We Should Look to Other Indicators to Measure Worth and Value

Are we evaluating colleges the right way?

By Arthur M. Hauptman (Consultant)

There is little question that the shift in policy focus in this country over the past decade from access to success has been a positive development. College officials and policy makers at both the federal and state levels now recognize that it is not enough to measure the scope of higher education just in terms of how many students enroll; if we as a nation are to remain globally competitive, it is also critical to ensure that more students actually complete their program and attain a degree. Continue reading “We Should Look to Other Indicators to Measure Worth and Value”

Where is the philosopher of the digital age?

Where is higher education headed?

re: Deborah Spar (Barnard)

In  her essay, In Search of Prophets, Debora Spar, President of Barnard College, asks,

“Where is the philosopher of the digital age?”

Among others, her paper makes four claims:

Claim 1: “Sadly, he or she [a philosopher of the digital age] doesn’t exist.”

Claim 2: “I don’t believe that higher education bears much of the blame for the inequities that now confront our country, or for the gloomy forecasts that have driven our students to the streets in protest.” Continue reading “Where is the philosopher of the digital age?”

Top Colleges Should Select Randomly From a Pool of ‘Good Enough

Is the admissions process a good one?

by Barry Schwartz (Swarthmore)

(Originally published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, February 25, 2005.)


Jane is preparing for a dinner party. For dessert she intends to make a Grand Marnier soufflé. She’s made it before, and it’s come out fine, but she’s been wondering whether all the elaborate steps in the recipe are really necessary. She’d like to experiment, to see if the preparation can be simplified. But she won’t experiment today. Today she’ll follow the recipe as she has before, because she wants to be sure the soufflé works. Continue reading “Top Colleges Should Select Randomly From a Pool of ‘Good Enough”