Entries in "on academe"

July 21, 2007

Weatherhead's Dean, Mohan Reddy, continues to impress

In case anyone did not have a chance to read the article that appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business earlier this week, I will underline some of the key news. The headline in Crain's was Reddy's Ready For Action: With much of Weatherhead’s turmoil in rearview mirror, dean aims to revamp its MBA program . Here are a few key excerpts:

"An enhanced executive MBA program and a revamped MBA program will roll out in fall 2008, he said. ... The second year of the program [will] incorporate specialties that would be taught across the curriculum, which would make Weatherhead stand out among other MBA programs, according to Dr. Reddy. Some specialties the school is considering are social entrepreneurship [and] business sustainability. ...

With Cleveland’s population and corporate footprint shrinking, Dr. Reddy said it’s important to create an executive MBA program that appeals to students from outside Northeast Ohio. He said he’s beginning to meet with faculty and advisers now to figure out how Weatherhead can accomplish that goal.In the meantime, he said he’s also in talks with universities in China and India to create joint master’s degrees in areas such as organizational development and science and technology."

As I wrote last December, Mohan is a powerhouse. Stay tuned for positive results in the next year.

May 20, 2007

academic rhythms

Last month, one of my old posts which received a very high number of hits was the one on work rhythms of academic and professional life. As a followup, I thought I'd write a bit about why I haven't posted in about a month, and comment on the academic rhythms of the end of the semester.

In a nutshell: students don't realize that when they finish their final papers and exams and presentations, a professor's work has just begun!

My last post was April 10. On April 12, the drumrolls of grading began, as my first student teams began delivering presentations to their classes about their final projects. This required that I send each team feedback on their presentations after class -- emails that require tactful phrasing, indeed.

By April 19, I began receiving end-of-semester papers. While I am fortunate to have teaching assistants for both of my courses, I still need to be involved in the grading process, which also takes time.

Classes ended on April 26. Then I needed to pull together my grading spreadsheets, deciding on a final point scheme for class participation, and resolving any problems with missing grades (it always happens, and not just because a student didn't hand anything in). By this point, I also had to deal with two teams in which the members gave each other less-than-satisfactory peer appraisals -- which means that I had to talk to everyone on each of those teams. This is no easy matter when students are cramming for finals and don't want to take time out to visit with a professor in her office.

I extended the deadline for final papers in one of my classes until April 30, which meant that the TA and I had less time to turn them around and get grades back to the students. On May 5 and May 7, those same students delivered presentations to their classmates in lieu of a final exam. There were 26 presentations in all over the 2 dates, and I had to grade all of those and enter the scores into Blackboard (our online course management system.) I finally filed grades on May 14.

For the rest of last week, I took time off, recuperating from the push of four 60-hour weeks in a row. While 60 hours of work in a week didn't seem like a huge burden when I was a college junior taking 21 credits, that was almost half a lifetime ago. Perhaps I'm also wiser, in recognizing the need for my body and my brain to recuperate after running such a mental marathon.

And if anyone comments to me that "it must be nice to have the summer off" I may just bite off their head. The ambitious list of papers to write and projects to wrap up that I composed in early January will be coming back to haunt me this summer. It is nice to be able to work at a coffeeshop or at the library or out on our screened porch, but I definitely have work to do this summer, and less time off than I'd like.

academic rhythms

Last month, one of my old posts which received a very high number of hits was the one on work rhythms of academic and professional life. As a followup, I thought I'd write a bit about why I haven't posted in about a month, and comment on the academic rhythms of the end of the semester.

In a nutshell: students don't realize that when they finish their final papers and exams and presentations, a professor's work has just begun!

My last post was April 10. On April 12, the drumrolls of grading began, as my first student teams began delivering presentations to their classes about their final projects. This required that I send each team feedback on their presentations after class -- emails that require tactful phrasing, indeed.

By April 19, I began receiving end-of-semester papers. While I am fortunate to have teaching assistants for both of my courses, I still need to be involved in the grading process, which also takes time.

Classes ended on April 26. Then I needed to pull together my grading spreadsheets, deciding on a final point scheme for class participation, and resolving any problems with missing grades (it always happens, and not just because a student didn't hand anything in). By this point, I also had to deal with two teams in which the members gave each other less-than-satisfactory peer appraisals -- which means that I had to talk to everyone on each of those teams. This is no easy matter when students are cramming for finals and don't want to take time out to visit with a professor in her office.

