Now, as the Michigan Daily reports, students can study video games at their library. “Or just play them.” How exactly will this work? Once traffic picks up, the library will use a reservation system, with priority going to researchers. …. Because of […]

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Be Glad You’re Not In These Classes

A new issue of the Dartmouth Review, and with it, a revealing listing of Dartmouth’s worst professors. Here are some stellar academics: A self-described “recovering racist” who makes her classes into an airing of grievances rather than a study of literature because she “can’t read male authors anymore,” Grantham injects her writing courses with dogmatic […]

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Harry Potter Studies?

In today’s smorgasbord world of offbeat college courses, it can be hard to persuade atudents to sign up for plain-vanilla offerings in, say, physics or philosophy. So some professors have discovered a way to attract bodies to their classrooms: add the name “Harry Potter” to the course title. One of the pioneers of this strategy […]

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Fat Chance? Adding Pounds To The Curriculum

Are overweight people a victim group? On many campuses they are. Over the past decade “Fat Studies” has shown up on the curriculum at many colleges. The courses have little to with actual study, and a lot to do with identity politics, the airing of grievances and demands for protection from the oppression of the […]

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California Cannabis Credit?

Only in California… can you take college courses aimed at training you for the medical marijuana business. Oaksterdam University, with campuses in Oakland, Calif., and Los Angeles, offers a full range of basic and advanced-level classes in such subjects as horticulture, distribution, and operating a dispensary to serve the 18,000-odd Californians licensed to smoke homegrown […]

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