Location, Location: Student-Housing Prices Should Reflect Reality

To the Editor:

In my time at the University of Virginia I have seen quite the building boom occur in the first-year residential area. Long gone are the 1960’s dorms—in their place have been built behemoths of brick and glass. For those not familiar with the dormitories at UVa, there used to be two main types, known as Old Dorms and New Dorms. The Old Dorms were built in the 1950’s and have stayed relatively the same ever since. The New Dorms were built in the 1960’s and are the current t…

Russian Studies Is Not in an Uncomfortable Position at All

To the Editor:

I was dismayed to see the tease “Crimea Puts Russia Studies in Uncomfortable Light” on the front page of your April 4 issue, and then relieved to read the article itself—headlined “Attention on Crimea Highlights Flux in Russia Studies”—and find that the front-page tease was a complete mismatch. The tease misses the mark in two very significant ways:

First, the term “Russia Studies” should not be used to narrowly depict only political scientists who study Russia. Rather, schola…

‘Moral Panic’: Is That Data Half Full, or Half Empty?

To the Editor:

I want to thank Laura Otis, Walter Kalaidjian, and Patricia Cahill for their letter detailing their hard work in placing students in nontenurable positions and alternative careers (“Bouquet Disparages English Ph.D.’s—at Emory Especially,” The Chronicle, April 9). It is reasonable to disagree about the curriculum of a Ph.D. program that places 60 percent of its students outside of tenured positions of any kind.

There is no error of fact, however. Using the same data they provide, …

Bousquet Disparages English Ph.D.’s—at Emory Especially

To the Editor:

In “The Moral Panic In Literary Studies” (The Chronicle, April 7), Marc Bousquet charges that a decline in English studies is resulting in a “backlash discourse” against rhetoric and composition specialists that he likens to “irrational mass anxiety, such as those induced by youth culture, drug use, crime, immigration, sexual behavior, and so on.” Along the way, he dismisses career paths that lead beyond academia as a “fake solution” aimed at maintaining what he imagin…

Female Associate Professors Make 93 Pct. as Much as Male Colleagues

To the Editor:

We appreciate “Stuck in the Middle” (The Chronicle, April 7), which addresses the widening pay gap between associate and full professors. When we look deeper into the issue of pay, however, there’s even more cause for concern for women faculty members.

The pay gap that professors experience is influenced not only by rank but also by gender. For associate professors, women are paid 93 percent of what their male counterparts are paid. For professors of all ranks, women are paid just…

Panic? Why? Students Are Passionately Interested in ‘Traditional’ Literature

To the Editor:

Although I agree with some of the sentiment that underlies “The Moral Panic in Literary Studies” (The Chronicle, April 7), I find it to be a really bad example of the genre. It literally describes the position it advocates as “rational” and “reasonable,” while representing the other side as “paranoid” and “panicked,” and its main injunction seems to be that literary scholars should just accept the fact that something they love and care about is dying and furthermore that it deserv…

TRIO Programs Help Participants Study Abroad

To the Editor:

Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Peking University to stress the importance for college students to study abroad. “Studying abroad isn’t just a fun way to spend a semester,” she said. “It is quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy.”

Mrs. Obama acknowledged that the majority of students who study abroad are affluent or attend colleges that cater to families with more than modest to high incomes. CNN reported that “as a student, Obama never considered …

Recent Ashland U. Layoffs Merit a Mention

To the Editor:

“Financially Strapped Colleges Grow More Vulnerable as Economic Recovery Lags” (The Chronicle, March 24) was very interesting. But as someone associated with Ashland University, I thought it was surprising that Stephen R. Storck, the university’s vice president for business operations, and Scott D. Van Loo, the vice president for enrollment management, neglected to mention that Ashland recently laid off/downsized another group of employees. Curious that this was not mentioned as p…

‘Witness-Protection Program’ Needs Rethinking

To the Editor:

Once again, Chronicle readers are given a patronizing column (“Terminal Associate Professors, Past and Present,” March 24) masquerading as friendly advice, all written by a full professor hiding behind a pseudonym. Like “Ivan Tribble” of nine years ago, Professor “Neal Dow” tells us from his elevated position what his junior colleagues must do to climb the greasy pole.

Evidently, the associate professors who so deeply in need of Mr. Dow’s advice are also so dangerous that he need…

When Is a ‘Stipend’ Really Not?

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on the disparities in “To Improve Equity, Focus on Stipends, Graduate Students Say” (The Chronicle, February 17).

The word “stipend” is used interchangeably with “compensation,” “salaries,” and “pay.” It’s necessary to distinguish among these to correctly advise graduate students.

We all understand salaries, compensation, and pay—a paycheck in exchange for services rendered. However, on many campuses, the word stipend is often misused. I have found “sti…