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

Et tu, Engineering?

With so much of the humanities and social sciences badly infected with nutty notions, isn’t it comforting to know that a few solid bastions of common sense and academic rigor remain?

Course Evaluations Are Useless, At Best

If university faculty does not read course evaluations, then students are continuously putting time and energy into a bold-faced lie. If university faculty does read course evaluations, then good professors—the taskmasters who refuse to inflate grades and who push their students to achieve success—suffer.

The Habit of Trying

Researchers studied how students in the United States and in China would respond to a cash performance incentive. That the paid American students tried harder is an unsurprising conclusion. But here’s the disheartening part: The bribe made no difference to the Chinese students. They tried their best with or without money.

Trustees, Take Note: Time to Really Do Your Job

Trustees should take a more active role in reviewing and benchmarking the work of faculty and administrators and monitoring outcomes. Too many have seen their role narrowly defined as boosters, cheerleaders, and donors.

On Campus, A Culture of Racial Division and Mistrust

Andy Ngo decided to take part in an event billed as “Students of Color Speak Out.” He writes, “As a student of color and the gay son of refugee immigrants, the event’s premise interested me.” What Ngo found, however, was a climate of animosity directed at white Americans.

Toward more balanced (and interesting) higher-education reporting

The Society of Professional Journalists, to its great credit, says journalists should “encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage, and news content.” In that spirit, I (as a member of the public) offer some observations.