Accountability

When Should a College Return an Endowment?

Should St. John’s University (Minnesota) Return the $300,000 Lindmark Endowment? This is an updated blog posted on my website earlier this week. It’s an intriguing question. When should a university be forced to return an endowment because it hasn’t been used for the designated purpose? A case in point is... Read more →


Ethical Analysis of Public-Private Commercial Arrangements in Academia

Issues Surrounding the Transfer of Technology Extensive transfer of technology from university and nonprofit laboratories to the commercial sector is an increasingly common occurrence in the U.S. Widespread university activity in technology commercialization began only with the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980. This legislation enabled universities, nonprofit research... Read more →


The "Teaching Effectiveness Gap"

Are Student Evaluations a Useful Tool? Last week I read an article about why student evaluations of college instructors are not reliable and should no longer be used in performance evaluation decisions. The author claims, based on research, that student evaluations may be associated with the gender of the instructor.... Read more →


Are Grades in College Stifling Students’ Growth?

Should Colleges Drop the “D” Grade? Perhaps you’ve heard that a North Carolina Community College -- Stanly Community College – has decided to drop the “D” grade. Students will either be given a “C” grade,” which is most likely to happen, or given a “F” grade for the course. The... Read more →


Are Students Wasting Their Time Getting a College Degree?

The Case Against Caplan's Thesis: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money What is the value of a college education? Is it largely a waste of time as George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan contends? Or, is there more to getting a college education than increasing... Read more →


Should the Michigan State Athletic Program Be Given the Death Penalty?

Larry Nassar and Michigan State: A Tale of a Corrupt Culture, Ethical Blindness, and Institutional Indifference I always believed the NCAA was relatively even-handed with its punishment of Penn State University in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. The football program scandal led to a $60 million fine, four-year postseason... Read more →


Tax on College Endowment is Counterproductive

Ethics Means First, Do No Harm Most people are unaware that the tax reform act includes a college endowment tax that threatens the long-standing tax-free earnings from these donations. Some colleges are in panic mode, especially Harvard, Yale and Stanford. The investment-per-student-threshold was set at $500,000. The tax will raise... Read more →


Should You Write That Letter of Recommendation?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Recommendations for Students If I were still a teaching professor, at this time of year I would have been inundated with student requests for letters of recommendation. Alas, I retired 1 ½ years ago so this is one chore I no longer... Read more →


Sexual Harassment Charges Hit College Campuses

A New Form of 'Pay for Play' It was bound to happen sooner or later. The sexual harassment charges in Hollywood, the media, and Congress have now expanded to include college campuses. As a professor for more than 30 years, I can’t say I am surprised. The close relationship between... Read more →


Who is to Blame For Cheating in College?

Can Cheating Be Controlled? Cheating in college has reached epidemic proportions. Even though the rate of students who admit to cheating at least once in their college careers has held steadily around 75 percent since the first major survey on cheating in higher education in 1963, the ways in which... Read more →