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Jonathan R. Cole

Entries by Jonathan R. Cole

Magical Thinking

(11) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 3:05 PM

In the early 20th century, the distinguished philosopher Alfred North Whitehead observed: "The task of the university is the creation of the future..." Harvard's current president, Drew Gilpin Faust, noted that this creative work is done "by educat[ing] those to whom the future belongs, and by generating the ideas and...

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There But for Fortune: What the One Percent Fail to Understand

(6) Comments | Posted October 24, 2011 | 10:55 PM

The one percent still doesn't get it. This tiny but distinct minority, who control over 40 percent of this nation's wealth and consequently its political decision-making power, believe that it is their individual endowments, their distinctiveness and talents that have determined their wealth -- that they are, in fact, "superior"...

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Occupy Wall Street as the Conscience of America

(3) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 3:09 PM

The social movement known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is growing and too few of our government and corporate leaders are willing to examine closely what this movement is about. Instead, the political right resorts to mudslinging and labeling, claiming that those who participate in the rallies and marches are...

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Accountability For Members of Congress

(5) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 5:30 PM

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), who gave the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama's recent State of the Union address, seems to have difficulty with American history. She must have taken history in school somewhere in her scholarly travels, but clearly if she did, she didn't take the course very...

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Gay Rights and University ROTC Policy

(17) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 5:30 PM

In lauding the legislation that ended the "don't ask, don't tell" [DADT] policy that will allow gay and lesbians to serve openly in the American military, President Barack Obama in his second State of the Union address called "on all our college campuses to open their doors to our...

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Is Miss Jean Brody Still Alive and Well?

(3) Comments | Posted February 2, 2011 | 5:03 PM

In his second State of the Union address on January 25, 2011, President Barack Obama placed the need for excellent education and superb teachers at the center of his speech to Congress and the nation. Innovation and American welfare depended upon building human capital and that could only be accomplished...

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Waiting for Superman or Godot?

(4) Comments | Posted December 13, 2010 | 8:10 AM

It's not news to say that our educational system is at risk. The problem is that things are getting worse rather than better. The precariousness of the system is exacerbated by the reluctance at all levels of government to recognize the magnitude and consequences of this disease, to determine its...

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"A Little Secret: Athletics at the Most Selective Colleges and Universities in the Nation": College and University Admissions, Part III

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 11:18 AM

I'm going to state a fact that most of you who follow admissions at highly selective colleges probably don't know. Roughly 20 percent, or one-fifth, of the entering class at the Ivy League universities and the leading small liberal arts colleges are recruited athletes. They are not "walk-ons"; they are...

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A Question of Fairness: College and University Admissions, Part II

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 10:56 AM

I want to pose a problem of fairness to you that I pose to my own students. It is related to how colleges and universities that are fortunate enough to be highly selective admit their students. As I noted in my prior posting, Ivy League universities and other similarly high...

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Twisting in the Wind: College and University Admissions - Part I

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 5:09 PM

As the November winds start blowing and the chill enters the air, hundreds of thousands of the nation's students are filling out applications for college and university admissions that will need to be filed within a few weeks. The annual school rankings published by the cottage industry of assessors are...

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No Concept of Death

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 11:22 AM

If you asked most college and university presidents where does a dollar of tuition go in their school's budget - how is it partitioned and used - they would be very hard pressed to tell you. It actually is not such an easy question, but it suggests that leaders...

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Misconceptions About The Cost of American Higher Education

(7) Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 11:34 AM

It is a well-known and highly publicized fact that the cost of higher education has been rising over the past few decades at a pace that exceeds the rate of general inflation in the United States. This is a serious matter and cause for concern and analysis. Alarmist critics of...

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Why Academic Tenure is Essential for Great Universities

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 11:28 AM

If there is one feature of the academic community that virtually all critics rail against it is the existence of tenure. Thus, Professor Mark C. Taylor, the latest to weigh in on this subject in Crisis on Campus, says: "The single most important factor preventing change in higher education is...

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Myths About Higher Education in the United States

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 11:20 AM

It's time to dispel four widespread myths about the quality of higher education in the United States. The first of these is that teachers at the elite institutions of higher learning don't give a damn about undergraduates and care less about teaching them, since all of their professional success depends...

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Threats to America's Preeminent Universities

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 11:09 AM

America's research universities represent 80 percent of the top 20 and 65 percent of the top 100 universities in the world. Their faculty members dominate the receipt of Nobel Prizes and produce discoveries and scholarship that receive the lion's share of citations in the published literature. Perhaps the only American...

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