colleges and universities

  • The Half-Century Road to the Student Debt Crisis

    by John Thelin

    A fatal mistake made by Congress in 1972 was to expand aid to students, imagined as consumers, through the Guaranteed Student Loan program, instead of subsidizing institutions to control costs. 

  • Descendants of Enslaved Ask What Harvard Owes Them

    A student research project led to Roberta Wolff-Platt becoming the first identified descendant of persons enslaved by the benefactors of Harvard College. Now Harvard considers how to begin the process of atonement. 

  • Faculty Need Labor Organizing, Not Shared Governance

    by Eva Cherniavsky

    "Beyond the walls of the academy, where the default vision of the college professor is (still) that of an over-educated, privileged elite reveling in the outrageous luxury of career-long job security, no one at all is much concerned with the erosion of faculty power. Yet they should be."

  • Collegiality, Interdisciplinarity, and the Historian's Work

    by Elizabeth Stice

    Universities should encourage, and scholars should embrace, opportunities for collegial cooperation that encourage the lowering of the barriers to cross-disciplinary conversations. Both the researcher and the university will benefit. 

  • Robert Lee on "Land-Grab" Universities

    Robert Lee of Cambridge University discusses his work documenting the treaty-like arrangements by which universities appropriated indigenous lands to build their endowments, an understudied aspect of the land-grant university system. 

  • University Attempt to Give Back Gets Backlash

    Higher ed historian Davarian Baldwin says that Fairfield University's plan to develop a low-cost Associates Degree college will be an incomplete solution to the problems of uneven development in Bridgeport, Connecticut (a problem that is partly fueled by the operation of private universities). 

  • The Walls of Troy: Pandemic and Exclusion at an Urban University

    by Arabella Delgado

    The pandemic has clarified and underscored ways that the University of Southern California, like most private urban campuses, has long sought to maximize the separation between its campus and the surrounding community. 

  • The Far Right is Coming for Colleges

    by Kathryn Gin Lum

    Under the banner of "classical education" and civics, the far right is funding a growing number of academic centers to advance conservative views. Historians Michael Butler, Nancy MacLean and Bethany Moreton comment. 

  • What Will Post-Roe Campuses Be Like?

    Student life and mental health, gender equity, medical school curricula, and faculty recruitment are just some of the areas of change likely if some states are able to ban abortion. 

  • The Delicate Balancing Act of Black College Presidents in the Civil Rights Era

    by Eddie R. Cole

    Although Black college presidents were often reluctant to publicly endorse sit-ins for fear of antagonizing segregationist state officials, they often were able to increase opportunity for individual students by lobbying for increases to public scholarship funds that sent Black students out of state to pursue degrees.

  • Avoiding Racial Justice at Alabama

    by Antar Tichavakunda

    The University of Alabama's initial decision to add desegregation pioneer Autherine Lucy's name to a building already honoring a former governor and Klansman was a PR blunder, but it sheds light on the way that universities typically use symbolic changes to sidestep demands for systemic reform.

  • SCOTUS Could Kill off Affirmative Action with Devastating Results

    by Keisha N. Blain

    Affirmative action policies have always aimed at changing the nation's long history of racially unequal education; that's why they've faced militant opposition all along, and why a conservative Supreme Court wants to destroy them.