I extended the deadline for final papers in one of my classes until April 30, which meant that the TA and I had less time to turn them around and get grades back to the students. On May 5 and May 7, those same students delivered presentations to their classmates in lieu of a final exam. There were 26 presentations in all over the 2 dates, and I had to grade all of those and enter the scores into Blackboard (our online course management system.) I finally filed grades on May 14.

For the rest of last week, I took time off, recuperating from the push of four 60-hour weeks in a row. While 60 hours of work in a week didn't seem like a huge burden when I was a college junior taking 21 credits, that was almost half a lifetime ago. Perhaps I'm also wiser, in recognizing the need for my body and my brain to recuperate after running such a mental marathon.

And if anyone comments to me that "it must be nice to have the summer off" I may just bite off their head. The ambitious list of papers to write and projects to wrap up that I composed in early January will be coming back to haunt me this summer. It is nice to be able to work at a coffeeshop or at the library or out on our screened porch, but I definitely have work to do this summer, and less time off than I'd like.

April 02, 2007

Case Western Reserve, highest quality education at a great value

I was pleased to read that Kiplinger's rated Case Western Reserve as one of the top 50 best values among comparable universities last week. (See the table for the full list of 50.)

I was surprised, though, to see the university's press release about our inclusion on the Kiplinger's list mentioning the other "peer" schools that we outranked on the list. I thought the point of the list was that these schools are not our peers, at least in the eyes of the people who compiled the Kiplinger's list. (why give the other "peer" schools another page to generate hits for them on the web?)

The table shows that only 15 of the top 50 schools have better student-to-faculty ratios than Case Western Reserve. Of all the private universities Kiplinger's ranked, only 15 do better than the 9 students per faculty member ratio at Case Western Reserve.

Also, only 5 of the universities on the list accept a higher percentage of their entering class. Case Western Reserve accepted 68 percent of applicants, according to the table. From an academic rankings perspective, a lower acceptance rate would improve our standings compared with other schools; however, from an applicant's perspective, a high acceptance rate is desirable, because it makes the investment of time in a college application less of a gamble.

At Case Western Reserve, we meet the total financial need of 92 percent of our students. The majority of that financial aid is in the form of grants, rather than loans. (Only 3 of the 50 schools provide a higher percentage of students with financial aid sufficient to meet their financial need.) Case Western Reserve is right in the middle of the top 50 universities in terms of the average debt of new graduates, at just under 21 thousand dollars.

December 22, 2006

a new powerhouse for Weatherhead

He may only be 5-foot-2, and yet, Mohan Reddy can light up a room. He is modest and unassuming, and does not choose to step into the spotlight; however, he can carry burdens far greater than most, and without forgetting to stop and ask "how are you?" of his colleagues, students, or alumni.

Mohan was named the interim dean of Weatherhead in August of this year (2006), and at that time, I did not know him well personally. (Click on the link below to read more.)

Continue reading "a new powerhouse for Weatherhead"

December 12, 2006

cheaper is not always better

Every entry-level marketing course emphasizes that price is not the only feature that attracts buyers to a product or service -- there's also quality, availability, etc. So perhaps it shouldn't be so fascinating to learn that when choosing between colleges, students prefer going to one with a higher tuition, as long as they receive some financial aid.

Here's the story, in today's New York Times.

November 06, 2006

responsible capitalism and ethical behavior in the face of discrimination

One of my posts from last spring which gets a lot of traffic is on responsible capitalism and ESOPs. This morning I decided that I wanted to reinforce the connections between responsible capitalism and individual proactive behavior in organizations.

What is responsible capitalism? William Pfaff wrote about it in 2002 in the International Herald Tribune (and Common Dreams provides the text online). He provides a history lesson, distinguishing responsible capitalism from the popular capitalism that was championed by Henry Ford. Responsible capitalism is about more than simply paying workers well so that they can afford to buy the products they make in their workplaces. It is about decisions for the long-term benefit of all, rather than for the quarterly earnings reports. It probably even involves regulation of businesses, rather than assuming that the invisible hand will always reward the companies which act ethically.

In business schools, there is a trend to return to the teaching of ethics. We now realize, after Enron and Worldcom and other scandals, that we have not done enough. It is not enough to assume that all our students have already learned the Golden Rule. It is not enough to mention ethics at the beginning of the semester. It's not even enough to address it through one required course in the MBA curriculum dedicated to ethics in business.

