What We Talked About on Campus This Week: A Reading List

classroom

Higher education is a hot topic because it’s so familiar and so easy to criticize. Even if you haven’t gone to college, you get what it’s about. And the complaints – about tuition, about culture, about curriculum – happen on campus, too, and louder. Here are six articles that prompted discussions inside the Ivory Tower this week.

1. Professors, We Need You! (Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, February 16, 2014)

Academics used to be a part of public discourse, and now they’re not. Blame them.

2. Why is Academic Writing So Academic? (Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, February 21, 2014)

As usual, it’s about audience.

3. USC’s “Business Decision” to Ax Its Master of Professional Writing Program Leaves Unanswered Questions (Gene Maddaus, LA Weekly, February 20, 2014)

Graduate programs can be revenue generators, but not when enrollment goes down.

4. Is Faster Always Better? (Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17, 2014)

High-school students take accelerated classes for college credit. But once on campus, they can struggle to keep up.

5. The Dark Power of Fraternities (Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, March 2014)

Fraternities thrive at colleges thanks to a culture that markets them and a risk-management system that protects them.

6. Sexual Assault at God’s Harvard (Kiera Feldman, The New Republic, February 17, 2014)

“How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?”

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Photo: Velkr0

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Aileen Gallagher
Aileen Gallagher teaches magazine journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She was previously a senior editor for NYMag.com, New York magazine's award-winning website. Prior to joining New York, Gallagher was a founding editor of the independent online magazine, The Black Table. Her writing has appeared in various print and online outlets, including Vulture, Slate, Bust, the New York Post, and many others.