Category: Bully Pulpit?

Write Your Legislator if You Care about Higher Education

For those of us who live in Illinois, we are in pain every time we think about politics. There are long historical reasons for this — and contemporary realities as well, both in Chicago and at the state level. This year, like Pennsylvania, we are a state that is more than half way into a... Read more »

Banned Books Week is All About Higher Education

Wesleyan University in Connecticut is in the midst of a controversy about its student newspaper. The controversy is about free speech, on the one hand, and race, on the other hand. There are likely more hands to this complex issue than even Kali has. The issue is embedded in the repeated presence of certain kinds... Read more »

Obama, Scorecards and Free Speech

President Obama has intervened in higher education in several ways recently, each of which merits some attention from Chicago-landers. First: recently the President announced the advent of something called the College Score Card, available here, which ostensibly helps those choosing college to do so. Opinions vary — but the emphasis is on cost, salary impact... 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 »

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 »

Voices of Presidents

In the 19th century, and possibly before, when one said president (of college, university, etcetera), one was also saying “important public voice.” One might even have been saying “moral compass.” In the intervening years, and most especially perhaps in the pst few decades, we have both developed a label “the public intellectual” and  in some... Read more »

I Do Not Miss Miss But I do Miss. . .

In my youth, the word MISS was regularly attached to my name. I had no idea what it meant, and I had no critique of it. It just was a kind of magical prefix. Later, I learned that it meant a variety of things. It meant I was . . . gasp. . . unmarried.... Read more »

AIDS Awareness Month Matters

December 1 is AIDS Awareness Day — and the month of December also marks AIDS awareness. More than thirty years ago, there were early identifications of unusual cancers and pneumonias among gay men in Los Angeles and New York. At the time, I lived in Chicago. And, at the time, none of us quite knew... Read more »

Where Were You When JFK Died?

Here is another in a series of anniversary reflections associated with November, 2013. When did JFK die? Well, he was shot on November 22, 1963. Fifty years ago. For those of my generation (and older), we know where we were when we learned  — with the same vividness many of us remember where we were... Read more »