The academic life

How to write an external review letter

It is summer, and many of my tenured colleagues around the country are writing external review letters evaluating the scholarship of candidates for tenure or promotion. In an era with a shrinking proportion of academic jobs holding the chance of tenure, it becomes more important for those of us who hold tenure to understand the […]

Christina Sommers is not the typical target of attempts to suppress speech on campuses

This morning, New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait tried to address the question of political norms on the left in response to several academics and a few journalists who have pushed back against the idea that there is a free speech crisis on college campuses. The headlines of some of the pieces Chait is reponding to: People […]

Dean prospectus omissions

After 6 years in various administrative roles, I’ve become a Usual Suspect for a certain slice of dean searches, mostly smaller private and regional public colleges/universities. At one point rumors were apparently circulating that I was interviewing, and I’m glad that a colleague told me so I could point out that, no, I’m pretty happy […]

Laptops and knitting in class

Twitter is burning up with discussion of Sue Dynarski’s November 22 NYT column on laptop use in class. Dynarski summarizes some of the research on how laptops affect students in classes heavy in formal presentations (such as many economics classes) and explains why she generally bans electronic device use in her classes as a result. Loads […]

Boundaries and presence

This morning, Inside Higher Ed reported on the resignation of Terrell Strayhorn from his faculty position at Ohio State University, after he was dismissed from a center director position. Strayhorn is well-known in higher-ed research,1 and his administrative dismissal and then faculty resignation is a startling end to what had been a rocketlike career trajectory. Notesi.e., […]