Month: December 2015

Inside Higher Ed’s “The Best of 2015”


News Articles

Failing the Entire Class
Professor at Texas A&M at Galveston was so frustrated with students’ performance that he told them he wouldn’t pass anyone and that he was done with them. Administrators had other ideas.

Cash Monitoring List Unveiled
Education Department releases most of the names of colleges that have had access to federal student aid curtailed over concerns about financial viability, administrative capacity or other issues.

‘We All Felt Trapped’
The complainant in the sexual harassment case involving a prominent MIT emeritus professor speaks out about what legal experts called an “unprecedented” event for MOOCs.

Admissions Revolution
As 80 colleges unite to create new application and portfolio platform for high school students, a look at who is in and who is not (for now), how colleges plan to use the service, and how Common Application is responding.

Extracurricular Activities
More than 74,000 accounts on Ashley Madison adultery site had .edu email…

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The 25 Most Read Posts to the Academe Blog in 2015

Housing Provided to Public University Presidents in Ohio


Peter Kiersten very recently did a post to this blog titled “Universities, Penthouses, and CEO Venality” []

Coincidentally, the Dayton Daily News recently has published an article by Josh Sweigart on the housing provided to university presidents in Ohio. Although it includes some attention to the new residence being provided for the new president of the University of Dayton, the bulk of the attention is to the housing provided to public university presidents.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“Central State University President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond lives in a $485,000 house purchased for her last year in a Beavercreek Twp. subdivision located 10 miles from the Wilberforce campus.

“Central State continues to pay the mortgage on the house—totaling $51,600 a year—as the school is under fiscal watch and its students graduate with more debt than any other four-year public school in the country. . . .

“Across Ohio…

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Residences of Presidents of Public Universities in Ohio


This is a visual addendum to my concurrent post on this topic.

Because Santa Ono, President of the University of Cincinnati, lives off-campus and accepts no housing subsidy from the university, I have excluded his residence.

Other notes:

The residence included here for the president of Cleveland State University was listed for sale in September 2014, with the president announcing plans to move “downtown.”

There are two residence included for Ohio University, the longtime president’s residence that has been under renovation and the interim residence that has been considered for a longer-term lease.

Lastly, the president’s residence on the Wright State University campus is now being used as an alumni center. The president lives off campus, and although he receives a substantial housing allowance from the university, I have not been able to locate any images of his residence with a Google search.

President’s Residence, University of Akron:



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ASU’s Global Freshman Academy Is a Complete Bust. Is Anyone Actually Surprised?


Education Dive [] is a very good source of news about innovations and initiatives in digital education, but it does have a very pronounced bias in favor of the pedagogical potential of digital technologies.

Sometimes that bias leads to analyses that border on the absolutely ludicrous.

Each item from Education Dive includes a bulletted summary called the “Dive Brief” followed by a succinct “Dive Analysis.”

Here are the summary and the analysis on the first-semester results of Arizona State University’s much-ballyhooed use of MOOCs in its Global Freshman Academy:


Dive Brief:

–Arizona State University’s massive open online course experiment in partnership with edX was supposed to give thousands of students free access to freshman-year courses they could take online and pay for only if they passed.

–Inside Higher Ed reports, however, that just 323 of 34,086 people who registered for the Global Freshman Academy MOOCs — less than 1% — actually…

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Joint Statement by BGSU Administration and BGSU Faculty Association (AAUP Chapter) on Criticism by Buckeye Firearms Association


December 10, 2015


The BGSU Administration and the BGSU Faculty Association are aware that several faculty members have been mentioned in communications by external groups regarding recent Ohio legislative measures. In addition, we are also aware of allegations that several faculty may have violated University policy regarding use of the BGSU email system. We address each of these items in turn below.

First, the University and the BGSU-FA affirm the rights of BGSU faculty as private citizens to express personal viewpoints. Our faculty members – and students and staff – are afforded the same First Amendment right as every citizen, including those from outside the University who have expressed very different opinions. In addition, as educational professionals, faculty have a right to openly express views on all relevant issues, especially those that raise legitimate concerns about any potential impact on the University’s learning environment.

Second, this is also an…

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Bowling Green Newspaper Editor Fired over Gun-Related Editorial


I recently did a post on an Ohio gun group’s criticism of BGSU faculty and staff who contacted their legislators to oppose campus-carry legislation that has passed the Ohio House and is now being considered by the Ohio Senate:

In a very related story, the editor of the local newspaper, the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, was fired for submitting an editorial critical of the gun group’s tactics.

Writing for, Connie Schultz provides a detailed summary of the issues involved and an incisive argument against what the newspaper’s publisher has done:

“Five days after the shootings in San Bernardino, California, Jan Larson McLaughlin sat down in her home office on her day off and wrote her weekly editorial for the Sentinel-Tribune, circulation 9,000, in Bowling Green, Ohio.

“McLaughlin has worked for the newspaper for 31 years, the past 2 1/2 as editor-in-chief. She usually writes her editorial in…

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Why Would Academia Be an A-Hole-Free Zone?


This is an addendum to Aaron’s critique of Ranii Neutill’s piece on Salon, “Sixteen Years in Academia Made Me an A-Hole.”

Before I was in graduate school and found a library job in the summer to supplement my grad-teaching stipend, I must have had 30 to 40 jobs–everything from being a dishwasher, a soda-jerk, and a short-order cook to making deliveries and emptying and filling trucks on a loading dock, to being a custodian in a hotel and then in an office building, to working in the “sorting and “wash” rooms of an industrial laundry, to being a security guard, to working the overnight shift at a residential facility for emotionally disturbed children.

At every one of these jobs, I met some really nice people, but I also encountered a large number of a-holes. At the risk of coming across as a misanthrope–and as an a-hole myself–I think…

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Like a Bald Man Trying to Split Hairs


On December 4, this announcement was sent out from Arne Duncan at the Department of Education:

“If you’re like me, you probably dread an overdue notice, whether it’s for registering your car or returning a library book. For nearly a decade, our national K-12 education law has been overdue for revision, and parents, teachers and students across the country have made it clear that it is time for a reboot.

“Over that period of time, America’s fourth graders became today’s high school seniors—ready to graduate and embrace a bright future. The students who come behind them deserve a better law focused on one clear goal of fully preparing them for success in college and future careers.

“Although well-intended, the No Child Left Behind Act—the most recent version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—has long been broken. We can no longer afford that law’s one-size-fits-all approach, uneven standards, and low…

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Rutgers Faculty Opposes Use of “Big Data” in Academic and Employment Decisions: Resolution Raises Concerns over Mistakes and Narrowing Scholarship


Use of a proprietary database that purports to show the publications, citations, books and grants awarded to a professor provides far too limited a perspective on faculty achievement and creates the potential for career-ending errors, according to David M. Hughes, professor of anthropology and president of the faculty union AAUP-AFT at Rutgers. The same data applied to academic disciplines could lead to poor decisions on programs available to students and should not be used, according to a resolution approved by the faculty of Arts and Sciences Monday, December 14.

Hughes and the rest of the School of Arts and Sciences faculty voted to approve a resolution and is calling on Rutgers management to exclude the use of data provider Academic Analytics “legally, explicitly, and comprehensively across the Rutgers system.” Rutgers has been using the database since May 2013, paying $492,500 over four years for the service.

Under the terms of…

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