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Opinion | Why Did U.N.C. Give Millions to a Neo-Confederate Group? - The New York Times
By William Sturkey
Dr. Sturkey is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dec. 3, 2019,
Colleges_&_Universities  history  symbolism  the_South 
6 days ago by jerryking
At Howard University, Homecoming Is a Pilgrimage
November 17, 2019 The New York Times | Written by Bianca Ladipo.

At Howard University in Washington, homecoming encompasses more than collegiate nostalgia; it’s a celebration of black culture, a music and arts festival, a history lesson, a community reunion.....The weekend, which usually falls in mid-October, begins with Yardfest, held on the several-acre green at the heart of the 152-year-old historically black university.......Over the last decade, institutions of higher education across the country have struggled with declining enrollment, historically black colleges and universities being among the hardest hit. But recently, enrollment at H.B.C.U.s has begun to rebound as the schools have become increasingly visible in the culture. .... Howard aka“The Mecca.”....the term emerged after the Civil Rights Movement. In the wake of the death of Malcolm X and in the spirit of the Black Power movement, students began to informally refer to the campus as “The Mecca of black education.”... the current political climate is causing young black students to think in new ways about the college experience — what it means to grow intellectually in a predominantly black space. Homecoming pilgrimages at H.B.C.U.s, he added, are unique reflections of such spaces and their histories.....While most of Howard’s students are not affiliated with sororities and fraternities, the presence of Greek life is strong. Trees around the campus yard are painted with the emblems of each organization, marking meeting places for members. Of the nine national Black Greek letter organizations, five of them were founded at Howard. 
African-Americans  alumni  blackness  Black_Power  black_pride  Colleges_&_Universities  education  emotional_connections  fraternities  friendships  hard_times  HBCUs  homecoming  Howard  pilgrimage  Washington_D.C.   
22 days ago by jerryking
Opinion | H.B.C.U.s’ Sink-or-Swim Moment - The New York Times
By Delece Smith-Barrow
Ms. Smith-Barrow is a senior editor at The Hechinger Report.

Oct. 21, 2019
African-Americans  Colleges_&_Universities  education  HBCUs 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | The Meritocracy Is Ripping America Apart
Sept. 12, 2019 | - The New York Times | By David Brooks.

savage exclusion tears the social fabric.

There are at least two kinds of meritocracy in America right now. Exclusive meritocracy exists at the super-elite universities and at the industries that draw the bulk of their employees from them — Wall Street, Big Law, medicine and tech. And then there is the more open meritocracy that exists almost everywhere else.

In the exclusive meritocracy, prestige is defined by how many people you can reject....The more the exclusivity, the thicker will be the coating of P.C. progressivism to show that we’re all good people.

People in this caste work phenomenally hard to build their wealth......People in this caste are super-skilled and productive.....These highly educated professionals attract vast earnings while everybody else gets left behind......Parents in the exclusive meritocracy raise their kids to be fit fighters within it....affluent parents invest on their kids’ human capital, over and above what middle-class parents can afford to invest......the Kansas Leadership Center. The center teaches people how to create social change and hopes to saturate the state with better leaders. But the center doesn’t focus on traditional “leaders.” Its mantra is: “Leadership is an activity, not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.” The atmosphere is one of radical inclusion.....People in both the exclusive and open meritocracies focus intensely on increasing skills. But it’s jarring to move from one culture to the other because the values are so different. The exclusive meritocracy is spinning out of control. If the country doesn’t radically expand its institutions and open access to its bounty, the U.S. will continue to rip apart.
Big_Law  caste_systems  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  elitism  exclusivity  hard_work  human_capital  inequality  law_firms  leadership  medicine  meritocracy  op-ed  parenting  political_correctness  social_classes  social_exclusion  social_fabric  social_impact  social_inclusion  society  technology  values  Wall_Street  winner-take-all 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
september 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Surprising Path That Some Kids Take to the Ivy League
Aug. 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Frank Bruni.

