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colleges and universities



  • Can Universities Protect Diverse Admissions and Excellence?

    by John Thelin

    The vastly improved technology available to college admissions officers means that a handful of selective institutions can serve the interest of both nominal diversity and elite reproduction, while exacerbating the divide in elementary and secondary educational quality in the nation. 



  • Higher Ed's Past is Gilded, Not Golden

    by Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

    Despite unfavorable comparisons between today's college costs and labor conditions and those prevailing in the 1960s, public higher education was never based on a deep commitment to egalitarianism, and has long financed, rather than funded, college. 



  • A New Framework of Values for Universities?

    Historians Jennifer Mittelstadt and Davarian Baldwin discuss how universities must reject the "ivory tower" model to be contributors to the well-being of the communities around them as well as to maintain their intellectual vitality. 



  • 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).