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FW: 5/2/2003 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@chronicle.com] Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 5:00 AM To: Chronicle Daily Report Subject: 5/2/2003 Daily Report from The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2003
      -----Original Message-----
      From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...]
      Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 5:00 AM
      To: Chronicle Daily Report
      Subject: 5/2/2003 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

      ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
      Daily Report for subscribers

      Good day!

      Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education for
      Friday, May 2.

      * [snip]


      A NEW LOOK AT 'THE CULTURAL TURN': We need less sloganeering
      about multiculturalism and theory and more analyses of how
      culture influences the human condition, writes Peter N. Stearns,
      provost and vice president for academic affairs at George Mason
      --> SEE http://chronicle.com/weekly/v49/i34/34b00701.htm

      SOJOURNING AMONG SCIENTISTS: Surprised by the collegiality and
      openness of physicists, Leonard Cassuto, an English professor
      at Fordham University, wonders how the humanities became so
      --> SEE http://chronicle.com/weekly/v49/i34/34b00501.htm



      A glance at the spring issue of "The Virginia Quarterly Review": A
      critique and a defense of higher education

      America's colleges have plenty to be proud of, writes James
      Axtell, a professor of humanities at the College of William and
      Mary. With more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions,
      students can pick one that suits their intellectual abilities
      and their pocketbooks. The diversity and quality of American
      higher education is the envy of the rest of the world.

      That's the good news. But, according to Mr. Axtell,
      "imperfections are visible even in academic paradise." While
      going to college has become an option for more and more
      high-school graduates, many of them are unprepared for the
      rigors of academe, forcing colleges to provide remedial classes
      in subjects like math and English. In addition, "excessive
      student (and parental) vocationalism" threatens to undermine the
      broad grounding in arts and sciences that is the hallmark of a
      liberal education.

      The professor also has harsh words for college athletics. "We
      should worry that many athletic programs are in the
      entertainment rather than the education business, that they
      monopolize funds, some of which could go for academics,
      intramural sports, and recreation for all students, and that
      they maintain alumni-funded empires outside the control or even
      oversight of the faculty and administration," Mr. Axtell writes.
      He is likewise upset at the "disgraceful" graduation rates of
      athletes at some institutions.

      In this wide-ranging essay, Mr. Axtell also takes on the "myth"
      of political correctness, the "largely unwarranted" criticism of
      curricular changes, along with perennial debates over tenure and
      teaching versus research. While he sees "sound reasons for
      taking pride" in American higher education, Mr. Axtell also
      regrets that in some cases "we have not done as well as we
      might, that we have settled for mediocrity."

      The article is not online. Information about the journal is
      available at http://www.virginia.edu/vqr/

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      Copyright (c) 2003 The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc.
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