Higher Education: The Problem with Priorities

The space from which you stand to view the horizon, provides the foundation for exploring your journey beyond the now.

ACADEME BLOG

It’s been interesting to watch over the years how priorities emerge on college and university campuses.

Some develop organically, whether in service of an academic program, to meet a perceived need, or at their best, to fulfill an institution’s strategic plan. They are part of the business of evolution, matching and balancing people, programs and facilities to available resources and aspirations. In these cases, colleges and universities differ little from other growing enterprises offering a quality product in a competitive marketplace.

The good news is tempered somewhat by the fact that these same strengths breed at best an incremental mindset that limits the potential of a college to be nimble, entrepreneurial and creative. For many internal constituencies – notably mid-level staff – creativity is a strange new world that threatens turf that many feel compelled to defend. For these administrators, it’s a “cat and mouse” game, in which the staff…

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2014 Through the Academe Blog: October

ACADEME BLOG

Hank Reichman opened the month by reprinting a letter from Jewish scholars about which he wrote:

Three weeks ago I posted to this blog a piece I titled “And Now There’s a Blacklist?” In that post I reported that an organization called the AMCHA Initiative, which claims it is “dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America,” had published what was “perilously close” to a blacklist of 218 faculty members in Middle East studies at U.S. colleges and universities who signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of Israel.  Today a group of forty prominent scholars in Jewish Studies issued a statement deploring the AMCHA list.  The statement declares that AMCHA’s “technique of monitoring lectures, symposia, and conferences strains the basic principle of academic freedom on which the American university is built. Moreover, its definition of anti-Semitism is…

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