Browsing All Posts filed under »Education«

Some Thoughts on the Firing of James R. Riley at University of Alabama

September 22, 2019

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An announcement made on Sept. 5 was terse and expressed the opinion that the case was closed: “Dr. James Riley has resigned his position at the University of Alabama by mutual agreement,” Chris Bryant, a spokesman for the University, wrote in an email, adding “Neither party will have any further comments.” Case closed. I thought […]

Welcome to College, 2019 Style

May 26, 2019

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Welcome to College, 2019 Style As I periodically review life inside of colleges and universities today, I’m not sure whether to cry or laugh hysterically. An article in the WSJ, “College Wouldn’t Cost So Much If Students and Faculty Worked Harder” (April 11, 2019) caught my attention. The author, Richard Vedder, wondered why colleges cost […]

On Dogs and Dating Services

December 2, 2018

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As I was checking out a few weeks ago with my $uper duper dog food at one of the several pet supply stores in town, I thought back a bit to when I was growing up. I think all pet food was in the local grocery store and the big choice was bags or cans, […]

Grading and Branding

December 2, 2018

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A few weeks ago, we directed some attention to the phenomenon of grade inflation in America in the past half century. Today students are thought of as “customers” and “clients,” rather than acolytes in search of knowledge, at least in theory. I’d like to examine another novelty in higher education, “branding.” My wife was reared […]

Grade Inflation

December 2, 2018

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Some University of Alabama entering freshman statistics are noticeably good, like at least 36 percent had a high school GPA of 4.0 or higher. That’s not a typo. In our traditional grading system, a 4.0 was the highest-grade point average you could attain. How could you have higher? I think it was that statistic that […]

Freshman Orientation

December 2, 2018

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Freshman orientation is a rite of passage many of us went through, probably half smugly since we were 17 or 18 and pretty sure the world was our oyster. The other half of us was a little tentative at what lay ahead. I hadn’t thought about freshman orientation in a while until I saw where […]

Grading

September 24, 2018

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We all get graded, all the time. You may have thought of “grading” as something just to do with school and colleges. But grading is also a phenomenon across the spectrum of all our life. Traditional grading goes, of course, from 0 to 100. Sometimes we reduce the scale from 0 to 10. “On a […]

Choosing Colleges and Universities

November 29, 2017

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I have reached that generation where my friends have children and grandchildren of college age. In the public interest, since I’ve been in higher education more than half a century, I thought I would provide friends and readers with a guide to how colleges and universities rank in this country. We all know who ranks […]

St. Francis and the Crusaders

September 14, 2017

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A  few semesters ago I taught a course online at UA on the first half of the history of Christianity. The students in this course sampled how Christianity came into being and evolved over the first 1500 years. One of the questions they had to address was how the Church could have produced both a […]

Eggheads, Pointy Headed Intellectuals and the American Public

September 14, 2017

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There is a war on these days between the intellectual world and the rest of us. Who are intellectuals? Basically, it is those who embrace and esteem the world of the mind higher than the common world most of us inhabit. Merriam-Webster defines intellectual as someone chiefly guided by the intellect rather than emotion or […]