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Daniel Little

Blog Entries by Daniel Little

An Inclusive University

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 3:32 PM

American universities have talked a lot about the value of student diversity in the past 30 years. This is largely what the affirmative action debate was about: the positive educational value of including the perspectives of a racially and ethnically diverse group of students in the classroom. It is what...

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Fair Access to College?

(10) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 5:42 PM

Completing a college education is a large contributor to a young person's career success and lifetime earnings. A college education is one of the strongest ways through which a disadvantaged young person can have a better life than his or her parents enjoyed. So being able to go to college...

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Teaching a New Course

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 4:44 PM

Here is an experience almost all faculty have periodically: taking on a class assignment for a topic they haven't taught before, and that possibly falls outside their area of expertise.

I am having that experience right now, having agreed to teach a colleague's course on the history of the American...

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China's Children

(3) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 5:03 PM

Young Chinese parents are very anxious about their children. For some it is anxiety that their sons or daughters should do well and be the best.

For many others it is the collective consequence of the first anxiety. Many young parents I've talked to in recent visits to China...

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China's Universities

(4) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 4:16 PM

China has invested heavily in universities in the past ten years. There are now roughly 18 million university and technical students in China and over one million studying in foreign countries -- in fact, there are 1.1 million in the south central city of Wuhan alone. (In 1970 there were...

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The First Year in College

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 6:25 PM

The transition from high school to college is a big step in many different ways. We all want to see a greater degree of independence and motivation on the part of the student; we want the intellectual challenges to take a step up; and we want the student to begin...

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Why Humanities?

(6) Comments | Posted August 12, 2012 | 7:18 PM

Parents and siblings are sometimes a bit baffled when their student declares a passionate interest in the humanities. Why can't she pursue a practical degree like accounting or computer science? What is the use of a dozen courses in the humanities? More basically, what are the humanities?

The humanities are...

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Universities in the World

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 5:26 PM

Many universities have significant international relationships with educational institutions in other countries. In some instances these are intended to support students who are interested in studying abroad; in other instances they establish the foundation of faculty-to-faculty research collaboration; and in yet other cases they involve the coordination of specific academic...

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What About the College Voter?

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2012 | 7:36 PM

It will be a close presidential election in November, according to most observers and polls. Calculations are being made about how various electoral blocs will vote for the two major candidates -- women, Hispanics, urban residents, rural voters, or Arab-American voters.

There are about nine million four-year...

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Is Online Education the Answer?

(10) Comments | Posted July 22, 2012 | 5:38 PM

There is a great deal of enthusiasm -- usually outside of formal university settings -- for the potential of online post-secondary education. It is sometimes thought that online courses available for free or for very low tuition can allow anyone in the country or the world to gain a top-notch...

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Anticipating Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2012 | 10:55 AM

When people think about the value that universities bring to our society through research, the examples that come to mind generally fall in the areas of engineering, medicine, and new products. What we don't think about as much is the role that university-based research plays in helping all of us...

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Where Is Student Activism?

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 12:45 PM

What is the normal state of college students when it comes to activism about political causes? Are young people in universities today anything like their counterparts in Madison, Cambridge, or Champaign-Urbana in the 1960s, or are they more likely to be apathetic and disengaged when it comes to pressing social...

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Why a Sociology Major?

(11) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 11:34 AM

A college education leaves the graduate better prepared for career and citizenship. Certainly we must believe that if we continue to value college enough to spend the time and money that goes into a four-year baccalaureate. But what precisely are the new attainments that the college curriculum makes possible for...

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Putting 'Public' Back in Public Universities

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 12:21 PM

The U.S. has had a strong history of public universities offering a world-class education to non-affluent men and women. (As James Angell, an early president of the University of Michigan put it in the early years of the twentieth century, public universities offered "an uncommon education for the common man.")...

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The Realities of Race in the United States

(5) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 3:28 PM

Race and racial discrimination have been part of the social order in the United States for a very long time. But we do a very poor job of recognizing and understanding the realities of race in our country. And we've done an even worse job of ameliorating those realities.


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Philosophy Meets Occupy

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 1:28 PM

John Rawls's theory of justice was a defining text for liberals in the 1970s. Rawls laid out an extensive and fundamental theory of "justice as fairness" which he developed into an extensive moral foundation for any modern society. He suggested that we think of this theory as a sort of...

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Universities as Community Partners

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 8:22 PM

Every university is located somewhere. But for many of them, the location doesn't matter very much. The twin clichés of the ivory tower and the town-gown problem capture much of the locational philosophy of many universities. The majority of great universities in the US define their missions in terms of...

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