Race and Diversity at Utah Colleges

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune of 18 May conveys some good news and a dire warning of future mischief. The article asks “how many women and minorities are faculty at Utah’s universities.” The good news is (tho that is not at all the conclusion of the reporter, or of her sources), again in the words of the article, “no one really knows.” I regard it as profoundly encouraging that, though the Utah Board of Regents, the supervisory body over the state’s eight public institutions of higher learning, has…

The real scandal

The real scandal is, or at least ought to be, that grade inflation and credentialing are alive and well in our world. A thinking observer should say “OK, so Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin could buy their kids into Stanford or Harvard, but how could unqualified kids survive there?” Sadly, admission IS the game when it comes to top schools. The rest is, in two words from Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, “grade inflation.” For decades the top schools give students grades they don’t earn so as to guarantee their…

Does every college in Utah need NCAA athletics?

by Dan Burton and Shon Harris Does every Utah institution of higher education need NCAA sports? Let us put that differently: should students and taxpayers be subsidizing NCAA sports in Utah to the tune of $56M or could that money be prioritized for other needs, such as lowering student costs and fees? A couple weeks ago (or more, but we’re slow, okay?) the Utah State Auditor’s office released an analysis of subsidization of the NCAA by Utah, and it had all the impact of a bird pooping on the shiny glass of the Tower at Rice-Eccles Stadium.…

Free Community College Tuition

As an adjunct faculty member at a community college, I might be expect to welcome President Barack Obama’s proposal to make community college tuition-free. I don’t. This is another in a long line of great-sounding, ill-thought-out proposals emanating from the disconnected thinkers in Washington. It is a product of the psychological pathology that afflicts social engineers at every level of government. It springs from the idea that if the intentions behind a program are good, it must be worth doing, especially if it is “for the children.” It is typical…

College: a pretty good deal, if you can get it.

Is college worth it? A new study seems to indicate that college graduation, even with the growing cost of tuition, still returns income far above that of high school educated workers. Further, it isn’t the 1% that is the biggest cause of inequality in America–it’s college. I hate my student loans. I hate them with the heat of a thousand burning stars. Nevertheless, I would be dishonest and disingenuous if I didn’t admit it that it’s a love/hate relationship. Although I worked through college and most of my grad degree to support myself,…

Itchy Trigger Middle Finger

Two stories. Both involve triggers. In the wacky world of academia, a story was published in the New York Times last week about liberal universities regarding the content of course material. The letters (RE: manifestos) were sent by student organizations (RE: Marxist bullies) asking (RE: or else) professors to consider putting in “trigger warnings” regarding course readings and materials. The assertion suggests that students who have experienced trauma in their lives might be susceptible to a post-traumatic reaction from reading or viewing anything that may deal with war, poverty, racism,…

Occupy Wall Street vs. the Tea Party: Comparing Two Higher Education Reform Proposals

There is a battle going on for the heart, soul, but mostly political devotion of the Millennial generation.  Because this group overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama both times, common wisdom suggests this group will turn into a loyal lifelong voting bloc for democrats.  According to this recent Pew study on the millennials, it looks like their allegiance is far from guaranteed at this point for any institution. Anyone who knows me knows that I am in no way an expert on fashion, but this article in Millennial-centered Policymic caught my…