I have always discussed ethical issues in my teaching of organizational behavior, and I'm sure that I will continue to improve the effectiveness of those discussions. Last week, in MGMT 250, both class sessions were focused on ethics.

Click through to read more about students' responses to Thursday's class session.

Continue reading "responsible capitalism and ethical behavior in the face of discrimination"

October 23, 2006

BAWB open to all in NEO!

This is an update on my recent post about BAWB.

Anyone who is a blogger is welcome to attend BAWB tomorrow -- Tuesday -- provided you are willing to write something about your event on your blog. Simply show up at the Veale Center on the Case campus, enter the main door, and turn to your right for the media registration table. State that you are a blogger, and George Nemeth or Sandy Piderit referred you. They'll get you a nametag and you can join us! It will be worth it -- guaranteed or your money back.

There is an event on Tuesday, tomorrow, from 4:30 till 6:30, that is specifically focused on telling the stories of the sustainability movement in NEO, and propelling the movement forward and to a higher level. It will also be in Veale, and my understanding is that anyone may attend.

September 04, 2006

changing the world, and expanding academia along the way

The past graduates of the Ph.D. program in organizational behavior are certainly impressive. You may have read recently about the two projects on which I collaborated with current students, recent graduates, and colleagues, which were presented at the Academy of Management in Atlanta. Last fall, I wrote a little about working with recent graduate Ned Powley, who taught two sections of MGMT 250. (This fall he will be joining Leslie Sekerka and Frank Barrett, also graduates of our Ph.D. program, on the faculty at the Monterrey Naval Postgraduate School.) In May, I participated in the graduation ceremony for Latha Poonamallee, who will be "CEO" for the simulated companies in MGMT 250 this fall, and who is also teaching two SAGES First Seminars in the Case undergraduate program. She is also my collaborator in the founding of NEOBEAN. Our recent graduates are certainly poised to change the world through their teaching, writing, and activism.

So too are our current Ph.D. students. For example, one of our students, Bonnie Richley-Cody, has coauthored a very exciting book.

Continue reading "changing the world, and expanding academia along the way"

June 30, 2006

book in development: impacts of gender equity

I just read my copy of the newsletter for the Gender, Diversity, and Organizations division of the Academy of Management, which mentioned a very interesting new book which is in the development stages. It's called Living Life: Stories of Women, Men and Changing Roles in the 20th Century. The premise of the project is that stories about the progress of gender equity need to be told so that we can both cherish and protect these gains.

Click through on the book title to read more! There is an online survey that you can complete to share your stories with the project directors.

April 25, 2006

developing a career, growing a family...

How can one develop a career and grow a family at the same time? Especially in academia, this is a sticky question. The Tomorrow's Professor blog recently explored the question of whether there is a global warming trend toward women in academia, but concludes that in many traditionally male disciplines, the climate for women is still chilly. And in all this focus on women, the broader point about how men in two-career marriages can play more egalitarian roles in their growing families while moving into academic careers sometimes gets lost. (This is a more specific version of the broader question which I addressed yesterday in my post on what fathers want.)

I was particularly struck by this series of posts at Mommy Ph.D....

Continue reading "developing a career, growing a family..."

March 31, 2006

lectures via iTunes?

Jeremy Smith writes that Case has been accepted into Apple's iTunes University program, which sounds exciting... as long as it doesn't mean that students stop coming to my class.

I think this is great for large lecture classes, where students might not always get a chance to ask questions. For discussion oriented classes, though, nothing can really substitute for being in the room as the discussion happens. That's why I disagree with the highlighted principle in this teaching manifesto", which asserts that professors should not force or blackmail students "into coming to class through devices such as sign-up registers, pop-quizzes, unavailability of class material in print, etc. Design the course such that students who prefer so can follow the course without attending any lectures." I would argue that the way around that dilemma, at least in classes of under 50 students or so, is simply to avoid lecturing. Instead, work on problems, discuss cases, let students ask questions... then it is worth their while to come to class, and the incentives that you give them just provide some encouragement for doing so.

March 13, 2006

the work rhythms of academic and professional life

In this 2001 essay, Heather Menzies (with Janice Newson) asks why academics are not more concerned about the move to online education, and suggests, in her answer, that they are too overworked to speak up.

"Just how many hours a week are we actually working, not just on campus but catching up on e-mail and e-committee work at home in the evenings and on weekends? (In what seems to be the only study of its kind, the Association of University Teachers in the U.K. found that the average work week for academics had risen to 59 hours by the mid 1990s, with women clocking an average of 64.5 hours a week.)."

