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Joseph Urgo
Joseph Urgo is Provost at the University of North Carolina Asheville. A former senior fellow with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Urgo has also served as president at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, dean of faculty at Hamilton College, and department chair in English at The University of Mississippi and at Bryant University. He is an advocate for liberal arts education as a matter of national defense and civic responsibility.

Entries by Joseph Urgo

How Current Debates in Higher Education Terrorize Our Most Ambitious College Students

(4) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 10:42 AM

Today, if we pay attention to the loudest voices, we seem intent on terrorizing college students, especially the most ambitious and talented among them. The language of this assault is couched in terms of the rights of students to lucrative outcomes to their education immediately following graduation, accomplished in part...

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Return on Performance in Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Return on investment (ROI) is the latest data fetish to emerge in our ongoing quest to understand why it is we educate ourselves and our children. ROI calculates the cost of a college education and compares that cost to expected earnings by someone who has that educational credential. If a...

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A Century of Decline and Ascent in Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 2:59 PM

Colleges and universities across the United States are opening for the 2014-2015 academic year, in an era when much seems to be new in higher education. I can recall the wisdom of one of my own professors, who would say, "When you're told that something is new and unknown, reach...

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The Special Obligations of Tenured Faculty

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 12:01 PM

For years, the percentage of tenured and tenure-line faculty has been dropping throughout higher education. Trusteeship magazine reported last year that approximately 70 percent of the men and women teaching in college and university classrooms today are not eligible for tenure. In 1969, that percentage was closer to...

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Tears for Horror, Tears for Joy: The Arts and Human Renewal

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 8:47 AM

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A pairing of photographs of emotionally captivated women charts a course of events 50 years ago which can tell us something, today, about the power of the arts and the humanities to affect the...

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On College Athletics

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 2:25 PM

Intercollegiate athletics may be traced to the founding of the Yale boat club in 1843. Harvard followed with its own boat club and eventually the two rowing teams competed. The ensuing years saw the creation of sports teams on college campuses because the idea of organized athletics, and contests to...

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From General Education to Civic Preparation: The Public Purpose of the Liberal Arts and Sciences

(6) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 9:10 AM

Most college students in the United States encounter the liberal arts through what is usually called "general education" or "the core curriculum" on university campuses nationwide. "GenEd" consists of a set of requirements designed to assure that students get exposure to what the faculty consider to be the essential breadth...

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Striking Lawmakers Walk Off the Job

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 10:04 AM

In a liberal arts classroom, students are expected to question received wisdom, and are challenged to do so. If this blog posting were my classroom, I would ask about the news headline that says the government is shut down. How is that possible, given the evidence?

Ours is, in...

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The Spread of Drone Technologies on College Campuses

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 4:46 PM

It is unfortunate that in debating the ethics of drone technology we limit the conversation to machines.

A mechanical drone is an aircraft without a human pilot. The plane is not inner-directed, but is guided remotely, by external controllers. The technology makes it possible for armed aircraft to attack...

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