Overcoming life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
career_paths  Colleges_&_Universities  Frank_Bruni  Ivy_League  nonprofit  philanthropy  resilience  strivers  unevenly_distributed  Zimbabwe 
august 2019 by jerryking
Dear Grads: How to Slay Dragons in the Business World
May 20, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

here’s my simple advice: Be a hero. You’ll have a job with a vague description. Sales. Physician assistant. Manager. Business intelligence. Everyone comes in with a task. Don’t let your job description be a straitjacket. Do something above and beyond. That’s what your employers want, whether they admit it or not.

I’ve seen it again and again. I heard from a woman named Carol working in international marketing for a Midwest company. She was asked by a superior working on a board deck for a list of European competitors. She came up with a single PowerPoint slide that visually showed the reach of each competitor overlaid with her company’s distributors and analysis of how it could best compete. The slide was a huge hit. The chief operating officer thanked her. She got a raise and more responsibilities.

On Wall Street, I used to work with a salesman named Steve. A deal to raise money for a paper company was stuck. No one would touch it at $20. It was uglier than Dunder Mifflin. Steve had a new account in Milwaukee and insisted it buy several million shares, but at $18. On hearing someone was willing to buy, other accounts piled in. Steve is still known as the guy who got the ugly deal done—a hero.

Then there’s the coder, Paul. There were long discussions about how his company might get paid for its web service, but no solutions. “On a Friday,” Paul recalls, he sat down and invented one. “It seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as a sort of side project, not because I was supposed to.” What became known as AdSense morphed into a $115 billion business. Paul Buchheit was employee No. 23 at Google. He also developed Gmail. Giga-hero.

You don’t have to save a baby from a fire. In Silicon Valley there’s a saying about pain killers versus vitamins: Either save costs or generate revenue. You can be a hero either way.

Another easy route to heroism: Every company has particularly nasty clients. They don’t return calls and they badmouth your products. Everyone avoids them. Instead, go for it. Roll up your sleeves and find something you have in common with them. Better yet, find their weakness. Horse racing. Wilco. Anime. You’ll own them.
advice  Andy_Kessler  Colleges_&_Universities  commencement  first90days  howto  new_graduates  painkillers  pain_points  speeches  Steve_Jobs  vitamins 
july 2019 by jerryking
Texas top ten percent policy provides a cautionary lesson
July 8, 2019 | hechingerreport | by JILL BARSHAY

Texas’s policy to automatically admit the top students in each high school to the state’s flagship universities didn’t expand the number of high schools that send students to Texas A&M University, College Station.

One proposal to boost the number of black and Latino students in elite schools is to cream the top students from every neighborhood or community, rather than admitting only the top students on a national or statewide yardstick. That way the brightest Latino students in a predominantly Latino school, for example, can get a shot at a coveted slot that they otherwise might not get. Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, has floated this idea for diversifying his city’s elite high schools.

But the state of Texas provides a cautionary lesson for how much this sort of well-intended reform can accomplish. Research is showing that a policy that takes the top students from the state’s high schools didn’t increase diversity in Texas’s elite universities or increase the number of high schools that feed them.
admissions  affirmative_action  African-Americans  cautionary_tales  Colleges_&_Universities  diversity  elitism  high-achieving  high_schools  Latinos  students  Texas  workarounds 
july 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Why Harvard Was Wrong to Make Me Step Down
June 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Mr. Sullivan is a law professor at Harvard Law School.

In May, Harvard College announced that it would not renew the appointment of me and my wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s undergraduate residential houses, because I am one of the lawyers who represented the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in advance of his coming sexual assault trial. The administration’s decision followed reports by some students that they felt “unsafe” in an institution led by a lawyer who would take on Mr. Weinstein as a client.

I am willing to believe that some students felt unsafe. But feelings alone should not drive university policy. Administrators must help students distinguish between feelings that have a rational basis and those that do not. In my case, Harvard missed an opportunity to help students do that......I would hope that any student who felt unsafe as a result of my representation of Mr. Weinstein might, after a reasoned discussion of the relevant facts, question whether his or her feelings were warranted. But Harvard was not interested in having that discussion. Nor was Harvard interested in facilitating conversations about the appropriate role of its faculty in addressing sexual violence and the tension between protecting the rights of the criminally accused and treating survivors of sexual violence with respect.