Reading this made me wonder whether it is a good thing that I can now read the Plain Dealer online before dawn.

Continue reading "the work rhythms of academic and professional life"

March 09, 2006

how are universities managed?

No, this is not a post about the budget issues and faculty-leadership tensions on my home campus. (Be sure to read what Aaron had to say about that, though.)

This is the seventh of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment in MGMT 251 this spring. The seventh student I am highlighting is Takanori Kido, whose blog focuses on Contrasts in University Management: the US vs. Japan. He has made several entries so far, and his latest addresses the challenge of firing employees. Would you add any considerations to his list? Read his entry and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The previous entry in my series highlighting students' blogs is here, and has trackbacks to the earlier entries as well. Any support you can give to these novice bloggers is most welcome!

March 04, 2006

standing behind the President

After the meeting on Friday afternoon, I'm still feeling a bit uninformed about the point of view of the Arts and Sciences faculty. As I wrote on Thursday, I think more dialogue is needed, but it is certainly my impression that President Hundert and Provost Anderson want to facilitate that process.

The fact that Professor Krauss' initiative was inspired by Harvard concerns me -- it's not clear how our university will benefit from this apparent case of "me-too-ism". There are significant differences between Harvard's faculty of arts and sciences and our College of Arts and Sciences. Harvard has over 940 faculty in Arts and Sciences. In contrast, our College of Arts and Sciences numbers only about 220 professors. Their arts and sciences faculty have sustained the reputation of the entire university in past decades, while Case's reputation comes primarily from engineering and medicine.

I understand that faculty are disappointed that we have not achieved what we had hoped according to the plan launched three years ago. I know it has been and will be very difficult to continue to implement changes when we have not been able to afford as sizeable an investment as we had hoped to support the changes that are underway.

What I do not understand is why the Arts and Sciences faculty feel that the surprises we have experienced in NIH research funding and development are exclusively the president's fault. The course of action he is proposing now, to cease the planned draw on working capital a year early, seems the most responsible course of action. I don't believe that a change in leadership would result in any different decisionmaking. What has happened must be faced, and a change in leadership would only slow down the process of getting back on course.

P.S.: At least one student is standing with President Hundert as well... and don't miss the reasoned comments from Glenn Starkman on this entry. I hope that we can continue to have continued dialogue about these issues (though not necessarily via the blog).

February 16, 2006

step 1: believe in yourself

Today Meredith Myers and Latha Poonamallee will be leading MGMT 251 students through a presentation skills workshop. As this essay by Carmine Gallo in Business Week points out, step 1 in delivering an effective presentation is to believe in yourself. The article offers other helpful tips as well.

I found the article online via the Tom Peters Newswire, which is a really helpful filter if you are looking for discussions of current business topics on the web.

There is also a collection of other presentation tips collected at my deli.cio.us tag about presentations, and at the aggregation of all popular deli.cio.us links on presentations. If you have not already seen Delicious, I recommend checking it out -- you can even integrate your list of tagged weblinks into your Blog@Case! Here's how.

Unfortunately, I cannot be in class today, because I am scheduled to fly to Chicago at 10:30 am for a board meeting in a professional association. I was elected last May to serve as a representative-at-large for the 2600+ members of the Organization Development and Change division of the Academy of Management. I'll be back Saturday evening. If anyone needs me before then, my office voicemail has my cellphone number.

January 05, 2006

Academic job searches

One of the great ironies of the past 7 years I have spent advising doctoral students is that they turn to me for job search advice. There seems to be an assumption that since I graduated from the University of Michigan Business School, and got a job at Case, I must know what I'm doing. The full professor who hired me likes to say that I was a tough negotiator, which amuses me, since I accepted the job offer within 10 days of receiving it, and the only negotiation of substance that I remember was about my desire to receive a laptop instead of a standard-issue desktop computer. Perhaps, like many professors, I used to have wisdom on this subject and have merely forgotten it.

The fact of the matter is that I don't have much experience. I interviewed for 13 different job openings at the Academy of Management conference in August, 1997, and had received signals from 2 schools by mid-November that they might invite me to give a job talk. Case pre-empted the market by inviting me to give a job talk in November instead of January or February (which is the typical interview time in my field) and made me a job offer almost immediately. I decided to take it, and never went on those other 2 potential job talk trips.

