What We’re Reading: March 21, 2013

Today’s What We’re Reading features a defense of higher education from Gene Block, an experiment with open review from the National Council on Public History blog, a March Madness bracket tailored especially for history buffs, and more….

News Related to Higher Education
College Is More than a “Return on Investment”
Gene Block, chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles, offers an op-ed for the Washington Post defending the many ways higher education “benefits society” and should not only be measured only by its impact on an individuals earning power.

What Community-College Search Committees Wish You Knew
The Chronicle offers an interesting article on preparing for an interview at a two-year college.

History in the News
Subjecting History
The National Council on Public History blog offers a post on an experiment with open review for an edited volume. It sparked a fascinating conversation in the comments on the nature of public engagement and the goals of open review. Is it enough to open publications up for comment? Or should authors actively reach out to interested members of the public, meet them where they are, and start a conversation? What are the goals of open review, and how do they differ from the scholarly model of peer review?

Humanities Ph.D. Plus
Inside Higher Ed reports on an international initiative to “prepare students for a career that may lead them out of the classroom or into new kinds of classrooms.”

New Restrictions on Federal Funding for Political Science

As part of the new continuing resolution to fund the federal government, the Senate approved an amendment that compels the National Science Foundation to only promote “national security or the economic interests of the United States.” The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed report on the implications, which the American Political Science Association characterizes as “devastating.”

Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reports a reduction of 28 percent per student in state support to their public colleges and universities. In most cases, the gap was filled by increases in student tuitions.

Jobs, Value, and Affirmative Action: A Survey of Parents About College
In a survey of the parents of school-aged children (in grades 5 through 12), Inside Higher Ed found “parents are more likely to strongly believe that no college at all can lead to a good job” than a degree in the liberal arts. Only 28 percent of the parents “strongly agreed” with the notion that a liberal arts education leads to a good job.

US Historians Defend Their Discipline
Noting efforts to curtail the number of students entering humanities programs at the state level, the Times Higher Ed blog reports on efforts to resist such initiatives.

Texas State Legislators Seek to Limit Ethnic History Studies in College Requirements
Two bills have been filed in the Texas state legislature that would limit the required six credits of history in the state’s public colleges and universities to “courses providing a comprehensive survey of American History.”

Fun with History
The Junto March Madness: Nominating Books for the Early American History Brackets
In the spirit of March Madness, Benjamin Park at the Junto created  a bracket-tournament of books in early American history.

Underwater Photo Gallery Brings Sunken Ship to Life
Viennese artist Andreas Franke offers an underwater photography exhibition.

Podcasts
“Bowery Boys”- Are Amateur But Beloved New York Historians
Sponsored by NPR, in each episode Tom Meyers and Greg Young tell “little-known stories about the history of their adopted city.”

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