#USA #Universities #HigherEd #IvyLeague #Democracy #Inequality: "America’s richest colleges and universities, in effect, exist in a country of their own (though paid for in part with the public’s money).
This inequity reflects a restructuring of political power, towards an aristocracy. In historical perspective, we are seeing the collapse of the great post World War II democratization of post-secondary arts and sciences education alongside the appearance of a meritocracy alienated from the public and at odds with democracy. If anyone points out the role of elite education in the reproduction of inequality today, Americans tend to see it as flawed or compromised meritocracy rather than “true” meritocracy. But such responses are signs of a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. The “merit” of meritocracy has little to nothing to do with the abilities, or worth, or value of people as human beings and citizens.
Meritocracy and democracy are not the same thing. The goal of meritocracy is to produce, or reproduce, an elite. There is nothing necessarily democratic about that. The Puritans who founded the Ivy league schools were very good at building stable and exclusive institutions, for many reasons, including that the elite, for them, was the elect: those specially chosen to receive God’s grace, to be one of the sanctified and saved few among the masses of the damned. In the early United States, however, New Englanders quickly discovered, to their dismay, that being the elect did not mean much to many Americans and they would be hard pressed to win national elections. The Puritan schools are designed to serve the elect, not for democratic education. Thomas Jefferson feared and reviled the Puritan schools, and founded the University of Virginia to counter what he saw as their anti-democratic influence."
#Harvard receives another devastating letter from Bill Ackman, detailing the reasons why the university should fire President, Claudine Gay
(‘ In her short tenure as President, Claudine Gay has done more damage to the reputation of Harvard University than any individual in our nearly 500-year history’)
It is a very good letter.
Honestly if you want people to submit to your conference why are you making the instructions so difficult and lengthy? I should not need to take a few days just to parse what it is that you are asking for your conference. I honestly wish things would be getting better in #HigherEd with this, but it’s only getting worse. I keep trying to give associations second and third chances, but at some point it’s very clear that no #accessibility conversations are happening during planning.
This end of semester has been challenging, as it has overlapped heavy consulting deadlines.
But its final weekend, coupled w/ #graduation, has been enjoyable. I was able to be on campus for the hooding ceremony, & I met several students in-person for the 1st time. It's amazing the #relationships you can develop with students digitally if you're willing to make the effort. To wrap, I'm finalizing grades for a particularly strong group of capstone projects.
This quote from the (just resigned) chair of Penn’s BOT captures the real failure of (former) president Liz Magill at the House hearing:
"'Over prepared and over lawyered given the hostile forum and high stakes, she provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong"
As a (Jewish) Penn alum & a college prof, I’m deeply concerned by what’s happening with political & donor interference in #highered—while also frightened by surging antisemitism.
Nice to see that the "ivory tower" is as pristine as ever! /:s
(Assuming the sarcasm warning isn't as necessary here as at that other place, but jic)
Prof. Davarian Baldwin's characterization of many elite universities as hedge funds with classrooms attached is soo spot on.
Let's be clear. These three university presidents are not alone. They are the only ones who spoke out before Congress. If all three are problematic, what does that say about all the others, and how does that posit campus antisemitism across the US?
"74 lawmakers demand MIT, Harvard, UPenn boards remove school presidents"
"A bipartisan group of more than 70 lawmakers is pressing for the removal of the presidents at Harvard...UPenn and...MIT..."
"York University’s low enrolment and reliance on international students putting school at risk: auditor general"
The issues identified by the auditor general are not unique to York. Flat provincial funding, reliance on international student tuition, and growth in senior admin is fairly typical across the province as it is elsewhere in Canada.
Creating an app that translates Google Slides in the target language of your choosing. Pretty useful for #highered instructors in countries (like France) where we keep switching between lecturing in local FR and EN.
Ping me if interested!
U of Central Florida computer science student wins Google-Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions Dissertation Award, worth $25K, for his project, Capturing and Logging Ecological Virtual Experiences and Reality (CLEVER), an #OpenSource tool and dataset that facilitates capturing data from various virtual reality devices, regardless of the type of equipment or application.
