Category Archives: Professor Announcements

Readings are posted for next week and a few random thoughts

Readings: The publication rate of stories about MOOC is amazing. I’ve tried to give you a sense of some of the recent ones, but it’s impossible to keep this up-to-date. This is a sampling.

Interviews: Today was busy, but I’ll email the staffers of some of the first set of interviewees tonight. I still need info on who the contact people are for a couple of groups.

A reflection on higher education today?: The news at Rutgers University with the basketball coach abuse scandal  could be a case study for a final exam on the material in this course. I won’t repeat the whole story if those are those who haven’t been reading about it, but basically, a basketball coach has been fired for being physically and verbally abusive to his players, caught on video tape by a former employee. He was making $750K a year and part of the motive for his hiring was to get Rutgers into the  Big Ten, where they would get more $ and more prestige. The coach’s boss, the athletic director, was a former TV executive who had never run a college program or been a coach,  but had experience doing national broadcasts of college games. This person is likely to be fired. The Rutgers president was hired less than a year ago to oversee a merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, a failing medical center. The State of NJ gave Rutgers control over the medical school because the officials believed that a merger would attract “more research money and therefore more prestige to Rutgers” (NY Times quote). He may be on his way out.  There are serious calls to fire the president too, as the abuse was known months ago and there was no serious action taken (shades of Penn State). High salaried administrators, cover-ups, untrammeled ambition to increase money and prestige, and scandal potentially eliminating the “living logo” when the logo is sullied — sounds like a show on cable TV. And this is an institution of higher education.

For interest, I looked up what their mission is:  “Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to turning knowledge into solutions for local, national, and global communities. As it was at our founding in 1766, the heart of our mission is preparing students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate and postdoctoral; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement. Rutgers is New Jersey’s land-grant institution and one of the nation’s foremost research universities, and as such, we educate, make discoveries, serve as an engine of economic growth, and generate ideas for improving people’s lives.” I’d give them a C-, at least for this semester.

Double majors: I have also attached a reading from the Chronicle on a study of the impact of double majoring along with the on-line commentary. This is not a required reading but I thought it was interesting in light of the high frequency of double majors in the class. double majors

See you next week.

Prof. Hainline

Recent News

From Professor Hainline:

This editorial—The Trouble With Online CollegeNYT—stimulated the responses below:

On popular view of HE in the US:
Americans Are Proud of U.S. Colleges but Not of Their Direction, The Chronicle

On the problems of HE and need for change:
From Dean Kirschner: Innovations in Higher Education? Hah!, The Chronicle
Responses to the Kirschner article on change in HE:
The Rut We’re In, The Chronicle

On the future of Higher Ed by a popular writer on HE:
Higher Education’s Future: Discuss!, NYT

On cheating scandal at Harvard:
Harvard Forced Dozens to Leave in Cheating Scandal, NYT

Who gets to go to college/diversity issues:
Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success, NYT

Two on the academic freedom issue at BC:
Academic Freedom Vindicated in Brooklyn, NYT
Academic Freedom in Brooklyn: Part Two, NYT

Administration of HE:

On MOOCs and technology in HE:

Today’s Times is full of HE articles, some about CUNY

From Professor Hainline:

I will eventually learn how to put these on the WordPress Blog, but much action in today’s Times and related posts on issues in higher education relevant to our discussions:

1.      Article about the pro-Palestinian speakers on the BC campus: Q: why is academic freedom a value on college campuses? Whose is entitled to it? Faculty? Students?

2.      Article about resignation of the President of Medgar Evers, embattled pretty much since he came to the school, and the role of the faculty in no-confidence votes (the President of NYU has just had one about various faculty matters, including the desire to build a huge building complex in Greenwich Village and his financial support of various International campuses of NYU – but no link for that today):

3.      An article about declining values of university and college endowments (Harvard’s is $30 billion), which points to the relationship between the resources for higher education and the larger financial markets in which institutions of HE invest:

4.      An op-ed piece about a person who got a college degree for less than $10K  (question is why people seem to think an N of 1 is any sort of argument; maybe the 10K degree missed something, but this is actually pretty common as a reasoning tool in arguments):

5.      Some eposts (not from today) on an article on need blind admissions and a letter form the President of Vassar about the impact of need blind admissions and the impacts of admissions policies on shifting financial aid from need to merit (which came up in our discussion of the other day):

6.      A post (also not from today, but relevant to the question of mission differentiation at different institutions we will be covering soon) from a former librarian at Yale about how the need for faculty to do research and scholarship affects UG tuition: