Little Evidence of Collaborative Leadership at Ithaca College

To the Editor:

We recognize that there are times of crisis that require college presidents to “step up.” However, President Thomas Rochon’s November 16th op-ed, “Why Embattled Leaders Should be Stepping Up, Not Stepping Down,” (The Chronicle, November 16) presents a distinctly partial version of recent events at Ithaca College that have prompted the faculty to hold a vote of no confidence against the president this December. This fall’s series of racial incidents and the ensuing student activi…

Playwrights Have Every Right to Protect How Their Plays Are Performed

To the Editor:

Recently, issues of casting and race have arisen in our national conversation about theater. While the Dramatists Guild applauds these necessary, rigorous, and heartfelt conversations, it seems to us that there is a simpler principle at stake here: the right of authors to safeguard their work.

Playwrights own our material. We are protected by copyright; in fact, we have sacrificed a great deal for the privilege of authorial ownership, most notably the right to unionize. We have fo…

For Underprivileged Students, There’s No Time for Chaos

To the Editor:

I appreciate Sol Gittleman’s “Higher Education Has Always Been a Mess” (The Chronicle Review, November 15), for its engaging history of our higher-education system. That said, I think the spirit of the article, in its freewheeling embrace of disorder, might read as naïve or even crude to students who lack certain privileges. While the author finds time to celebrate chaos, my students and colleagues at City College of New York are struggling just to make ends meet. We don’t hav…

Academic-Support Programs Owe a Debt to Minority Pioneers

To the Editor:

In “The Invisible Labor of Minority Professors” (The Chronicle, November 8), you make important points about the role that faculty of color have played in higher education.

As those of us in academic support know well, for too long that particular kind of support was provided almost entirely by faculty of color, who did the extra work as unpaid, uncompensated overload.  It came, of course, from that pioneering faculty’s knowledge of the obstacles faced by students, and their wi…

Listen to Faculty Responsible for Corequisite Remediation

To the Editor:

Your article, “One State’s Big Shift Away from Remedial Courses Leaves Questions for Colleges Everywhere,” (The Chronicle, November 1) tells a story that has become all too familiar. In your reporting on this topic, Complete College America squares off against Appalachian State University’s Hunter R. Boylan in an epic battle over whether corequisite remediation — an approach in which students take developmental support courses alongside college-level coursework — will fix t…

What We Lose When We Treat Education Like an Industrial Sector

To the Editor:

Is the principal aim of higher education to help us live better, or is it to provide a padded yoke for the workforce so that students may be trained and productively driven down pre-existing vocational rows? The latter, says the industrial model of education. This outlook is evidenced, as Diane Ravitch and many other critics have observed, in the business model that drives for-profit colleges and universities, recent closures of humanities programs, the adjunctification of higher…

Competency-Based Teacher Education Is the Future

To the Editor:

Who would have thought the terms “competency” and “mastery” would elicit the sort of reactions they do in higher education? To some, the word competency is a threat to education itself, a way to trivialize the learning that occurs in our colleges and universities. To others, it is the salvation many thought would never come.

Competency is the future of higher education, as we collectively focus on what students know and can do. And I can understand Mr. Cassuto’s (“How Do You Measu…

Offensive Comments Not a Reason to Shut Down Yik Yak

To the Editor:

It is simply appalling that women’s groups would ask the federal “Office for Civil Rights to require colleges” to create “barriers to the use of social-media applications” like Yik Yak (“Women’s Groups Urge Colleges and Government to Rein in Yik Yak,” The Chronicle, October 21).

The fact that some Yik Yak users make racist or sexist comments is not a reason to shut down an entire medium of communication. The Supreme Court’s decision striking down an Internet decency law likened …

Students Are Harmed When Colleges Release Medical Records

To the Editor:

The article When Students Become Patients, Privacy Suffers (The Chronicle, October 22) led Christina Cauterucci to conclude in Slate that “viewing medical records for medical reasons could help a university protect a student at risk of harm. But the University of Oregon’s meddling into Hanson’s private account of her rape would have only helped the university protect itself.”

The fact that releasing medical records to parents could help is insufficient justification for betraying …

Article on Mental Health Sends a Dangerous Message

To the Editor:

I was thrilled to read that you had put together a resource for campus professionals on student mental health in higher education. I am grateful we are beginning to acknowledge that we need to have these kinds of conversations. However I am deeply concerned by the neoliberal angle of your article, “An Epidemic of Anguish,” (The Chronicle, August 31) and by the dangerous messages it sends.

Although I am a student with mental illness, I do not identify as “anguished” and nor do …