college professors April 30, 2018

Red America, Blue America: A Country (Campus) Very Much Divided

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Disclosing that I am a college professor conjures up its own set of stereotypes. While it is true that there has been an upward trend of liberal college professors on our nation’s campuses, especially in the social sciences, it is important not to paint all with the same brush. Just as there are different types of conservatives (e.g., fiscal, social, etc.) the same could be said for liberals. Pigeonholing anyone without truly getting to know him or her, based merely upon profession, outward appearance, or car choice, is not constructive to our civil discourse. The same also applies to passing judgment based upon someone’s choice of candidate in the last presidential election.


higher education April 4, 2018

How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them

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About 20 years ago, when I first started covering higher education from a journalistic perspective in addition to working in the field, the big discussion was how colleges should function more like businesses. Rather than restricting themselves to an older model that placed the mission of the university in the hands of faculty and administrators who purported to know best what students need to learn and that depended on a great deal of state support to get the job done, institutions should be responsive to their customers, who were increasingly seen to be the student and, to an extent, businesses.


Leadership in Higher Education Conference January 12, 2018

Highlights from the Magna Leadership in Higher Education Conference

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More than 200 academic leaders attended Magna’s Leadership in Higher Education Conference in Baltimore, Md., for a two-and-half-day exploration of and best practices that define effective leadership in higher education. Here is a recap of the presentations given by the event’s three distinguished plenary speakers.



organized desk, organization September 4, 2017

Getting Organized: Tips for Academic Leaders

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Many people want to get organized but don’t know where to begin. Or, they make a major effort to reduce the clutter in their offices but can’t stay organized, and their desks soon become as messy as they were before their last attempt to purge the papers from their offices. So, how can academic leaders get organized, stay organized, and use this higher degree of organization to improve their work?


student safety, campus safety, student walking alone with headphones August 21, 2017

Can Technology Improve Student Safety?

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The Companion app, explain the University of Michigan students, provides more immediate safety. “If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running, or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects these changes in movement and asks the user if they’re OK. If the user is fine, they press a button on the app to confirm within 15 seconds. If they do not press the button, or a real emergency is occurring, the Companion app transforms the user’s phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises to scare criminals from the scene, and gives the option to instantly call the police.”



Higher Education July 31, 2017

Higher Education as a Public Good: A Perspective from Iceland

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In Iceland, public universities are supported by the state while private universities are supported by a combination of state funds and partnership support from industry. Iceland is trying to figure out how to straddle two concepts of higher education: the “public good” model of most Nordic countries and the “private good” model used in the United States and elsewhere.


The Purdue University Memorial Student Union Building in Indiana, Kaplan University, for-profit June 26, 2017

Purdue and Kaplan: A Good Business Deal That May Hurt Students

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In late April, Purdue University, a selective-admission public university, shocked the higher education community (including its own faculty) by announcing that it had purchased a large chunk of for-profit Kaplan University. The purchase would give Purdue an immediate, mostly-online operation consisting of 32,000 students, 15 physical locations, and 3,000 employees. The new name for the Kaplan side of Purdue has not yet been announced, leading many to dub it “New University.”
On the surface, this is a positive and logical move.