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February 5th, 2014
thesmithian

'…interesting correlation…between political aspiration and sports. More men than women—74% compared to 41%—played on a college or intramural team and, for both, playing sports was correlated with political aspirations. The figure shows that running for office had crossed the minds of 44% of women who played sports and 35% who hadn’t. The numbers for men were 63% and 55%, respectively.'

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February 2nd, 2014
thesmithian
The number of high-school graduates underserved or unserved by higher education today dwarfs the number of people for whom that system works well. The reason to bet on the spread of large-scale low-cost education isn’t the increased supply of new technologies. It’s the massive demand for education, which our existing institutions are increasingly unable to handle. That demand will go somewhere. Those of us in the traditional academy could have a hand in shaping that future, but doing so will require us to relax our obsessive focus on elite students, institutions, and faculty. It will require us to stop regarding ourselves as irreplaceable occupiers of sacred roles, and start regarding ourselves as people who do several jobs society needs done, only one of which is creating new knowledge.
January 28th, 2014
thesmithian

On Jan 28 1963…Harvey Gantt enrolled at Clemson College, becoming the first African American accepted to a white school in South Carolina.

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January 3rd, 2014
thesmithian
…a liberal arts education, given the new work environment of the 21st century, when people will have multiple career trajectories during their lives, may be more crucial than ever. It trains students to probe and ask questions; to look at more than one side of an argument; to open their hearts and minds to other worldviews; to do research to try to figure out the best solutions to problems; to develop analytical thinking, which never goes out of style; to write and speak clearly and forcefully; to accept failure as part of the process of success; and to be flexible in adapting to new work routines and challenges. This habit of mind—adaptive, open to new ideas and challenges, accepting of difference, understanding of history—is exactly what young people need to succeed now more than ever, and precisely what the defunders of higher education do not want young people to ever acquire.
December 19th, 2013
thesmithian
…it’s a stress I inherited from my Hardass Asian upbringing, like a family heirloom. This is not to say that Hardass Asian Parenting can only ever be dysfunctional. While I sometimes feel robbed of normal American kid experiences, giving a crap about academics is one thing my parents did that helped me give a crap about myself. I never did become a lawyer, doctor, or engineer, but sending me to a good school in the suburbs and emphasizing the importance of a college degree was probably the difference between poverty and a stable income when I fell pregnant with my first and then got laid off from my job three days later. I obviously want to instill the same values with my own kids, but I want them to have a happy childhood too. Sometimes it’s just hard for me to navigate the difference between supportive and obsessive.
December 18th, 2013
thesmithian

'HBCU leadership turnover….There's a plethora of reasons, including university presidents being fired, being encouraged to leave their posts by their boards of trustees or opting for retirement…'

…Gone are the days of decades of top-down leadership, now replaced by a need for charismatic personalities who are well-skilled at fundraising while navigating internal needs and external stakeholders, as well as politics and long-standing traditions.

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December 10th, 2013
thesmithian

'…As of 2012, 37% of college newspapers surveyed did not have a website.'

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December 2nd, 2013
thesmithian

Black students represent less than 5% of the UCLA and University of Southern California student bodies. Nearly 43% of the USC football roster and 70% of its starters are black. Black athletes make up nearly 90% of the USC men’s basketball team…

At UCLA, 51% of the football roster and 72% of starters are black. In basketball, black athletes make up 80% of the team…basketball and football revenue at those schools funds $2 billion in scholarships annually, making Black athletes the single largest generator of scholarship dollars besides the federal government. At USC, Black talent supports scholarships for 600 mostly white athletes and salaries for 94 coaches as well as 615 scholarships and salaries for 89 coaches at UCLA.

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November 23rd, 2013
thesmithian
Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I’ve spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn’t work, but is amusing. “Free” only exists for rich people. It’s great that there’s a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don’t belong there. There’s a clinic? Great! There’s still a copay. We’re not going. Besides, all they’ll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. “Low-cost” and “sliding scale” sounds like “money you have to spend” to me, and they can’t actually help you anyway. I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding. I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term.
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October 12th, 2013
thesmithian

Why was Bev Kearney forced out? On its face, the story doesn’t quite make sense. Why would UT dismiss—rather than just punish—a coach who had made the school proud for almost twenty years? From a legal and PR standpoint, why create an adversary like Kearney, who has the potential to draw the university into one of the messiest scandals in its history? …What looks to be a familiar story of an illicit romance is in fact more convoluted, encompassing matters of gender, race, and the state of college sports. And at the center of it all is a highly gifted woman whose internal complexity threatens each and every thing she’s won.

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October 5th, 2013
thesmithian

What this means for historically black colleges is smaller endowments than non-black institutions with comparably long legacies—fewer rich alums, fewer bequests. It also meant that fewer of their students came from families who have chunks of cash that they can free up, either out of disposable income or assets like savings or home equity. So while they depend more on tuition, their student bodies had fewer resources to pay it.

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