Expanding Diversity at the University of Alabama

June 29, 2020

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A few weeks ago we began an examination of racial integration, diversity, and its brothers “equity” and “inclusion” in the overall scheme of education across the nation, but more specifically at the University of Alabama for the obvious reason that we are here, not someplace else. At various points between 2008 and today UA moved–in […]

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Integrating Alabama as Prelude to Diversity

June 21, 2020

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This is the second piece in a series of Op-eds devoted to the subjects of integration, diversity, equity, and inclusion within the University communities of the nation but with particular emphasis on the University of Alabama. This is largely, obviously, since we are here, not in someplace like Boston, Seattle, or Miami. Much of what […]

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George Will, California, and Alabama

June 18, 2020

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Not too long ago one of George Wills’ columns was devoted to “Higher education’s mandatory political participation.” What in the world was George writing about this time? “Mandatory political participation” of whom, in what? I read on and found myself understanding George this time, almost the first time around.  As usual George approached his subject […]

What you pay for higher education

June 8, 2020

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I am going to make some suggestions on how UA, and many universities for that matter, can meet the financial and medical crises produced by the Corona virus pandemic and accompanying crashes all along the economic scale, from the Stock Market’s erratic behavior or perhaps to the forced bankruptcy of your local hair dresser. I […]

The Virtues of Real Life Versus Virtual Life

May 28, 2020

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I am going to sound like a true troglodyte speaking of the past way of doing things as opposed to today’s way of doing things. But I see education slipping down the road of dispirited encounters with screens and videos rather than fresh and life-giving moments in the real with teachers, and it is both […]

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Posted in: Life in America

How to Explain Who We Are

May 28, 2020

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Not too long ago I read two pieces that got me to thinking. The first was a piece in an online journal, The Daily Signal, titled “The Virus Before the Virus” by Armstrong Williams, and the second was “How a civilization ends,” a review of a new book, The Abandonment of the West, by Michael […]

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The Long Run

May 20, 2020

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I’ve heard it say, over the years and at different times, that so and so, or such and such is in it for the long run, and Americans, for whatever reason or cause, will give up eventually, and take the short cut to the end, not invest in the long haul. “They’re not a long […]

Random Acts of Kindness

May 5, 2020

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I always thought the phrase “random acts of kindness” was basically invented by telejournalists to lift up the spirits of their listeners accustomed to 24 hours of bad news, 7 days a week, 12 months of the year. How much bad, or fake, or depressing news of the affairs of men (and women of course; […]

Spanish History, 101

May 5, 2020

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We periodically revisit Spain in this column not simply because I like Spain, but in the U. S. today 41 million people speak Spanish as their first language, or 13% of the population. There are also nearly 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers here, like me.  In fact, the U. S. is the second-largest Spanish speaking […]

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The Biggest Church and the Smallest Church in Town

April 10, 2020

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I sometimes drive on Crescent Ridge Road, perhaps going to buy a shrub or some vegetable seedlings for my vegetable garden at Brown’s Nursery and enjoy the wonderful views to the east from the high points along the road. You can see, I bet, for ten or fifteen miles, the woods, and small hills, and […]