Announcing a new survey on student success

Developed with my colleague Paul Umbach, the Revealing Institutional Strengths and Challenges (RISC) Survey is the only student survey focused on student success. You can learn more here: https://www.risc.college/why-risc We’re taking registrations from two-year institutions for Fall 2018 administration. We’re also looking for a few four-years for our four-year pilot, contact me if interested.

Three good books about India

I’ve been pondering a family trip to India, so I’m reading books about India like a fiend. Maximum city: Bombay lost and found, by Suketa Mehta I couldn’t put this one down. Part autobiography, the author is an Indian who returns to India after spending some time in America. He intersperses anecdotes about his life…

Everyone makes school’s cheer squad after parent complains

A New Jersey mom went to her daughter’s school and complained about her not making the cheerleading squad – so now everyone gets to make the team. ​ “All my hard work has been thrown out the window,” seethed cheerleader Stephanie Krueger about the ruling during a Board of Education meeting last week in East…

British students can no longer read a clock

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said. Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock. Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary…

Taleb doesn’t like professors, can’t say I blame him

6) The educational model is now imploding as the only thing people seem to learn at colleges is ideology by losers who became professors because they aren't good enough to create things & got together to BS in a citation ring #RentSeekers (not just in economics, but everywhere) — Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 26,…

Many of our analyses are probably based on crappy data

This thought crossed my mind once again when I read this passage from India: A Portrait (p. 118): The politician Harold Cox, who had taught mathematics at Aligargh Muslim University, was once advised by a judge in India: “Cox, when you are a bit older, you will not quote Indian statistics with that assurance. The…

Good quote about faculty work

A prerequisite for a successful scientific career is an enthusiastic willingness to pore through the minutiae of subjects that 99.9 percent of Earth’s population find screamingly dull. The Wizard and the Prophet, p. 148.

How to deal with academic fascists: revoke their financial aid

This is pretty funny: When a group of New York University students began occupying the staircase of a campus building last week, they initially planned to stay indefinitely, or at least until their demand for a meeting with the school’s board of trustees was granted. Instead, the students departed within forty hours, after the university…

ISM and IHE meeting

Just spent last week with some colleagues from the Institute of Statistical Mathematics. We were hosted by the Institute of Higher Education in Athens, due to their recent signing of an MOU with ISM. I’ve been involved with some projects with the ISM folks, and we met to discuss collaborative research projects on faculty productivity…