FOR CAMPUS ORGANIZING
How to write like an academic. We tried it and came up with this: "The reification of post-capitalist hegemony opens a space for the historicization of the gendered body."
Default: The Student Loan Documentary is a 27 minute film chronicling the stories of borrowers from different backgrounds affected by the student lending industry and their struggles to change the system. No matter when their loans were taken, many borrowers now find themselves in a paralyzing predicament of repaying two, three or multiple times the original amount borrowed, with no bankruptcy protection, no cap on fees and penalties and no recourse under the law. The consequences are dire, with stories of borrowers in financial and emotional ruin.
Provocative thinking and the American university seem never to have got on well together -- V. L. Parrington
A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students. - John Ciardi
LA Times - People with a bachelor's degree make 84% more over a lifetime than high school graduates. In 1999, the premium was 75. . . On average, a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime, compared to $2.3 million for a college graduate and $1.3 million for those with a high school diploma. People with less education in high-paying occupations can out-earn their counterparts with advanced degrees. But within the same industry, workers with more schooling usually land better paychecks.
Ohio State buys armored truck to defend itself agains its students
scans before exams?
Harpers Index: Percentage of college professors teaching online courses who do not believe students should receive credit for them : 72
76 percent of American university faculty are adjunct professors - an all-time high. Unlike tenured faculty, whose annual salaries can top $160,000, adjunct professors make an average of $2,700 per course and receive no health care or other benefits.
As recently as 2004 law school applications numbered nearly 100,000, and three years ago the figure stood around the mid-80s. Now its plunged to a projected 53,000-54,000, with an especially sharp recent dropoff among the most sought-after students with the highest scores. - Overlawyered
@Harpers: % increase since 2000 in the compensation of full professors at the 50 wealthiest private US universities: 14 . .. . . In the compensation of the presidents of those universities: 75
Average SAT score (out of 2400) of students from households with an income below $20,000: 1322 . . . From households with an income above $200,000: 1722 - @Harpers
UC Berkeley gets ready for new class of freshmen
Four of every five dissertations examined contained examples of word-for-word plagiarism. the researcher found no difference between religious and secular schools. When she used a more stringent criterion five or more copied words the incidence of unacknowledged borrowing hit 100 percent.
Chris Hedges, Truthdig - The multiple failures that beset the country, from our mismanaged economy to our shredded constitutional rights to our lack of universal health care to our imperial debacles in the Middle East, can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead, through the filter of standardized tests, enrichment activities, advanced-placement classes, high-priced tutors, swanky private schools and blind deference to all authority, on creating hordes of competent systems managers. The collapse of the country runs in a direct line from the manicured quadrangles and halls in places like Cambridge, Mass., Princeton, N.J., and New Haven, Conn., to the financial and political centers of power.
The nation's elite universities disdain honest intellectual inquiry, which is by its nature distrustful of authority, fiercely independent and often subversive. They organize learning around minutely specialized disciplines, narrow answers and rigid structures that are designed to produce certain answers. The established corporate hierarchies these institutions service -- economic, political and social -- come with clear parameters, such as the primacy of an unfettered free market, and with a highly specialized vocabulary. This vocabulary, a sign of the "specialist" and of course the elitist, thwarts universal understanding. It keeps the uninitiated from asking unpleasant questions. It destroys the search for the common good. It dices disciplines, faculty, students and, finally, experts into tiny, specialized fragments. It allows students and faculty to retreat into these self-imposed fiefdoms and neglect the most-pressing moral, political and cultural questions. Those who defy the system -- people like Ralph Nader -- are branded as irrational and irrelevant. These elite universities have banished self-criticism. They refuse to question a self-justifying system. Organization, technology, self-advancement and information systems are the only things that matter. . .
I sat a few months ago with a former classmate from Harvard Divinity School who is now a theology professor. When I asked her what she was teaching, she unleashed a torrent of obscure academic code words. I did not understand, even with three years of seminary, what she was talking about. You can see this absurd retreat into specialized, impenetrable verbal enclaves in every graduate department across the country. The more these universities churn out these stunted men and women, the more we are flooded with a peculiar breed of specialist. This specialist blindly services tiny parts of a corporate power structure he or she has never been taught to question and looks down on the rest of us with thinly veiled contempt. . .
Barack Obama is a product of this elitist system. So are his degree-laden cabinet members. They come out of Harvard, Yale, Wellesley and Princeton. Their friends and classmates made huge fortunes on Wall Street and in powerful law firms. They go to the same class reunions. They belong to the same clubs. They speak the same easy language of privilege and comfort and entitlement. They are endowed with an unbridled self-confidence and blind belief in a decaying political and financial system that has nurtured and empowered them.
These elites, and the corporate system they serve, have ruined the country. These elite cannot solve our problems. They have been trained to find "solutions," such as the trillion-dollar bailout of banks and financial firms, that sustain the system. They will feed the beast until it dies. Don't expect them to save us. They don't know how. And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implodes, and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, they will be exposed as being as helpless, and as stupid, as the rest of us.
Patricia Cohen, NY Times - Three sets of researchers recently concluded that professors have virtually no impact on the political views and ideology of their students. If there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, "they've done a pretty bad job," said A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an author of the new book "Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities."
A study of nearly 7,000 students at 38 institutions published in the current PS: Political Science and Politics, the journal of the American Political Science Association, as well as a second study that has been accepted by the journal to run in April 2009, both reach similar conclusions. "There is no evidence that an instructor's views instigate political change among students," Matthew Woessner and April Kelly-Woessner, a husband-and-wife team of political scientists who have frequently conducted research on politics in higher education, write in that second study. Their work is often cited by people on both sides of the debate, not least because Mr. Woessner describes himself as politically conservative.