"Citing 'recognized benefits to open source, including the reusability and robustness of code, the enhancement of digital services and federal programs, and the ability for government to develop collaborative approaches with the private sector,' Policy Experts from Stanford Law underscored the need for an #OpenSource approach to developing AI policy."
Cornell researchers have released a new, #OpenSource platform called Cascade that can run #ArtificialIntelligence (#AI) models in a way that slashes expenses and energy costs while dramatically improving performance.
If you share help lines with your students, please be careful and disclose whether or not the help line participates in non-consensual rescue.
Do they call the police or emergency services (often police) without notifying the caller? This can be VERY dangerous for Black students, trans students, etc. Many are unaware of what non-consensual rescue is, so assume students don't know.
"Harvard Crisis Grows After ‘Bizarrely Evasive’ Genocide Response"
"Alumni group appeals to university board after Gay’s testimony. Rabbi David Wolpe resigned from antisemitism advisory panel."
Report of a Special Committee: Political Interference and Academic Freedom in Florida’s Public #HigherEd System, from AAUP https://www.aaup.org/file/AAUP_Special_Committee_Report_on_Florida_final.pdf
Global #CitizenScience project. Everyone invited.
Solar jets are burning hot plumes of gas ejected from the Sun. Help find and label these jets so scientists can study them! @SolarJetHunter project gives anyone the tools to Join In
Wanted: Director, Digital Accessibility at Univ of Washington (hybrid, Seattle) https://uwhires.admin.washington.edu/ENG/candidates/default.cfm?szCategory=jobprofile&szOrderID=228996 #a11y #seattle #higherEd #jobs
What you really mean to say is that university presidents would not openly endorse genocide against Palestinians, which is what these pebble-brain politicians wanted.
US university presidents face firestorm over evasive answers on antisemitism
Inside Higher Ed gets it right,
“This seems very clearly meant to be a confrontational hearing.”
Donor Ross Stevens 'appalled' by Penn President Elizabeth Magill's stance on antisemitism said to pull $100m donation following her congressional testimony.
"In an email, seen by the BBC, Mr Stevens said: 'I have clear grounds to rescind Penn's $100 million of Stone Ridge shares due to the conduct of President Magill.'"
TIP: The Quickening Pace of Change - Some thoughts on productive reflection about teaching in 2023 & looking ahead to 2024 #highered #AIED https://open.substack.com/pub/higheredpraxis/p/tip-the-quickening-pace-of-change?r=4j50q&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
The University of Maryland Policy and Procedures for the Use of Facilities and Outdoor Spaces https://policies.umd.edu/general-administration/university-of-maryland-policy-and-procedures-for-the-use-of-facilities-and-outdoor-spaces
#firstamendment #academia #highered 1/
"Elite colleges scramble to backtrack after evading questions about antisemitism"
"Their answers were met with intense criticism, and billionaire Bill Ackman has even called for the three presidents to 'resign in disgrace' following the hearing."
"Limya Harvey and Cydney Mumford set up a folding table a few times a month on the University of Texas-San Antonio campus to give away kits containing emergency contraceptives, condoms, and lube, or menstrual products like tampons and pads. They typically bring 50 of each type of kit, and after just an hour or two everything is gone."
The answers of these university presidents are a disgrace. They are also emblematic of the toxic side of academia. The wording, the body language, and facial expressions are all on display at your regular faculty meeting. This is how we are schooled to behave to maintain our self-image as the superior vanguard of knowledge. What is more, the presidents' talk about academic freedom shows that they don't know what it means.
Recruiting CAFS Board Members – 2023–25
#Food #FoodStudies #Academia #HigherEd #GetInvolved #Volunteer #BoardMember #PhDLife #AcademicChatter #FoodPolitics #FoodWays #FoodSovereignty #FoodInsecurity #Nutrition #Sociology #Geography #Anthropology #STS
Experts at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco have begun working to improve the treatment of diabetes and metabolic health using a first-of-its-kind #openSource platform with broad societal benefits.
"Reflecting on anomalies in OER: Is ‘Open’ broken, and if so, can education fix it?"
