Tag Archives: university

The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

Student activism has led Stanford‘s Board of Trustees to vote to stop investing in coal-mining companies. This action is a significant step in the ever-growing fossil fuel divesment movement on campuses across the country.

In the growingly visible national conversation on sexual assault on college campuses, including a recently launched campaign by the White House to confront the issue, many local movements have been getting increasing attention.

The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

The recent news that a Wesleyan student is suing Psi  U due to rape allegations has sparked debate over the role of fraternities in sexual assault, and their presence on college campuses. Zach Schonfeld ’13 has written two in-depth articles on the matter. The first explores the history of various universities that have decided to get rid of their fraternities, and the follow-up wondering if Wesleyan will be the next to do the same.

A recent piece in The Nation explores the worrying fate of publically engaged academic intellectuals in the university system, reflecting on the recent firings of two Columbia professors.

George Washington University Still in Existence After Becoming “Unranked” by US News

Wesleying recently reported on the absolutely devastating blow dealt to the image, pride, and general magic of Wesleyan University when U.S. News and World Report dropped Wes from 12th to 17th on their “Best Liberal Arts colleges” rankings.

But that hardly compares to the trauma inflicted on poor George Washington University when the same publication destroyed all of the prestige, importance, history, and soul of GW in a single, violent instant: when it stripped GW of its ranking at 51st on US News‘ Best Universities list. According to NBC Washington:

George Washington University on Wednesday lost its U.S. News and World Report Ranking as one of the top national universities because the school revealed it had erroneously reported data on incoming students for more than a decade.

For the 2011 entering class, the university revealed last week that it had inadvertently overstated the number of students listed in the top 10 percent of their high school class by 20 percentage points.

Academic credentials of incoming students are one of the variables used by U.S. News and other publications to rank schools.

U.S. News chief ranker Bob Morse wrote online that … U.S. News handles misreporting of data on a “case-by-case basis” and that it had not changed any other school’s ranking in the current cycle.

Conversations on Controversy: The University

Do you have feelings about tuition increasing? What about your job prospects upon graduation from a liberal arts school? Given the current economy, where do you see higher education going in the next 20 years? Jared Radin ’12 and the American Studies Majors Committee invite you to ask these questions and more at their latest Conversations on Controversy installment: The University. 

The American Studies Majors Committee presents a conversation on the University as a social and cultural institution. In a time of economic and political uncertainty, many have begun to wonder about the future of small liberal arts colleges such as Wesleyan. What does this kind of place offer today? How might it be improved? Is this still an environment which fosters true critical engagement or has it become a “diploma factory”? Critics across the political spectrum have questioned the function, structure, and even the very existence of the liberal arts college.  We hope that this conversation will be an opportunity for members of the Wesleyan community to dialogue about the nature of higher education today.

For more, check out this video.

Date: Tomorrow, May 8th
Time: 6 pm
Place: The Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor of Usdan
Cost: Free

“The University has no Clothes” – New York Magazine

Photo credit: New York Magazine

A couple of weeks ago I posted a brief comment regarding libertarian, entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s mission to rip the universal fabric of higher education’s importance to education, job prospects, and the rate of winning at life.

It comes, I think, at the spear’s tip of an emerging wave of skepticism over whether or not whippin’ out around $200,000 for a college education (or incurring the Wrath of Debt in that magnitude) is worth the investment. There seems to be a steadily rising number of popular written material on this issue in the past couple of months, and only time can tell whether the raised awareness of it all will ultimately change things before American society hits some sort of economic pressure point and explodes.

And while most of these writings say generally the same things (like this whole university thing is a bubble like the housing thing was, kids don’t actually learn shit in school, etc. etc.), this recent article in New York Magazine – entitled “The University has no Clothes” – has particular appeal enough to warrant a Wesleying post for three reasons.

  1. It engages the Peter Thiel Project from a different angle.
  2. It comes with the above picture of naked people.
  3. And it has the following quotation:

“People come back to me,” he (James Altucher, a subject of the article) says over lunch at a crowded restaurant in Union Square, “very smart, intelligent people, and say, ‘Look, college teaches you how to think, college teaches you how to network, college teaches you how to write.’ Personally, I didn’t learn how to do any of those things in college.” What Altucher learned to do in college, he says, is what all young men—“with almost no exceptions”—learn to do: drink and talk to women.

According to the sloths we here at Wesleying hired to research the tastes and preferences of our readers, these are precisely the things that appeal to you folks. For the article, click here.

Happy Hangover Holiday!