Instead, the administration capitulated to protesters. Given that universities are supposed to be places of considered and civil discourse, where people are forced to wrestle with difficult, controversial and unfamiliar ideas, this is disappointing......reasoned discourse lost out to raw feelings......I am not opposed to student protest. Many important social justice movements began with student protests, including movements from which I, as an African-American, have benefited. Had it not been for students who staged sit-ins at lunch counters, I would not have had the opportunity to be trained at Harvard Law School.

But I am profoundly troubled by the reaction of university administrators who are in charge of student growth and development. The job of a teacher is to help students think through what constitutes a reasonable argument. It is a dereliction of duty for administrators to allow themselves to be bullied into ..Unchecked emotion has replaced thoughtful reasoning on campus. Feelings are no longer subjected to evidence, analysis or empirical defense. Angry demands, rather than rigorous arguments, now appear to guide university policy.
African-Americans  bullying  capitulation  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  firings  gut_feelings  Harvard  Harvey_Weinstein  HLS  intolerance  logic_&_reasoning  missed_opportunities  op-ed  policymaking  political_correctness  professors  protests  students 
june 2019 by jerryking
US declining interest in history presents risk to democracy
May 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

America today has found a less bloodthirsty way of erasing its memory by losing interest in its past. From an already low base, the number of American students majoring in history has dropped by more than a third since 2008. Barely one in two hundred American undergraduates now specialise in history......Donald Trump is a fitting leader for such times. He had to be told who Andrew Jackson was.....He also seems to think that Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and 19th century abolitionist, is among us still.....But America’s 45th president can hardly be blamed for history’s unpopularity. Culpability for that precedes Mr Trump and is spread evenly between liberals, conservatives, faculty and parents........Courses on intellectual, diplomatic and political history are being replaced at some of America’s best universities by culture studies that highlight grievances at the expense of breadth.......Then there is the drumbeat of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Most US states now mandate tests only in maths and English, at the expense of history and civic education...... In a recent survey, only 26 per cent of Americans could identify all three branches of government. More than half could not name a single justice on the US Supreme Court.....
the biggest culprit is the widespread belief that “soft skills” — such as philosophy and English, which are both in similar decline to history — do not lead to well-paid jobs.....folk prejudice against history is hard to shake. In an ever more algorithmic world, people believe that humanities are irrelevant. The spread of automation should put a greater premium on qualities that computers lack, such as intuitive intelligence, management skills and critical reasoning. Properly taught that is what a humanities education provides.......People ought to be able to grasp the basic features of their democracy. [Abiding] Faith in a historic theory only fuels a false sense of certainty....What may work for individual careers poses a collective risk to US democracy. The demise of strong civics coincides with waning voter turnout, a decline in joining associations, fewer citizen’s initiatives — and other qualities once associated with American vigour......There is no scientific metric for gullibility. Nor can we quantitatively prove that civic ignorance imposes a political cost on society. These are questions of judgment. But if America’s origins tell us anything it is that a well-informed citizenry creates a stronger society.
here is what robots can't do -- create art, deep meaning, move our souls, help us to understand and thus operate in the world, inspire deeper thought, care for one another, help the environment where we live.......The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand.
algorithms  automation  citizen_engagement  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  democracy  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  empathy  engaged_citizenry  false_sense_of_certainty  foundational  historians  history  historical_amnesia  humanities  ignorance  political_literacy  sense-making  soft_skills  STEM  threats  U.S.  vulnerabilities 
may 2019 by jerryking
You Got Into College. Here’s What You Should Know - WSJ
Editor’s note: This Future View offers advice about college to high-school seniors who have recently received offers of admission. For next week, we ask: “Is America’s obsession with the four-year degree elitist and parochial? Or is it practical, celebrating the best path to success for most people?” Students should click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before April 9. The best responses will be published that night.
admissions  advice  Colleges_&_Universities 
april 2019 by jerryking

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