Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the state of higher education

...segues into obligatory season version of the ubiquitous "whither U" conversation ~ whether rant, lecture or dialog. Our New Year's resolution (another obligatory seasonal genre) should be moving it from rant and lecture to inclusive dialog. By inclusive, I mean not leaving adjuncts, contingent and NTT academic labor out of the national discussion and decision make. Don't just toss an occasional hush puppy panel or even all day bone to the noisy dog.

Anthony Grafton reviews Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus and Crisis on Campus by Mark Taylor. Is going to an elite college worth the cost? The sluggish economy and rising costs of college have only intensified questions about whether expensive, prestigious colleges make any difference. Michael Konczal on the 21st-century retreat from public higher education. The academy as a commodity: What if the market has already devalued the knowledge on which the entire operation of accountability is based? From Arcade, Gregory Jusdanis on the oppression of peer review. Academics have long been criticised for being out of touch with the real world; many make great efforts to dispel ivory tower attitudes, but others believe such habits will never disappear. An interview with Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, and David Ashton, authors of The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs and Incomes. The disposable academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time. Can Tolstoy save your marriage? Cultural classics offer vital lessons about how to live, but our universities don't teach them that way. An interview with Martha Nussbaum on the value of the humanities (and more). Victor Davis Hanson writes in defense of the liberal arts: The therapeutic Left and the utilitarian Right both do disservice to the humanities. We're all conservatives now: Academics from the left and right blame each other for the state of higher education, but they're in agreement more than they realize.

Our part is to come to table stunningly well informed: homework done, all sides researched ~ add well articulated objectives to the list. Hence the timeliness of yet another review.

Coming up in this seasonally appropriate Janus series: an adjuncts' top 10 list for 2010, maybe even best and worst lists. Then if not resolutions, directions and realistic objectives for 2011.

What's on your list?

Posted via email from Academentia

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