Higher education roundup

  • Administrators at University of Southern Maine, a public institution, hastily yank course that offered credit for harassing Sen. Susan Collins on Kavanaugh nomination [Dennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald, USM press release] Some colleges would rally around an alumnus nominated to the high court, while others would maintain institutional neutrality. At Yale a large faction demanded a commitment to opposition [Peter Schuck, Minding the Campus; related Twitter thread (“2018: the year of weaponizing college friendships”)]
  • Canadian university suspends economics professor without pay for publishing journal article documenting colleagues’ publication in questionable scholarly journals [Douglas Todd/Vancouver Sun, paper]
  • Q. How many lampooned academics does it take to appreciate the Helen Pluckrose / James Lindsay / Peter Boghossian grievance studies hoax? A. That is *not* funny [Alexander C. Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education rounding up reactions]
  • Notwithstanding “enforcement will be consistent with the First Amendment” disclaimer, language in U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights ruling could pressure universities to restrict some criticism of Israel [Eugene Volokh]
  • “As many as one in three students at some elite colleges have been officially designated ‘disabled.'” [Garland Tucker, Martin Center] “ADA in the Classroom: Suitable Accommodation or Legalized Cheating?” [Ari Trachtenberg, 2016]
  • “Taking the Bar Exam as a 46-Year-Old Law Professor” [Orin Kerr]


  • Re: Extra time accommodations.
    It is truly the rare academic subject where a specific learning goal or competency requires an exam be taken pressure of time.

    Level the playing field, by giving everyone enough time that the clock will not impact anyone’s final score.
    Example: Write an exam expected to be finished by most students in 60 minutes, and schedule 2 hours. Those with 50% extra get three hours. Since everyone had vastly more time than necessary, neither the ‘neurotypical’, nor ‘disabled’ students are rushed. The exam will reflect what the student knows, and less so how fast any student can convey their knowledge.

  • Last I checked, schedule is pretty much a factor in just about…..everything.

    “Fast Fast Sandwich Shop” – We’ll have that sandwich to you in an hour.

    Delivery Pizza Joint – “OK, so we’ll be there in 2 hours with your pie”.

    Airline Pilot on intercom – “Hello folks. Copilot and I need a bit of extra time to figure out the weight and balance of the airplane, our takeoff distance calculations and our navigational charts. We’ll be departing in 2 hours, so just hold tight and our wonderful cabin staff will be by with a drink cart in the meantime.”

    Accountant – “yeah, I’ll have that quarterly P&L report to you in 4 months, not the promised 2 weeks”

    Lawyer – “Objection Your Honor.” Judge – “Hold on there witness….yeah, wait…let me think a second….uhhhhh… I’ll need a couple days to rule on this. Court is adjourned for 48 hours.”

    Nurse – “Doctor, the patient is coding out….what do we do?” Doctor – “uhhhh…..I need a time accommodation on this one…..” Nurse – “the patient doesn’t HAVE any time Doctor!”

    Assembly Line Worker Bob – “Hey, I know we’re trying to produce 5,000 of these shiny new electric horseless carriages a week…..but I’m going to need another 20 minutes to figure out how to install this part I’m supposed to bolt on to every one as they come by down the line.”

    And I could go on, and on, and on…….

    I’m going to have to disagree with you Gasman. True depth of knowledge does mean a person can quickly and accurately perform a task. Never mind the business need for celerity in nearly every profession.