Friday, June 30, 2006

RIP Randy Walker, NU Football Coach, 1954-2006

When I asked Walker at Big Ten media day last year about his seemingly radical change of philosophy, from old-school power football at Miami (Ohio) to the newfangled spread in Evanston, he had a pretty colorful answer: "It's as if all those years we were playing football in a phone booth," he said. -Stewart Mandel,

I got my PhD from Northwestern, and monthly checks now go there for our daughter's education. I follow college football with interest, though I am appalled by its excesses as well as attracted by its charms. I didn't know Coach Walker, but his sudden death yesterday hits home. From what I gather, he ran the program with integrity and determination. It was especially fun watching his team last year.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

We Saw it Coming: Nickleby for Higher Education

NY Times article today about the draft report of Secretary Spellings's panel on "revamping" higher ed. Here are some snips:

The report by the panel appointed last year by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was highly critical of the nation's institutions of higher education. It said there was a lack of accountability to show that students were learning, that college costs have risen too high, and that "unacceptable numbers of college graduates" were entering the workforce without skills that employers say they need. [As my colleague Bill McInerney points out, "These are precisely the arguments marshaled against public K-12 schools before they pushed through NCLB."]

But it is this final paragraph that has me scratching my head.

The draft also advocated testing. It recommended that states require public institutions to measure student learning using tests like the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a recently devised test of student skills in math, reading and critical thinking. And it said colleges should then post the results of such tests to show how much students had learned in a manner that would allow students to compare the performance of colleges.

Reducing the college experience to a "skills" test of math, reading, and critical thinking. Using a "recently devised test" to do this. I have never heard of this test, but I guess I need to learn all about it (update, I am learning about it, see the link.)
What an impoverished view of a college education! Why even bother talking about Pestalozzi's hand, heart, and head?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mulling the Santa Cruz Chancellor's End

It is hard to piece together the complex set of situations that seems to have led to the apparent suicide of UC Santa Cruz's chancellor, Denice Dee Denton. I first read of this in my local Sunday paper this morning: A university chancellor jumping to her death from a tall San Francisco building on Saturday morning. Jarring, to say the least. I had to know more.

I have spent a bit of time today, in between working on my reverence and listening chapter, reading various items. Last I checked official pages on her were still on the UCSC website. I have a Google News Alert set up for stories, but even better, Margaret Soltan at University Diaries has been gleaning informative perspectives from the blogosphere, and I suggest you go there and read them. And let me know what you think.
Update: Fine article from Inside Higher Ed.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Is it Carolina Blue...or Green?

Story on how the UNC system wants to treat out of state students on scholarships as in state...but few are the elite Morehead Scholars...most are pass rushers and three point specialists.

I just love this line from a supporter:

"How important was Mia Hamm to the university?" (Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand) asked, referring to the former UNC-Chapel Hill soccer star. "You can't calculate that."

Hat tip to University Diarist...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Or a Bunker Style Warehouse in Liberty City...

From a NYRB review by Jonathan Raban of John Updike's new novel, Terrorist:

From everything we know about the lives of recent Islamist terrorists, the cradle of jihad against the West is not the Middle East but the run-down immigrant quarters of large Western cities, like Harburg, across the river from Hamburg, where Mohamed Atta and his colleagues found their vocation as martyrs in a grimy storefront mosque; Beeston in Leeds, England, where Sidique Khan assembled his gang of London bombers; or LavapiƩs in Madrid, home to Jamal Zougam, who stands accused of the Madrid train bombings. When the September 11 hijackers came to the United States, they based themselves in Paterson, New Jersey. In the crumbling architecture and economy of the blighted, low-rent, polyglot inner suburb, the conspirators enjoyed both necessary anonymity for their pursuits and a firsthand view of the "degenerate" state of Western capitalism, on whose destruction they had set their hearts.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Great Bloggin' Gig

Law professor happens upon summer gig blogging the Dixie Chicks tour.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hold on to (early 20s) as long as you caaaaannnn

...changes come around real soon, make us women and men...Rachel and her boyfriend 3 days before he is to graduate from college...

Thanks for a great year!

Rachel finishing her junior year of college, saying goodbye to the dean...

Take Note, Dorm Room Movers!

Here's an intriguing tidbit for all you parents moving Junior out of or into his dorm room, apartment, house...don't try to move all those boxes by yourself to save having to shout at your partner to lift here, move there. Even with all the awkwardness, it pays to share the load.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Substitute "blogging" for "reading" here...

In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind.

-Cervantes, Don Quixote, First Part, Chapter 1 (p. 21 - Grossman translation).