On a cold February night in 2009, a turboprop commuter plane out of Newark was only a few miles from Buffalo when the “stick shaker” suddenly triggered. The plane had slowed to 135 knots after the crew had lowered the landing gear and extended the flaps, and the plane threatened to enter an aerodynamic stall. (That’s not when engines stop working, but when the wings cannot maintain lift.)Read more
Everyone’s angry at American colleges. Parents groan about tuition, students pile up debt and can’t find work, employers gripe that graduates lack job skills, conservatives decry liberal bias, Ph.D.s without a regular post become bitter transient adjuncts, and politicians suspect that tax dollars pay for useless majors and cushy schedules for professors.Read more
Neil Gross is a sociologist at the University of British Columbia who previously held posts at the University of Southern California and Harvard, has a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, and received undergraduate training at Berkeley. He edits Sociological Theory and has written a book on the liberal philosopher Richard Rorty.Read more
In academia, few sins are as grave and unforgivable as criticizing the “studies” programs. Journalist/author Naomi Schaefer Riley found that out this past spring when she wrote a blog post for the Chronicle of Higher Education website describing Black Studies as “left-wing victimization claptrap.”Read more
This past month, as applicants to selective colleges received letters of acceptance, how many parents sat down with their 18-year-old, cast a stern regard, and said, “Okay, you’re on your own soon, but we want you to major in English”? Not many, of course. At the current price of tuition, they want a nice job waiting for Junior right after graduation. Whaddya gonna do with a literature degree?Read more
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