Sunday Reading


“Despite the variety and the differences, and however much we proclaim the contrary, what the media produce is neither spontaneous nor completely “free:” “news” does not just happen, pictures and ideas do not merely spring from reality into our eyes and minds, truth is not directly available, we do not have unrestrained variety at our disposal. For like all modes of communication, television, radio, and newspapers observe certain rules and conventions to get things across intelligibly, and it is these, often more than the reality being conveyed, that shape the material delivered by the media. ” ? Edward W. Said

How shall we read this photo?

Jane Hu:


Bint Battuta:




Frank Pasquale:



[A]dministrators at the provost and presidential levels have unintentionally exacerbated the rubber-stamp culture by instituting budget models based on so-called responsibility-centered management. Promoted by the corporate world, RCM essentially operates on one concept: Reward revenue-generating activities, such as student credit hours. That is touted as "transparency," a welcome change from obtuse budget formulas by central administration.

The old budget formulas, typically based on the number of majors in a program, had one thing going for them: They didn't reward curricular expansion. RCM does.

To understand RCM, picture the university as a Wal-Mart superstore and students selecting all manner of courses off the pedagogical shelves. Each semester at the register they pay for "student credit hours" by the course, and the academic unit that created the course gets a chunk of the student's tuition. So departments keep proposing courses that appeal to the shoppers. The longer students stay in the pedagogical store, the more revenue they generate (and the more student debt).

The Wal-Mart model keeps students in the aisles for five, six, or more years when they should be walking down the aisle at commencement in four years or fewer. Worse, many students do not even realize the amount of debt they have amassed. A new study out of Iowa State University found that 13 percent of students who took out loans didn't realize they had borrowed money, and 37 percent underestimated the amount they owed.


And Jacob Remes!