A new year begins. The big story this week is that the legislature continued its great tradition of punting on the pension funding situation. I won’t put any links on the top about this; there’s plenty in the e-news, and I imagine most readers are up-to-date on this. (A good op-ed is at the top.) Thanks to SD for several of the links below. — Bruce
1. A sensible editorial by an old friend of the CFA, Ralph Martire:
2. Labor trouble on campus with SEIU
I have a request in to find a link to the official SEIU point of view.
3a. More on the stress of being a faculty member, continuing on last week’s list
3b. Especially if you are an adjunct:
4. Various articles on online learning, MOOCs, and recruiting students.
5. The DI is back, with summary articles for students on the fiscal cliff and pension
Rather than write a “Greatest Hits of 2012″, I’ve decided to have an occasional restrospective series. Many, such as this one, predate OWR.
On January 20, 2012, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chris Kennedy, made an interesting choice of words to describe the audience of this email and revealed his perspective on the organization of the academic community.
You may recall that Lisa Troyer resigned as President Michael Hogan’s Chief of Staff, and moved to her appointment as a professor in psychology.
Kennedy said the board had purview over Troyer’s administrative position, as she reported directly to the president “who reported to us.” But as a faculty member, her reporting line would go through a department head, dean, provost and chancellor first, he said.
“We don’t want to get involved in something six levels deep into the university,” he said.
This can also be found on pp. 12-13 of the 1/20/2012 news summary at
This week’s news, found daily as always at
1/7 — Record length (to my recollection) 85 pages.
1/7 — pp.2-14 Various pension articles
1/7 — pp.36-40 (NYT) “Students rush to web classes, but profits may be much later”
1/7 — p.41 (Forbes) “How liberal arts colleges could go bankrupt” Key quote “It’s going to wipe out high-cost mediocre private schools without big endowments”.
1/7 — pp.49-55 (Chron) “How many adminstrators are too many”
1/7 — pp.56-58 (InsideHigherEd) “Claim that college professor is least stressful job infuriates faculty”, see last week.
1/8 — pp.11-13 (InsideHigherEd) “Survey finds online enrollments slow but continue to grow”
1/8 — pp.16-17 (Trib) “Blame flies in pension mess”, distributed in real time
1/8 — pp.18 (Sun-Times) “Pension reform going nowhere”
1/8 — pp.19-20 (NG) “Pension reforms advance” (admittedly, from the morning, while the previous two were from the afternoon)
1/9 — pp.1-3 (NYT) “Illinois tries, and fails, to fix its pensions”.
1/9 — pp.4-8 (Sun-Times, NG, Trib) same topic, plus editorials
1/9 — pp.9-10 (Chron) “Coursera announces details for selling certificates and verifying identities”
1/9 — p.22 (SF Chron).”UC online courses attract few outside students” (1700, but only 5 from the outside, despite $4m marketing)
1/10 — pp.4-5 (NG,Trib) Editorials on pensions
1/10 — p.6 (Trib) “NIU employees charged with theft back at work”
1/10 — pp.10-12 (WSJ) “Colleges caught in value trap”
1/10 — pp.15-17 (WSJ) “Colleges rise as they reject: Schools invite more applications, then use denials to boost coveted rankings”
1/11 — pp.1-3 (NYT) “Downturn still squeezes colleges and universities”
1/11 — pp.8-9 (Trib) “Performance at Purdue” Editorial about Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), who is about to become their president.
1/11 — p.13 (Trib) “Facing angry mob of Illinois retirees” Op-ed “What do a deadbeat dad, an AWOL soldier and an Illinois legislator have in common? .