Diversity in the Presidency: LGBTQ

Higher education leadership is in the news a lot lately, including for pay schedules, for commencement remarks, and for much more. The road to such leadership can be a complex one, inflected both by one’s ideals, one’s educational background and one’s identity characteristics. Women, for example, continue to be underrepresented in presidencies and chancellorships, enough... Read more »

Dropping In -- Not Dropping Out

Do I have to finish high school? This question is one that I asked when I was (much) younger.  I have heard it asked — directly and indirectly — by a whole range of people since then.  And, as the high school year draws to a close, I suspect there are those asking it —... Read more »

Around Chicago and Beyond

Once in a while, it is just good to lift your head and . . . look around. So, below I offer a few tidbits that connect with the themes of  Chicago is Our Campus, which I write as president of Shimer College. First, everywhere you look when it comes to higher education right now,... Read more »

Indiana Wants Me (or Not)

Recently, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed a controversial law (the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act) into effect. Unlike any other such laws in states or at the federal level, the new Indiana law quite directly and specifically allows discrimination against LGBTQ persons (and possibly others, such as unwed mothers, or. . . ) on... Read more »

Social Reading for Black History Month

Many of us engage in social reading — in the old fashioned sense of reading groups or, for those of us who teach or are students, in classes. Perhaps more distantly, many of us do so because we read material that is not truly single authored — look at all those footnotes and the acknowledgements,... Read more »

Higher Education News

For those of you who do not regularly check this site, where Illinois Higher Education News appears, her are a few tidbits to whet your appetite: On the sheer gossip front, Malia Obama is starting the college search project. And it is, indeed, a project, perhaps even more so when a high profile candidate for... Read more »

Chicagoland Presidential Transitions

In coming months, several institutions in Chicago will see changes in leadership at the top. These changes matter — for presidents, many argue, are not only managers but leaders. Here are a few of those changes to watch out for. First: Illinois Institute of Technology President John Anderson is stepping down in 2015. At a... Read more »

Free Community College

As President Obama moves to announce his intention to work toward free community college, there is much to celebrate. This is a move, many say, to reinvest in higher education — and to do so with public dollars for the public good. Hurrah. Over the past 50 years, we have moved from what might be... Read more »

Chicago's Own #bestworstcollege

On Saturday, December 6, the Guardian published a piece by Jon Ronson that focused on a Chicago treasure, Shimer College. Located at 35th and State, Shimer is a liberal arts college that is tiny, filled with wonder, and has the tag line “Dangerously Optimistic Since 1853.” And yes, I am Shimerprez, the president of what... Read more »

Ferguson, Racism and Higher Education

At one point, I had never heard of Ferguson. I do not quite remember that reality. In the same way that Selma and other places have become iconic in the American imaginary, Ferguson has come to carry an enormous amount of symbolic weight. Of course, there are more than symbolic issues at stake here. There... Read more »