Category: For the Public Good

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 »

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 »

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 »

Winter is Coming

Not to frighten you, but winter is coming. And, no, that is not a reference to The Game of Thrones, though I know it could be. In fact, it is simply a weather prediction. While I am unclear if we are expecting a polar vortex in Chicago this year — having heard yes AND no... Read more »

Bringing it to Scale

Everywhere we turn these days, we hear about “scale.’ Scale seems to mean something quite specific in these contexts. The speakers (or writers) do not mean the scale that blind statues of justice hold, weighing deeds. Nor does scale mean those that fall from our eyes to permit us accurate sight. Indeed, scales do not... Read more »

Admissions Requirements

Colleges across the country require a range of different kinds of things in their applications. Once upon a time, it was news when schools went “test optional,” which has been true for Shimer College for some time. Our application requires two essays (which can be composed for other purposes — an essay you wrote for... 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 »

Chicagoland Graduates Make Good -- the Public Good

I love looking across our institutions to see who our graduates are and what they are doing. The focus on social justice across the institutions of Chicago(land) is also something of which we ought all be proud. Here are a few ways to make yourself smile as you read this — As many of you... Read more »

Spring Is Coming? Yes it is!

Technically, Spring is already here. Yes it is. And yet, sometimes I have my doubts. How do we know it is here? Well, beyond the metereological, we know within higher education as deadlines have come and gone for college applications, for MAP dollars from the State of Illinois, and as the May 1 date approaches... Read more »

Gettysburg Matters

As we approach the season of anniversaries — and there are many — I will be writing a frew entries focused on important ones — and their relevance to higher education. This is installment one. The Gettysburg Address is a mere 272 words. even so, it was not easy to memorize as a child. But,... Read more »
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    Shimerprez is the 14th president of Shimer College at 35th and State. She also blogs at the Huffington Post and at a Shimer Blog called Evocations which can be found on line at She is a University of Chicago Ph.D. who works on religion, the social sciences, gender and sexuality. She reads murder mysteries, is fascinated by the world of food, and also loves the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

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