Category: Liberal Education

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 »

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 »

Ice Skating, P16, and Check Please!

Once in a while it is worth taking just a wander — down the hall, to “manage by walking around” or to just get one’s body out of the chair — or along the routes of the internet. The latter is relevant here, as I point to a few recent blogs in higher education that... 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 »

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 »

Liberal Education in What Places?

Sunday’s New York Times included a piece by Jim Sleeper entitled “Liberal Education in Authoritarian Places,” which examined the implications of the recent spate of exporting of liberal education institutions to places like, well, Shanghai. Concerns around academic freedom, censorship and much else swirl around such enterprises (using the term in a variety of senses)... Read more »

Chicago College in USA Today (April 6, 2013)

Is it better to go to a trade school or a college? Is it better to major in English or major in engineering? How can I choose best to ensure I get a job after graduation? How can I choose to ensure that I can be employed 5 years from now, or 10? There is,... 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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