See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

It’s Not Ideology—It’s Management

It sounds like a moral position, but it’s really a managerial response. The important thing is a trouble-free campus. Avoid expensive cases and bad publicity. Each instance of insensitivity imposes labor costs in terms of hours devoted to handling the grievance.

A Race for the Best and Brightest

There simply are not enough high performing students to sustain a rigorous curriculum and grading scale at very many institutions. In this pressure to dumb down the academic climate, we see another reason for schools to admit more foreign students.

Social Engineering for Education

Over the years, with allegations of cultural bias thrown against them, text developers have pared the content of the tests down until they are wholly neutral, flat, and remote. On reading exams, we get passages about penguins in Antarctica and other topics that won’t spark a debate about bias and sensitivity.

The Inscrutable Campus and the New Left Background

One of the many frustrations that critics of ideological trends in higher education face is that so many of our audience do not recognize extreme cases as significant to the overall intellectual condition of the campus.  They hear about Ward Churchill and think, “Boy, he’s a wild one,” and that’s all.  Churchill ran a large […]

The Dismaying Drumbeat of Sensitivity

It is almost enough to make you stop reading the Chronicle of Higher Education, www.insidehighered.com, and other education news periodicals.  I mean the recurrent drama played out in predictable moves whereby one person makes an impolitic, insensitive, or otherwise offensive statement and a crowd of authorities censure, berate, and threaten as the guilty one waffles […]

The Great Conservative Mistake

  Few people knew more about the antebellum South than the late-Eugene Genovese.  Over a 50-year career, he read thousands of newspapers, pamphlets, sermons, government documents, letters, and books, always setting basic erudition at the root of every other academic virtue.  His renowned corpus, from Roll Jordan Roll to The Mind of the Master Class […]

The Scandal of Poor College Learning: The ACTA Measure

(Must-see video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-ma3-PKjTs&feature=youtu.be.) There are many ways to measure productivity in higher education, including faculty teaching loads, Federal research dollar awards, and the knowledge and skills of recent graduates.  The latter yardstick was the focus of  the much-discussed and much-admired Academically Adrift, whose subtitle flatly announced the problem: Limited Learning on College Campuses.  (Amid the […]

The Productivity Hurdle

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week takes up the continuing issue of faculty productivity, especially as it bears upon research/teaching equations.  The central character is Lawence Martin, who runs an academic data organization named Academic Analytics that offers universities programs to document the labor faculty perform.  Here’s Martin’s central offer: “If […]

Wasteful Productivity

When humanities departments at research universities report the productivity of their faculty members, they point first not to the number of undergraduates enrolled in their classes, not to the amount of knowledge and level of skills those students attain, not to the external funding professors garner.  No, they tally publications.  Productivity is measured by books […]