“Assessment” Continued: Academic Success Vs. Health and Well-Being

This is day 40 or more (depending on how one counts) of a major strike in British universities, which has been nearly ignored by the news. (This and this are exceptions to the rule.) It is also day four or more (depending on how one counts) in the aftermath of an attack on tenure at my … Continue reading “Assessment” Continued: Academic Success Vs. Health and Well-Being

David W. Noble, Beloved Mentor, Rest in Peace

What follows is lightly revised from a talk I gave in 2009 on the occasion of my teacher, David W. Noble, retiring from the University of Minnesota. David died on March 11, 2018. Here is an obituary, and no doubt David’s many friends and colleagues will weigh in with more ambitious scholarly reflections about his legacies. … Continue reading David W. Noble, Beloved Mentor, Rest in Peace

Assessment Part II: Drones Vs. Teachers, Prisons Vs. Students, and Universities Vs. Another Tax Subsidized Hockey Stadium

I hope I was clear in my last post, and in any case it bears repeating, that the logic of “assessment” is not tied narrowly to “student outcomes.” There are many levels: Teaching—not just classroom dynamics and teaching evaluations, but also determining curricula. This includes balancing resources across departments. levels (undergraduate vs. graduate), and colleges … Continue reading Assessment Part II: Drones Vs. Teachers, Prisons Vs. Students, and Universities Vs. Another Tax Subsidized Hockey Stadium

“Assessment”: Turning the Precious Public Resource of a University Into a Second-Rate High School

Yesterday I read this piece in the New York Times by Molly Worthen. Then I made the mistake of reading the comments thread, which included a fair amount of vitriol against supposedly lazy and irresponsible college teachers. Overall the comments were a mixed bag of support and critique—understandably, since questions about the purposes and standards … Continue reading “Assessment”: Turning the Precious Public Resource of a University Into a Second-Rate High School

Against the Cruelty, Hypocrisy, and Irresponsibility of Trump’s Budget: An Open Letter

Dear Senator Corker, Senator Alexander, and Representative Duncan, Commonly I have heard people who are less pessimistic than I am about self-correcting capacities in the US political system valorize a turning point in the battle against McCarthyism.  In 1954 Joseph Welch famously responded to Senator Joseph McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At … Continue reading Against the Cruelty, Hypocrisy, and Irresponsibility of Trump’s Budget: An Open Letter

“Resisting,” Talking with Republicans, and Remembering the Mandate of the 2018 Election—All at the Same Time!

When the Mafia-backed entrepreneur and con man Donald Trump captured a majority of electoral college votes—although, of course, not the majority of actual votes, and that is before we inquire how the count may have been affected by “abnormal” Russian propaganda, “normal” Fox propaganda (overlapping with the Russian part), tampering with voting machines in swing … Continue reading “Resisting,” Talking with Republicans, and Remembering the Mandate of the 2018 Election—All at the Same Time!