employment

An Unusually Stupid Court Ruling

Yesterday the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Michigan’s Proposal 2 violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.  Proposal 2 was a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to provide that state and local government agencies (including public universities) in Michigan “shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment […]

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The Beltway For-Profit Witch Trials

In mid September, the Congressional duo of George Miller and John Tierney joined their Senate colleagues Tom Harkin and Dick Durbin and the Department of Education in what might be described as the ongoing Beltway Witch Trials, where the alleged witches are the colleges that are legally organized on a profit-making basis. Messrs. Miller and […]

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Universities Are Vocational Schools

Why do students go to college? A new poll has a one-word answer: money. That’s one of the findings in a broad Gallup survey of college admissions officers done for Inside Higher Ed. The admissions officers seem to believe that those planning to attend college view it largely as a signaling device that directs the best […]

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Some Hope for Higher Ed Reform

The current conversation on higher ed reform coming is unusually platitudinous even for an election year. This was clearest earlier this year during the battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the proposed federal student loan interest rate, a subject fairly inconsequential in larger problem of sky-high college costs. In his Democratic nomination acceptance […]

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How to Save Tenure–Cut It Way Back

Professors with tenure have lifetime appointments that can only be revoked after some egregious transgression, summarized by such formal labels as moral turpitude, gross negligence or dereliction of duty. In effect, the only tenured professors who get the sack are those who have robbed a bank, raped a co-ed or pistol-whipped a colleague. Why would […]

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Finally, Some Disclosure by the ABA

Colleges–both on the undergrad and graduate levels–typically admit students and encourage them to take on onerous amounts of debt, without first giving those prospective students the actual data about their chances of finding work in that major field afterwards. This is just as true, by the way, for non-profit as it is for for-profit schools. […]

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Oppositional Gay Culture and the Future of Marriage

These are banner days for the gay-rights movement. “Banner Days” is in fact the front page headline in The New York Times Book Review for a review of Linda Hirshman’s new book, Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution. The reviewer, Rich Benjamin, praises Hirshman’s work but feels the need to chasten her on the extent of […]

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Harvard’s PR Machine and the Cherokees

Seemingly lily-white Elizabeth Warren’s supposed claim of Cherokee heritage may make for good campaign fodder–incumbent Senator Scott Brown has gone so far as to demand that Warren apologize for allowing Harvard to claim her as a minority–but the real lesson in this latest of partisan battles has more to do with university rather than electoral […]

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Is Investing in Community Colleges a Good Idea?

President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget contains an $8 billion program called the “Community College to Career Fund.” It would encourage community colleges, in partnerships with employers, to train about two million workers for future jobs. Since there are about 1,045 community colleges in America, the program would amount to a grant–over three years–of a little […]

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What’s Wrong with the Law Schools

By Frank J. Macchiarola and Michael C. Macchiarola As law schools have come under fire on many fronts, the growing cost of tuition has drawn the most attention.  This is not surprising, given the shrinking job market for lawyers and tuition increases that have far outpaced the general cost of living for more than two […]

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Check Out This Alternative to College

Institutions from charter schools to the White House are pushing hard for more young people to go to college, but with almost half of students at four-year colleges destined to leave without a degree, a counter-trend is starting to take hold: a loose coalition of people in the credentialing, training, and grant-making businesses are working […]

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College Budget Cuts: How Course Corrections Can Undermine Students

Governor Scott of Florida has decided to save taxpayers’ money by developing a way to ensure that people who study under state auspices in Florida do so in programs that will secure jobs. The way to do this, he says, is to stop training students to get degrees in subjects such as psychology and anthropology–especially […]

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A Foolish Move to Hobble For-Profit Colleges

Curbing for-profit colleges has been a goal of the Obama administration’s department of education. The plan was to erect regulatory hurdles to a very profitable product: online courses. In pursuit of that plan, the department issued a regulation last October requiring institutions offering Internet classes to seek permission from every state in which they enroll […]

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After Graduation, Get a Job Immediately, or Else

One of the frequent complaints one hears from humanities professors and figures in the “softer” social sciences is that students and a growing number of higher education officials, consultants, and commentators regard college more and more as a job-training program.  While driving across the country this week, I heard Rush Limbaugh declare that the only […]

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Less Academics, More Narcissism

Reprinted from City Journal.  California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s […]

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Adjuncts and the Devalued PhD

If you are a college student today enrolled in four classes during any given semester, it is likely that only one of your teachers is employed by your school in a permanent position that comes with a middle-class salary, job security, and benefits. The other three are contingent faculty, often called “adjuncts”; they have job […]

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Why College Still Matters

A growing chorus of critics says a college education is finished as the ticket to economic success and a middle-class life. The economy of the future, these critics suggest, actually requires far fewer college-educated citizens, because the U.S. economy is generating tens of thousands of jobs that require little or no higher education.  In essence, the […]

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A Terrible Time for New Ph.D.s

“If I don’t succeed in academe, I’ll die!” So read the anguished headline of a Jan. 23 cri de coeur to Salon magazine’s advice columnist, Cary Tennis. The writer was a woman who had apparently spent eight years acquiring a Ph.D. in anthropology, plus another seven years trying unsuccessfully to get an entry-level tenure-track professor’s […]

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Is It Fair to Call It a Scam?

Professor Richard Vedder is certainly one of the most knowledgeable — and wisest – commentators on American higher education. So his cautionary remarks should be taken very seriously. I have one reservation about calling the push for more colleges a “scam.” It is true that some youngsters knew all through college that they wanted to […]

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What Happens When College Is Oversold

As I wrote here last week, newly compiled data shows that a great many college graduates have been settling into jobs that do not require higher education. The data, prepared and released by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), show that a majority of the increased number of college grads since 1992—some 60 […]

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What Is Texas A&M up to?

Somewhere in America the president of a public university is getting hammered by the chairman of the board of regents. The hammerer—let’s say he owns a chain of automobile dealerships – is arguing that the president must get faculty costs under control – or else. “Admit it, John,” the chairman says to the president. “Your […]

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“Diversity” Goes Abroad (Or Doesn’t)

Casual or even close readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed could be forgiven for concluding that higher education in the United States these days is fixated on — indeed, consumed by — an overweening concern with “diversity.” Indeed, if all the reports on and studies of and efforts to promote […]

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A New Law Student Protest: ‘Where’s My Job?’

An interesting article in USA Today could signify the arrival of a new type of campus-related protest in America. In it, Mary Beth Marklein reported that a new generation of law students and graduates is rising in protest over the failure of law schools to give them honest accountings of the job market and their […]

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”Gender Gap” Mania

Inside Higher Ed had a brief notice yesterday, “Worldwide Gender Gap in Academic Salaries in Science,” that, though accurate as far as it goes, is revealingly, almost humorously, incomplete and misleading. Here is the IHE piece in its entirety: A worldwide analysis by Nature of the salaries of men and women in academic science has […]

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Why Faculty Unions Could Destroy Our Universities

After decades of trying, the Democrat-controlled Wisconsin legislature, with the encouragement of the union-backed governor, passed a statute allowing unionization of faculty in the University of Wisconsin system. Recently the first campus, Superior, voted to unionize their faculty by a 75-5 vote. I believe that ultimately faculty unions will seriously damage public universities in Wisconsin […]

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