Quid Pro Что

I can’t remember ever knowing a Russian who reminisced about his or her college days. So I’m not sure what once led a close family friend of ours to recollect an episode from her undergraduate math class that occurred many years ago. Russian students typically sit for exams in bite-size groups, say five at a …

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Revisions

One blogger’s “short answer” is another’s hypothesis: there is, of course, more to academic freedom than revenue dependency, but money is a form of speech, and historically it has spoken with authority. I still think the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, with its making unprecedented gifts contingent on colleges getting sectarian troublemakers off …

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Sweezy at Sixty

I did not know that Albert Einstein was a socialist. Maybe I had known once, or more likely, never cared. But in 1949, when the great physicist and Nobel laureate declared his beliefs, in the innocuously titled “Why Socialism?,” a lot of people would have cared. Indeed, by 1953, Joseph McCarthy was after him, and …

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Seeing Crimson

How did I miss the Wall Street Journal’s emergence as a new voice in higher education commentary? Maybe, in part, because it happened as I was emerging myself: in the fall of 2016, I must have been too focused on graduation to notice the debut of the WSJ/Times Higher Education rankings. It’s also possible I …

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Жили были

Six years ago this month, I was teaching a course in TOEFL preparation for Russian undergraduates at a large technical university in St. Petersburg. This was at a time when terms like "Arab spring" and "globalization" still had some face value; it was OK to be optimistic. Only slightly more experienced with reading Chekhov in …

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