Of course, I probably have more experience than most of my colleagues, since many of them haven't been on the job market (to my knowledge) since the late 1980s. MBA enrollments were booming then and it was easy to get a job teaching in a business school, even without a completed dissertation (or so I've been told). The hard part was getting a job at a "good school" -- which is, of course, defined differently depending on who is looking for the job.

Perhaps I make up for the experience that I lack by reading essays like this one by "Barney Rogers" (a pseudonym) in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Perhaps it is healthy that I consider testing the market to see what is out there for someone like me, with a strong research focus and publication record 7 years after earning my Ph.D. Perhaps it is not only good for me, but also for my current school, that I generate interest in my research by giving talks at some good schools... even if it means that the school must take on the risk that I might actually be enticed away from Case and Cleveland.

Still, it has always seemed a bit odd that Deans rely on job offers made to their professors by faculty at other schools to gauge a professor's market value. Why would we trust a relatively unknown group of people at a "prestigious school" more than we trust senior colleagues in the professor's home department? I guess I may be learning more about this process over the next year or two. Maybe when I'm finished with my own mid-career job search, I can write a column for the Chronicle under my own pseudonym.

December 16, 2005

My research focus

For the record:

My work centers on how relationships enable productive organizational and social change.

I have published seven peer-reviewed papers connected to this overarching interest, and in the next year or so two books of contributed chapters will appear which I edited with colleagues.

The most significant papers include the following:

Ashford, Susan J.; Rothbard, Nancy P.; Piderit, S. K.; & Jane E. Dutton. 1998. “Out on a limb: The role of context and impression management in issue selling.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 43(1): 23-57. Citations tracked by scholar.google.com.

Bilimoria, Diana & S. K. Piderit. 1994. “Board committee membership: Effects of sex-based bias,” Academy of Management Journal, 37(6): 1453-77. Citations tracked by scholar.google.com.

Piderit, S. K. 2000. “Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalent attitudes toward organizational change: A multidimensional view.” Academy of Management Review, 25: 783-794. Citations tracked by scholar.google.com.

Solow, Daniel; Vairaktarakis, George; Piderit, S. K.; & Ming-chi Tsai. 2002. “Managerial insights into the effects of interactions on replacing members of a team.” Management Science, 48(8): 1060-1073. Citations tracked by scholar.google.com.

It appears that I may get my ticket punched to play another round in the publish-or-perish game. So now it's up to me to decide whether to ante up for the next hand of cards, or to fold, cash in my chips, and find another game to play.

What'd'ya think, folks, should I try to remake my good-ole Cal Ripken self into a Jim Thome? And can I do it without moving to Philly?

November 02, 2005

One of my advisors once said...

... "you can be either a reader or a writer." The implication was, of course, that it's better to write every day, and read sometimes, if we students were planning on successful academic careers. If you have noticed my silence over the last two weeks, I apologize -- but I am right now in editing mode, and I have no time to blog! I'm working to make the final adjustments to the edited book, '''A Handbook of Transformative Cooperation: New Designs and Dynamics''', which I will be sending in to Stanford University Press with David Cooperrider and Ron Fry as co-editors. My aim is to get this work done in the next two weeks, and then come back to blogging.

In the meantime, I hope that you will enjoy reading the thoughts of our undergraduate management majors in MGMT 250 -- they are writing about all kinds of interesting things, from ethics to summer jobs, incentive plans to intrinsic motivation -- and perhaps you might comment on an entry or two. All the students' entries are gathered here.

October 18, 2005

tangling with critics of the democratization of knowledge

I had read a while back that some academics were hostile toward Wikipedia, but I had not encountered it myself till this weekend. I attended an academic retreat on worthy puzzles in the field of organizational studies, and in between formal sessions, had several conversations in which I suggested that Wikipedia was a fascinating example of self-organizing that was worthy of study. In response, I encountered derision from two faculty who advanced the first two on Wikipedia's list of criticisms of Wikipedia. I found myself motivated to become an evangelist for Wikipedia, countering their criticisms so that they would consider exploring the community from my point of view, as a potentially interesting phenomenon to study.

Continue reading "tangling with critics of the democratization of knowledge"

July 29, 2005

voluntary collaborations on the web

Every time I run across an example of a large-scale voluntary collaboration on the WWW, my optimism for the future is reinforced. These types of projects often have the feel of an open source computer programming effort, in that their aim is to produce a collective good by involving anyone who wished to be involved in the production process. In many cases, they also aim to make the product or service available to all for free. They are not always focused on computer programs, though -- Wikipedians, for instance, are focused on building a storehouse of knowledge for future generations, in over 200 different languages.

