I learned a lot about higher ed from watching E. Gordon Gee during my time at Vanderbilt. He gave me a shout out in my graduation speech. An interesting guy…
Archive for November, 2009
Do you really need?
powerful stuff: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/science/03tier.html?hpw
Am reading Michael Lindsay’s Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite. Dr. Y lent me his copy, but it’s selling on Amazon right now for $4! One fun fact from reading so far: I’m impressed that (former House majority leader) Dick Armey quoted both the Pointer Sisters and Shania Twain when talking about his gripes with the religious right (p. 65). He must have the gift of song references. A few preliminary observations: The book does a good job of showing the sheer diversity of evangelicals, and that’s even with focusing on White men. [Lindsay points out that they're the bulk of his sample because they're the bulk of who's in power.] Second, how power can be fleeting. At least in the parts I’ve read, Lindsay quotes Ted Haggard a few times; the book came out in 2007 and Lindsay probably interviewed Haggard a few years prior to that. Now Haggard is in a totally different place. America is the land of second (and third and fourth) acts, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a comeback, but it’s funny to read the Haggard quotes, made when he was in his heydey of influence, and think about how quickly one’s life can change.
Also being sold on Amazon right now for under $5 is Hanna Rosin’s (writer for slate and double xx) God’s Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America, about Patrick Henry College. It’s a pretty funny and interesting read.
This article on how (generally flagship) public institutions are faring in economically strapped times made me think a lot about Miami, where I teach. I believe in-state tuition is the highest out of any of Ohio’s public’s, and about 30% of students come from out of state (and pay even heftier tuition, 26K+room and board). Everything is covered if your household income is $35K or less through the school’s Access Initiative. At first I was suspicious at acceptance rates for out of state vs. in-state students, but it was 80% for in-state and out of state is 77%…which struck me as pretty high considering the general academic caliber of the undergraduate student body (39% are in the top 10% of their high school class).
I imagine that there’s some sort of self-selection dynamic going on in who applies to Miami, given the school’s reputation as having an affluent, predominantly White student body, “J. Crew U,” etc. (On my mind a lot as we wrap up our paper on early admissions programs, issues of habitus, cultural capital, etc.) The Access Initiative does capture some low-income students, but I imagine that there’s a big chunk of Ohio families whose household incomes hover in the 36-70ishK sector where the idea of paying for a Miami education is beyond reach.
(update) This article on holistic admissions at public institutions speaks to a related issue. Sounds like what’s happening at Indiana is similar to the admissions trends at Miami.