Author Archives: Yaasen Bhutta

About Yaasen Bhutta

"Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird".

Questions 4/24/13

1. Liberal arts colleges are supposed to be more focused on teaching rather than research, according to the wikipedia article. Do you feel that colleges that call themselves liberal arts colleges, like Brooklyn College, fall under than definition?

2. Why do European colleges not generally have liberal arts programs, considering the liberal arts in the western context were founded there.

3.Why would students want to go to a non-liberal arts university if those universities are more teaching-focused?

4. Is there any way to test if a liberal arts college makes a student more “humane” or “globally a citizen”? If so, what are some ways?

5. Do you believe college is more necessary to get a good job or to get a good critical education?

6. Do you believe that counselors of certain professions erroneously suggest that undergraduate students go into a certain major?

7.What changes, if any, have colleges employed in their curricula to match the growing desire of interpersonal skills that employers desire in today’s job market?

8. What are some ways to improve high school graduation rates and what are some policies that NYC BoE have used in the past?

9. WHy do you think those with the least physical ability (the 1st quintile) earn the most amount of money?

10. DO you personally feel that attending college for the past two years has increased your ability to think critically, write, or demonstrate complex reasoning? Why?

Questions for Kafui

1. What are some technological improvements you’ve noticed in CUNY, if any? What sort of improvements do you, as a former student, think would most benefit students today?

2.  Massive Open Online Courses have become very popular in recent years. Do you think that not experiencing an education in a brick and mortar setting, meaning an actual classroom, leaves a student without the proper resources to acquire knowledge, or that these MOOCs are both convenient and effective?

3. As a professor, would you be comfortable with disseminating lectures online without any interaction with students?

4. What do you see as the future of online courses? WIll they ever be on par with traditional schooling?

5. What single technological improvement (such as e-mail, online websites) has most benefited the student-professor interaction?

Questions for 4/17/13

1. What are some reasons why college presidents might not see MOOCs as something that could contribute to higher education in a large way?

2. Does class based affirmative action, in today’s economy, seem to cost too much to already underfunded schools, and are there any alternatives that could be used instead of socioeconomic background as a means of admission?

3. Sustainability in universities financially would enable greater funds to be given towards helping underrepresented students. However, many universities have issues, especially with lowering or controlling costs. What are some ways for universities to become more financially sustainable?

4. Have imbalances between working and receiving financial aid canceled the balance to democratic higher education that affirmative action was supposed to bring?

5. Are the policies that punish colleges for low 4-year degree completion rates, and thus encouraging colleges to aim for wealthier students, the main reason for mission creep?

6. What is the ultimate goal or expectation of affirmative action? Is it to bring all people to the middle class or in a stable living situation, or is it to racially balance the unstable living situations? Will providing extra help to those who are most needy financially negatively impact those students that do not receive as much or any help, and leave the issue unsolved?

7. Often, students that are chosen based more on race or class than merit are not prepared for higher education? What are some ways that the university can prevent a lack of preparedness and prevent dropping out?


Questions for President Gould

– Just as community colleges are considered a platform for many non-traditional students to begin their pursuit of a degree, do you expect open online classes to do the same? Will they gain a more influential role in allowing non-traditional students to get started?

– Will an increase in online classes given by institutions increase the democracy of higher education, or simply filter those in a lower socioeconomic class out of public higher education? How would either affect Brooklyn College or CUNY in general financially and socially?

-Many of today’s employers value potential employees that exhibit people skills and can work well in groups. Would moving instruction  away from classrooms hurt social interactions, or help them via webinars/online interaction and add a level of personal responsibility to group work, since one must take the initiative to interact online as well.

-CUNYfirst is one of the newest technological innovations CUNY has provided to students, and it’s already generated controversy over some minor glitches and due to it deviating from the former WEBsims. How will CUNYfirst benefit students and what other technological innovations on campus are there in the future for Brooklyn College?

Reading Questions 4/10

1. How has technology affected your stay in Brooklyn College? Have you
had positive or negative experiences and what improvements could BC make
to improve technology at the campus?

2.If online teaching increases, what are some of the potential affects to a
college education overall?

3. Will massive open online courses improve the original definition of
higher education, to improve the mind and honor the idea
of knowledge or undermine it?

4.What effect will MOOCs have on research in universities?

Old questions for Dr.Brier

1. Is there still an elitist sense in schools such as the Ivy League that looks down upon knowledge that can be immediately utilized (page 14 of Traub) and if so, are their students negatively impacted by this?

2. Did the idea of having an institution with only the “purest intellectual elite” do anything for City College in the 20s and 30s besides increase its prestige?

3. Is the teaching method that involves primarily lecturing with little input from students hindering the original notion of students increasing intellectual wisdom, or is this style effective and necessary for the large student populations?


1.What is a faculty audit?
2. Do you feel colleges spend too much on dorming luxuries and other useless “frills”? Give examples from your or a friend’s experiences.
3. Should very small classes be eliminated, although they may have a dedicated core of students interested in the topic?
4. Does a person really need a PhD to be a professor? What role do graduate student/teachers play in shifting the original notion of a phD being necessary?
5. What may happen in the future if tuitions continue to increase?
6. Will the value of a degree decease if less students go to college?

General Interview Questions

1. Do you feel that your institution is designed for providing a realm of intellectual expertise or as a means of providing knowledge that can be immediately utilized? Is one better than the other?

2. What does this institution look for specifically when attempting to create a diverse student body?

3. Does research hinder the educational process? If it detracts professors from their teaching duties, can it be considered a necessary evil?

4. How active is student activism in your school? Does the administration encourage outspoken students or discourage them? How so?

5. What are some future innovations that your institution would like to implement in the future to improve the education experience>

Questions for Professor Brier 3/13/13

1. Is there still an elitist sense in schools such as the Ivy League that looks down upon knowledge that can be immediately utilized (page 14) and if so, are their students negatively impacted by this?

2. Did the idea of having an institution with only the “purest intellectual elite” do anything for City College in the 20s and 30s besides increase its prestige?

3. Does the current system of lecturing with minimal discussion from students in many classes lead to a sense of passivity in students? And if so, does this passivity negatively affect students willingness to be more outspoken in administrative issues and other issues outside of the classroom?