The desire to share knowledge with others, accurately, and from a neutral point of view, embodies a set of values that are close to my heart (and are shared by most university professors, I would hope). Indeed, the challenge of teaching individuals how to distinguish between established facts and research conclusions on the one hand, and hypotheses and opinions on the other, is central to a university's teaching mission. Sorting through those hypotheses and opinions and making judgments about which can be moved into the category of facts and conclusions is central to a university's scholarly mission.

I'm thrilled and inspired by the idea of a Wikipedia, and even the idea of Wikibooks is appealing. When I encountered the fledgling Wikiversity, though, I realized that the publishers of encyclopedias and books must be somewhat less than thrilled by these potential free competitors. What will become of universities if the Wikipedians are able to expand their success with their online encyclopedia into the realm of university courses? Will everyone choose to pursue their higher education online, rather than attending courses in person on an old-style university campus? I doubt it, based on my belief that many things (particularly in my field, the study of human interaction in organizations) cannot be understood merely by reading about them.

I do wonder whether anyone in organizational behavior is studying what makes these open source efforts work. Efforts like Drupal, for instance, combine long periods of work coordinated via the web and email with face-to-face conferences, and my hypothesis is that when online communication leads to face-to-face communication, the effort will be more likely to sustain itself and achieve goals for progress defined by the participants. Understanding how these voluntary collaborations which make use of the web work would help contribute to our understanding of transformative cooperation more generally.

I'm off to work on the introductory chapter of our forthcoming book, A Handbook of Transformative cooperation: New Designs and Dynamics, to be published in the traditional mode next year. (I'm not sure my colleagues would consider something published on Wikibooks to be a valuable contribution, yet!) Still, I hope that my colleagues in the blogosphere will let me know if they run across any research about what makes open source collaborations effective!

July 19, 2005

graduation speeches and the value of college

I have been waiting for Case to post a transcript of Chris Matthews' speech to the graduating class of 2005, which was delivered in the Veale Center on May 16... but apparently, we how only post a video archive of the event, which is no longer available online. It was an interesting speech, focusing on Matthews' experiences in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, marred only by his extremely rapid delivery.

(Robin Dubin, the University Marshall and a professor of economics, told me afterwards that she was afraid that he took her too literally when she told him that he really needed to keep his speech to 15 minutes. Anyone who finds it implausible that the very tall and accomplished Mr. Matthews might be intimidated by the very petite Professor Dubin has not spent very much time with her. She is a powerful thinker, and inspires great effort in her students; when in academic garb and wielding her ceremonial scepter at graduation, she becomes an imposing guardian of ceremony despite her short stature.)

My friend John Ettorre recently posted the text of David Foster Wallace's speech to Kenyon's graduating class, and it is definitely worth a read. He discusses what we mean when we say that college is meant to teach young people how to think in a very humorous and yet also a very meaningful way.

Both speeches provide some good answers to the query "Does college matter?" but perhaps not in a way that would convince a high school student like Ben Casnocha to enroll immediately, rather than taking a year or two off first. Ben is an entrepreneur, and reminds me a little of Stan Garber, who took MGMT 250-251 over the past year while serving as CFO and Senior Sales Manager for O-Web Technologies. Ben did not visit Case during his spring break college visiting tour, though I think he might find us a pretty good fit. Who wouldn't get excited about the idea of studying with Scott Shane and Richard Boland?

Should all high school graduates with the intellect to handle college attend? Only if they want to, is my answer. There's nothing more frustrating to me as a professor than a semester of interactions with a student who is only in my class because that's what everyone else was doing, or because he couldn't think of anything else to do, or because his parents told him he has to be there. Students will not learn much, no matter how skilled the professor, if they do not want to learn. Students who have no passion for learning should work for Starbucks or the post office or in some kind of job where they might discover what they still want to explore for a year or two.

As David Foster Wallace says in his speech, "The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in day out" really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration." Sometimes it is only once young people have experienced the numbness that can result from those parts of life that they begin to hunger for what a college education, approached with enthusiasm, can give them: an appreciation of their own freedom and potential within society, and the desire to exercise and develop it responsibly.

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing."

"The real value of a real education... has... everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over... to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out."