Category Archives: Tell It To The Marines

August 30, 2013, 2:53 pm

There’s Nothing That Says I Haven’t Got A Plan….

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Just keep saying: Mitt Romney would have been worse, Mitt Romney would have been worse…

…Like President Obama’s new College Affordability Plan.  (For intelligent and thoughtful responses to this announcement, go to the AHA Roundtable on President Obama’s College Affordability Plan and Inside Higher Ed, August 8 2013. For an outraged polemic, keep reading.)

Like practically everything else about what passes for federal education policy today, the Obama administration’s problem-solving  nibbles around the edges of the issue. There is nothing that is a genuinely new idea or even a well-recycled old idea. Reforms consist of a few small financial incentives awarded to institutions that play along, injecting a good shot of standardized testing, and giving “education consumers” information so that they can make…

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May 21, 2013, 1:52 pm

Annals of Recent History: The Book of Rumsfeld

Don’t you think Donald Rumsfeld should be tried as a war criminal? I do. Or maybe he could be imprisoned for a decade or more, with no access to constitutional rights, while we sort the evidence against him and decide whether to bring him to trial.

But no. That’s not how we do things in the Land of the Free.

Like Henry Kissinger, Robert MacNamara and other architects of mass destruction, Rumsfeld has settled into the golden years of milking profits from his crimes. Instead of being interrogated with a wet washcloth over his face, he has authored a book that blends his life experiences into a few simple truths that we can all live by as we wait for the next lethal incident of blowback somewhere in America. (more…)

March 9, 2012, 9:58 pm

Campus Report: When Students Protest Speakers On Human Rights Grounds…

Maybe students at Cambridge and Zenith should have had a Tea Party instead?

…They usually get squashed, whether the protests are violent or non-violent.

British university students, who revived their reputation for radicalism last spring after unprecedented budget cuts and tuition increases, took it to the streets again today to make a point about sexual violence and women’s rights. The Cambridge University’s Women’s Campaign staged a large demonstration outside the Cambridge Union during a speech given by former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was accused last year of raping a hotel chambermaid in New York.  Perhaps because of elaborate security precautions, the protest turned violent:  two students were arrested in scuffles with the police, and two other…

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February 24, 2012, 9:20 am

Margaret Thatcher Naked On A Cold Day! Or, The Austin Powers Theory of Academic Interviewing

We at Tenured Radical have been reminded lately that the higher education industrial complex is well into flyback season.  So this post carries a warning for those of you criss-crossing the country to interview for tenure-track jobs and residential postdocs:

The people who are interviewing you are Fembots. Or at least they should be.  Let me explain.

A conversation with someone who had just had a great time visiting a potential employer reminded me that, over the course of my life, I have had at least six flybacks and I have been on the hiring side of countless other searches.  Prior to my first campus interview ever (the one where I was driving up the West Side Highway before I realized I had left my interview clothes on a hanger in my bedroom), my Good Enough Dissertation Advisor gave me sage advice.  ”Remember that it is their job to recruit you, Radical:  if they do their …

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September 24, 2011, 11:29 am

Forget the SATs. How Many Days Did Your Students Drink Last Week?

The beginning of the semester is always a time for reassessment, isn’t it?  SAT scores, we hear, despite endless amounts of testing mandated by No Child Left Behind, have declined.  Unsurprisingly, Daniel Luzer of the HuffPo thinks this is not a problem; William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan, thinks this is a “wake-up call” about the failure of liberal education policy; and no one, as far as I can tell, has asked a college professor whether it matters. Why we think that test scores should get better and better, and when they don’t, an apocalypse of some kind looms, is such a quintessentially American scenario.   While SAT’s do, to some extent, predict college performance; high school grades predict it better; and success in a demanding and creative school is even higher on the Radical list, my best criteria for student success is: drinking.

I don’t…

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October 26, 2008, 3:23 pm

Letter to Barack: Five Things You Could Do To Create Change — And Change History

Dear Barack,

You’ve sent me so many emails for the past year that I feel like I know you. Things are looking good, aren’t they? So let’s take a few minutes and plan for the first Hundred Days. As a scholar of the New Deal, I think I am the perfect person to help you establish an agenda. But first some background from a more recent history.

Back in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, what we now call the conservative “base” hoped that Reagan would act by presidential decree to address pressing issues that conservatives, many of whom were activist Christian evangelicals, called a “family values” agenda. This included critical constitutional issues like banning abortion, making school prayer legal, ending desegregation (otherwise known by segregationists as “forced busing”), and making flag desecration a criminal offense. It’s probably worth noting that, since we can all probably a…

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March 19, 2008, 7:13 pm

Department of Odd Coincidences

So after yesterday’s post condemning tenure (again) I get back to work on the talk I am supposed to give on pornography (again) and I drift off onto the internet (again), clicking around to the sites listed on my sitemeter from whence people arrived at Tenured Radical. Eventually, I come up with a story from the Chronicle of Higher Education about:

Pornography and Tenure.

Go ahead. Make my day!

To make a long story short, a married couple out at New Mexico State University was just denied tenure, and they are charging racial bias. What they also reveal, however, was that shortly before they were denied tenure, John — the husband part of the married couple — received an e-mail from an associate dean that contained a “graphic sexual image.” He complained to the dean; and shortly afterwards, the chair of the couple’s department decided that neither member of the couple should receive…

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