From NYRB, a review essay on universities and academic life. From Minding the Campus, Naomi Schaefer Riley on highly stressed students and the aimless curriculum; Perry L. Glanzer on politics and the demise of the humanities; and The New Yorker takes on the US News College Rankings. From THES, a look at the Top Universities by Reputation 2011. College-rankings race goes global: Now even iPhone applications help calculate colleges' place in the Scheme of Things — far too much weight is placed on cracking the top 100 or 50 or name your tier.
A look at how journal rankings are "a spectre haunting universities everywhere". Renovation Project: Academe is again awash in talk of a crisis in the humanities. From Wired, last year, a University of Alabama scientist gunned down six colleagues — here's a look inside the actions of Amy Bishop. From First Things, when choosing a graduate program in theology, the best is not always not the brightest; and Go With God: Stanley Hauerwas pens an open letter to young Christians on their way to college. Tea, shortbread, and 3 things worth knowing: If students aren't culturally literate, a welcome diversion can help fill in their gaps of knowledge.
A review of The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University by Ellen Schrecker. The escalating arms race for top colleges: SAT tutor, $125 a session; campus visits, $4,000 — why it now costs a fortune to do your parental duty. A review of Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College by Andrew Ferguson (and more and more and more and more and more and more).
An anti-college backlash: Americans are finally starting to ask, "Is all this higher education really necessary?"