Two Commencement Talks That Got Attention

Jonathan Imber

Jonathan Imber contrasts two prominent commencement addresses with a more obscure one.

Introducing NAS Fall Intern Kate Hamilton

Ashley Thorne

A current intern describes how a liberal arts education led her to support the mission of NAS.

Steve Jobs on His College Experience

George Leef

Read about it in this talk he gave back in 2005. He dropped out of Reed College after a few months, but stuck around to sit in on some classes that he found interesting. The one that interested him the most: calligraphy.

Working Without Pay, Paying to Work

Glenn Ricketts

There's an interesting review over at NRO of Ross Perlin's Intern Nation, a book that examines the growing and almost wholly invisible number of unpaid intern positions that are eagerly staffed by college students or recent college graduates. Many of them are in higher education or are referrals by academic work/study programs. All of them are uncompensated, a sizable number are illegal, and in many instances the interns actually pay to play.

The reviewer, herself a graduate student at Harvard, surveys the landscape of this strange workforce and ponders the social implications of its continued growth. The author, she reports, seems to think there's a revoultion brewing.

FERPA -- Another Case of Federal Overreach?

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, Steven Roy Goodman takes a critical look at FERPA (the Family and Educational Rights Privacy Act) and argues that it often impedes access to key information about college students.

Documentary on E.D. Hirsch: Call for Participants

Do you know E.D. Hirsch? Are you interested in his ideas? Be part of a documentary on his intellectual career.

Can Innovation Transform Higher Education?

George Leef

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, Burck Smith, the entrepreneur behind StraighterLine, writes about the prospects for dramatic change through innovation in higher education. Innovation can very readily disrupt free markets. The trouble, Smith argues, is that higher education is not a very free market; it is strewn with obstacles such as accreditation that hinder innovation.

Fall 2010 Highlights from NAS

It’s December! In case you missed us this fall, here are the 20 top articles from NAS in September, October, and November.

Facebook and U: The Dangers of University Email

Jonathan Bean

A certain Midwestern state requires all of its state employees, university workers included, to undergo "ethics training." This year the state confirmed the dangers of using university email for anything personal--including logging on to Facebook. The training noted how wrong it was for a university employee to log on to Facebook with his/her .edu email.

Many still do not know how this "misappropriation" of "state property" can be a ready excuse to ax employees, expel students, decertify student groups, etc. (Fortunately, my university has a "reasonable use" policy but I won't leave it up to a campus cyber czar to determine what is "reasonable"!).

I warned about this last year and this official state warning ought to be heeded. Search for all accounts using your .edu address -- or be busted. Advice to private sector workers: this applies to you too even if you aren't bound by a state ethics law. Pick up a computer magazine and see the advertisements for network "sniffing" software aimed at detecting illicit use of work email.

If you think I'm paranoid, well read some of the real-life examples from my past blog posts: here and here.

Fashion and the Oil Spill

Peter Wood

Good news for those who have eagerly awaited academe’s considered responses to last summer’s Gulf oil spill.  And even better news for those who have been eagerly awaiting how the Deepwater Horizon disaster has been received and analyzed among cutting-edge professors of fashion and design.  On October 6, the New School in New York City will host a panel of faculty members who will discuss the undersea gusher.  The moderator is the dean of “Parsons The New School for Design,” as it is now awkwardly named, and panelists will include an economist, a chemist, and intriguingly, an associate provost, Elizabeth Ellsworth, who as “co-director of the smudge studio,” might indeed know something about spilling viscous liquids. I am, however, even more intrigued by what scheduled speaker Shelley Fox, the Donna Karan Professor of Fashion, will unveil at the event.

Fixing America One Treadmill at a Time

Peter Wood

These liberal arts professors have some strange ideas on how to change the world.

2010 Summer Highlights

Ashley Thorne

Happy fall! Here's a roundup of our top articles from June, July, and August.

Do Student Evaluations Help Improve Education?

George Leef

In today's Pope Center piece, Professor Robert Weissberg argues that they're more likely to do the opposite. They tend to promote mediocrity and encourage at least some profs to pander to the students in order to get nice evaluations. In a course where most of the students are actually there because they want to learn, a professor could certainly benefit from their feedback. On the other hand, where the typical student is disengaged, ill-prepared, and enrolled in college principally to have fun, evaluations are a waste of time at best.

Dana College Discontinued

Ashley Thorne

Having lost its accreditation, Dana College, a small Lutheran college in Nebraska founded in 1884 by Danish pioneers, announced this week that it will close.

Does the Faculty Lounge Rule?

Candace de Russy

The incomparable Victor Davis Hanson thinks so, evincing evidence that ethnic centers have the run of our institutions, and economics and political science departments determine policy. And so goes the nation, resembling for all the world "a faculty bull session over coffee."

2010 Spring Semester Highlights

Ashley Thorne

50 of our top articles this year.

Pets in Dorms...No Comment

Glenn Ricketts

Bring your pit bull to class? Colleges welcome quadraped companions.

What Academia Could Learn from the Business World

Ashley Thorne

Results-based accountability, for one thing, writes NAS board member Herbert London in his editorial, "Profit vs. Proselytizing: Business Lore and Academic Practice."

Spring and Summer Highlights

Ashley Thorne

We present a round-up of the some of the best articles from the last few months, in case you missed one or would like to revisit your favorites.

Introducing ASMEA

Ashley Thorne

A new organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, upholds reasoned inquiry and the pursuit of the truth.

Who Am I?

Peter Wood

NAS president Peter Wood tries to distinguish himself from his namesakes.

Hucksters and Con Men: The NYT Goes to School

Peter Wood

Education Life publishes epiphanies and sales pitches.

Friday Fromage

Ashley Thorne

Jesus at Georgetown, recession ed, higher ed's mortality, more student protests, and backsliding.

Smoked Out in Latrobe

Peter Wood

Academics, tobacco, banana splits, guns, slag heaps, and Shangri-La: NAS President Peter Wood goes home.

Icy Memories: A Scrapbook of our Winter Articles

Ashley Thorne

As wintry days turn to spring, be sure not to miss a thing!

We Deliver

Peter Wood

We offer a free CASNET subscription: you can get NAS and other important articles delivered to your inbox.

Hell for Brunch

Peter Wood

Hell comes to Princeton to discuss campus identity politics, the sustainability movement, and Obama's everyone-goes-to-college plan.

Education and Intelligence--Part 3: Neuroplasticity

Tom Wood

In the third of this four-part series, Tom Wood looks at the "Copernican revolution in the brain sciences."

Whats Mine Ain't Yours

Peter Wood

Is there still such thing as intellectual property rights?

The College Backgrounds of America's Leading Syndicated Columnists

Tom Wood

Journalism's roots in higher education remind us of the university's role in public society.

The College Backgrounds of America's Leading Newspaper Opinion Columnists

Tom Wood

A look at how higher education has influenced the analysts and inscribers of American public opinion.

The College Backgrounds of America's Talking Heads

Tom Wood

Have the liberal arts influenced our nation's leading political analysts?

A Penny For Your Thoughts (APFYT)

Adrianna Groth

Observations on the "comment" in the age of the blog.

Jailhouse Ed

Peter Wood

If prisoners can earn college degrees while incarcerated, can the Liberal Arts liberate?