Wed. Dec. 13, 3:00PM EST
More information and registration here: https://apereo.civicrm.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=50
1957: Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, and there's concern of the U.S.' shortage of Russian speakers to monitor Soviet activity
1958: Congress authorizes funding to strengthen education in foreign language
2023: A new report shows the study of languages other than English experienced an unprecedented drop of 16.6% since 2016
“This creates greater risks for national security,” explains a professor:
American elites know that young people see the genocide in Gaza for what it is, and that this widespread perception is a very real threat to their power.
Which is why there is now a coordinated attempt to pressure universities into silencing dissent.
"In all of her current work, NC State University visiting scholar advocates for the development and use of #OpenSource solutions, for both teaching and research. This approach increases access to important research tools for students and professionals alike, regardless of their funding level, advancing equity."
For those who teach, particularly in higher ed:
If you require your students to make a website for a project, do you have a go-to platform that all students must use? Or do you let them choose?
I am interested in both simpler use cases, where the student might just be expected to blog throughout the semester, and more complicated ones (something closer to a digital project or portfolio).
AQUA members will have received the 40th anniversary edition of Quaternary Australasia in their inboxes last week. As part of this bumper edition, the AQUA executive penned an open letter re. the future of the geosciences in Aus and NZ. Really proud to be part of an organisation that consistently tries to do some good for our community.
The Scientific Software Engineering Center at the University of Washington has been co-awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to host a workshop that will explore an #OpenSource development model for public datasets.
New Open, Composable, Heterogeneous, Adaptable, Management Infrastructure launched as an open community including Los Alamos, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, the Swiss National Supercomputing Center, HPE, and the University of Bristol.
"We believe #OpenSource efforts like OCHAMI will broadly benefit the community and our users."
"Whistleblower allegation: Harvard muzzled disinfo team after $500 million Zuckerberg donation"
"A prominent disinformation scholar who left Harvard University in August has accused the school of muzzling her speech and stifling — then dismantling — her research team as it launched a deep dive in late 2021 into a trove of Facebook files she considers the most important documents in internet history."
Important to think about when false accusations can occur: https://www.techlearning.com/news/he-was-falsely-accused-of-using-ai-heres-what-he-wishes-his-professor-did-instead #highered #academia #edutooter
What do you think? A fair way of dealing with suspected AI writing? https://www.techlearning.com/news/my-student-was-submitting-ai-papers-heres-what-i-did #highered #academics #edutooter
Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, or International Day of Disabled Persons (because identity-first language is very important). Episode 16 of Accessagogy is out. Today's episode is about accessible mentorship. It provides things to consider in mentorship, how to build inclusive mentorship, and reflects on how disabled folk can be actively excluded from mentorship programs as mentors and mentees. Episode length 13:34 https://lnkd.in/gMQDWz5S #IDPD #HigherEd #accessibility
Conceptualizing #mentoring in #HigherEd: A systematic literature review https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1747938X23000581
"Mentoring is a formalized process based on a developmental relationship between 2 persons in which 1 person is more experienced (mentor) than the other (mentee). The mentor provides career, emotional, psychosocial, psychological, and academic support, to promote and facilitate student success, competence development, and career development."
"Jewish USC professor, who was barred from campus over Hamas comments, allowed to return"
"In an updated statement, USC said, 'all of the restrictions previously placed on Professor Strauss have now been lifted.'"
#HigherEd folks: Please consider signing and widely sharing this letter re long-term ceasefire & just solution in #Gaza with university colleagues in New England, ideally before 10am on Monday Dec. 4, which is when it will be sent to US Senators representing New England states. The form will continue collecting signatures thereafter.
Note that signatories do NOT have to be US citizens, but must be a resident of CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, or VT.
More academic freedom on the line in Texas.
It appears UT Austin has fired two graduate students for their statements on Palestine.
DESTROYING THE UNIVERSITY TO SAVE IT
"The proposal calls for a whole new general education curriculum—designed not by faculty but by think-tank ideologues, put into effect by right-wing politicians and trustees, and overseen by quisling administrators who will follow orders and override faculty opposition. Flagship state universities will be the first targets, setting the stage for later adoption of the new curriculum by regional universities." https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/12/01/destroying-the-university-to-save-it/
Exploring the gap between research & practice around examinations in #HigherEd
"In 1985, Keller infamously attacked HE research, stating that ‘hardly anyone in higher education pays attention to the research and scholarship about higher education’. Colbeck describes the perverse situation whereby ‘university administrators implement major teaching and curriculum reform initiatives without so much as brief phone consultations with experts on their own campuses’
"In Florida, where it is against the law to transport undocumented immigrants, students mention that their peers with undocumented family members are at risk if they have relatives in the car with them on campus. The automated license plate reader cameras can capture not only the license plate itself but the entire car and who is in it."
