Thursday, January 29, 2009

Breaking: Internet Contains Errors!

Here is an important story for all of our students:  The internet may contain mistakes!

Factual Error Found on the Internet

I couldn't resist--enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Understanding and Explaining

 “There is an important difference between learning which is concerned with the degree of understanding necessary to practice a skill, and learning which is expressly focused upon an enterprise of understanding and explaining.” -- Michael Oakeshott

The university is, of course, supposed to be devoted to the second, not the first, writes Stanley Fish.

He writes about the nature of higher education in his NYTimes blog this week.  He discusses a new book that hopelessly chronicles the transformation of universities into institutions that only train young people for specific occupations.

The author of the book, Frank Donogue, describes how the "life of the mind" has been disparaged in American culture since the turn of the 20th century.  It is a sad story, without a happy ending, and raises the question as to whether there will be another generation of professors in the humanities.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spending on Teaching in Decline

The news story of the day is a report that show that spending on instruction has declined even as the student share of costs has risen.

On our own campus, we know that our salaries have not risen more than a hair, instructional staff numbers have increased, and new administrators seem to appear on a regular basis.

I wonder what the numbers are like on our own campus . . . 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

State Colleges on verge of trouble

I haven't been posting in a while--I hadn't realized that it was so long.

Perhaps my enthusiasm is starting to wane, but I don't think I'm ready to give up.

So in that spirit, here is an article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal about state colleges in trouble:

There is not much new news in the story, but it is a reminder about how precarious the finances are at private colleges.  It also warns of the coming cuts state institutions are likely to see in the next budget.