Because students matter . . .

                                         Because what we do in our courses matters . . .

                                         Because the university is not an ivory tower . . .

            Teaching badly is no longer an ethical alternative.  Students arrive at institutions of higher education in desperate need of our help in finding a place in the world and in better understanding how to navigate their personal and public roles. The societies we inhabit need workers and citizens with a rich understanding of the world around them. And our classrooms have become a central location for the war against inequality which is spreading across the globe.

            More than ever before, the tools that we need to achieve these goals are available to us. For the last two decades I have had the good fortune to be part of a marvelous conversation about how to make higher education a place where the needs of our students and our societies are at last truly met. In this blog I would like to pass on some of what I have learned and to make a space for your thoughts as well.  Please join in this great endeavor

Blog Posts

Foucault’s Soldiers

            Several decades ago, when the writings of Michel Foucault were at the peak of their popularity in academia, my former colleague, Jim Riley, remarked insightfully that what was most enlightening in the work of the French philosopher/historian was not his soaring theories, but rather the powerful examples that he...

Read More

Vampire Universities

            It was a test of my parenting, and I think I passed. We were on a trip to investigate colleges with our teen-aged son, and Yale had become part of the itinerary. I had to sit for an hour in one of the University’s faux-Gothic lecture halls, listening to...

Read More

COVID-19 and the Unindicted Co-Conspirators of Academia

It is a lovely image, a beautiful example of the high quality of contemporary newspaper photography. The composition is perfect. The diagonal slats of the blinds carry the viewers’ eyes back to faces illuminated by light from hidden computer screens. The entire scene has the quiet intensity of a painting...

Read More