FAFSA Simplification Brief for Campus Partners: https://www.nasfaa.org/uploads/documents/FAFSA_Simplification_Brief_Campus_Partners.pdf
The first Annual Disabled Student Survey is the largest ever carried out into university accessibility in the UK. They received over 1,300 responses from disabled students and guess what? #HigherEd has a serious problem with #AcademicAbleism.
Unionizing #university faculty isn’t easy, but Chatham’s budget woes and professors’ sense that they’re on the decision-making sidelines have spurred an organizing bid. @emmafolts continues coverage https://www.publicsource.org/chatham-university-unionization-drive-deficit-pittsburgh-steelworkers/ #Pittsburgh #highered #union
Disabled Californians are constantly told it's "too expensive" for the university we fund with our taxes, tuition, and fees to make our university system the highest common denominator of accessible by default.
But somehow we have $596,069/year (not including the other perqs) to pay a millionaire to promote his own brand under the guise of running a place of higher education. #HigherEd #PublicEducation #NeoliberalHellHole #UCAccessNow
Tommy Chouinard, « Une hausse moins marquée des droits de scolarité sur la table »
If only LA Times and other California papers would cover UC's systemic ableism. Sure, folks fought for a Disability Studies program, but that still leaves the systemic ableism within the University of California untouched.
"Part of our job is to get the word out about #OpenSource software."
U of Texas launches Open Source Program Office (#OSPO), a central office for open source software training and connection to support open source practices in the University community.
A good back and forth discussion of the topic. Having taught anatomy (Human and Veterinary), I believe virtual and real cadaver teaching supplement one another. The cadaver work is important though for many reasons described in this article.
People often associate #corporations with private #capitalist enterprises, but the federal #government owns dozens, chartered under the theory that incorporating enables more political independence. In practice, they’re all state-sponsored coercive #monopolies.
After Texas’s white supremacist government passed SB17 into law, prohibiting university diversity & inclusion programs, the cuts have started to hit UT Austin. This long running fellowship program was just forcibly terminated.
Good news? The UC Riverside Highlander Editorial Board realized that ableism and inaccessibility are problems worthy of an op-ed.
The bad news? They're not questioning the systemic ableism at UC, but just questioning how efficiently it's implemented. The client of the SDRC is University of California and its desire to meet as few of its bare minimum obligations under disability law as possible. The client is not disabled students. Highest common denominator accessibility should be the default and going beyond that as needed should be worked out without interference from "experts" at stonewalling.
My students will soon submit a (digital) poster presenting the results of a small empirical study. Any ideas how to invite everyone to take a look at all posters and foster productive discussions during the last session (in presence)?
It is not a bad time to give students an overview of the rest of the semester. Yes, this means reminding them of the deadlines that are indeed covered in the syllabus. Your #ADHD students and any others with executive functioning issues will appreciate a visual to see how few weeks are left in the semester.
Is this something they should know? There's that argument, but take a few minutes to upload a visual on your LMS or talk them through it. Be kind.
CalMatters briefly mentioned there would be an Office of Disability Rights, but so far as we know, no reporter questioned University of California as to what the Office would do and how it would do it. No questions about the current system throughout UC re disability and accessibility and how this Office would be any different. What is the Office empowered to do? How are whistleblowers protected? #UCAccessNow #Disability #HigherEd @disability
Virtual book launch for #HigherEd for Good is happening now at https://myfest.equityunbound.org/uncategorized/higher-education-for-good-he4good-book-launch/. Great big group of amazing folks online now-- come join us!
Episode 15 of Accessagogy is out with a discussion of how the editing process, peer review, and call for paper framing embeds and supports ableism in academic publishing. #HigherEd #Accessibility https://anngagne.ca/podcast/episode-15-ableism-in-academic-publishing/
Student EngAIgement: Exploring how to work with students with new technologies, a recent talk by @leaton01