Locating the Finish Line: Completion Several Years On

Eight years ago, William Bowen, Matthew Chingos, and Michael McPherson wrote Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities. A massive longitudinal study of student completions at a host of four-year public flagship institutions and state systems, the book was immediately recognized as an important work, a milestone in the effort to improve…

Undoing and Doing Together

It is rare to find a nonfiction page-turner about faculty and higher education. Faculty may be doing exciting and interesting things on a daily basis, but we do not often find about them on best-seller lists. Until Michael Lewis. Lewis is an extraordinarily successful writer. Beyond his journalism, magazine work and lesser-known efforts, he has…

Unacceptable is Unacceptable

Years ago I read a short piece about Richard Feynman, the Nobel-award winning physicist. I was intrigued. A genius who had the chops to work at the leading edge of his field and the communication skills to make science understandable to the public, he was known as brilliant, eccentric, dynamic, and the kind of thinker…

Doing Good and Giving Back

Higher education needs more friends like Robert Owen Carr. Fifty plus years ago Carr attended Lockport Township High School in rural Illinois. Thanks to a nomination from a high school counselor, Carr won $250 from a local woman’s club. The award made a big difference. Carr’s family of nine – six children, grandmother and two…

Diploma Mills Over the Years

A.J. Angulo, professor education and history at Winthrop University, has done all of higher education a service with his latest book. Diploma Mills: How For-Profit Colleges Stiffed Students, Taxpayers, and the American Dream is the first historical examination of for-profit higher education in the United States. This well-written study covers decades of for-profit education, from…

A Real College Guide: Humor and Care From the Source

At the heart of any good college are dedicated faculty. Architecture, athletics, traditions and social life may capture the public’s attention, but what really matters are the faculty – the professionals who educate, research, and define their institutions of higher education. Understand that – really grasp what the means and how it plays out – and…

Education Measures Up

In 2009, Walter W. McMahon, emeritus professor of economics and education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign wrote Higher Learning, Greater Good: The Private and Social Benefits of Higher Education. Using a human capital approach the question of what higher education does and does not provide to society, McMahon’s account is thorough, persuasive, and technical…