Archive for November, 2013


The president and board of Eastern Mennonite University approved Monday, Nov. 19, what they have euphemistically called a “listening period” for same-sex couples on campus. Current institutional rules against such sexual sins are being suspended at the historically Christian university for six months.  It was unclear what the administration and board are hoping to “hear” while homosexuals on campus freely engage in behaviors previously banned by policy.

During this “listening period,” faculty, staff and students in same-sex relationships will not be penalized for violating the university’s current policies. Because professors in such relationships can keep their jobs and practicing homosexuals can be hired during this period, the institution seems highly unlikely to maintain previous policies against homosexual relations on campus, since it would potentially mean firing some long-serving professors and others just hired.

According to a report in Inside Higher Ed, the university’s president told the faculty and staff, “As a Christian university it is our responsibility to engage in community discussion and discernment over issues that Mennonite congregations – indeed almost all denominations in the United States today – are wrestling with.” The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the six-month policy review period beginning in January.

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The National Labor College, an AFL-CIO backed institution, is closing due to declining interest, some untimely building project expenses, and a failed distance education attempt. The closure is another indicator of big labor’s decline and a reminder that distance education isn’t an automatic panacea.

The college’s president, Paula Peinovich, said other colleges, especially small religious colleges, should learn a lesson from the Labor College’s demise.

Quoted in Inside Higher Ed (IHE), Peinovich said, “I think many, many small colleges that are supported by major social and religious organizations are learning this lesson: visions, wonderful visions that bring together the best for the institution and its supporting organization can be changed by time – time and tide.”

IHE noted that there’s another lesson Peinovich has: don’t build fancy buildings without a business model that works. “Don’t build a lot of buildings,” she said. “Hear me, hear me, Catholic college presidents.”

For the full story, see Inside Higher Ed, “Labor College, backed by the AFL-CIO for decades, closes because of finances” 

 

“The solution to the deplorable state of higher education is the restoration of the genuine liberal-arts in which God, man, and nature can be studied with facts and methods suitable to them. Only in that context can economics secure its proper place as a praxeological inquiry, alongside the other disciplines that study human action.”

The Austrian School in the Liberal Arts – Jeffrey M. Herbener – Mises Daily.

Thanks to Dr. Jonathan McIntosh (New Saint Andrews College) for the heads up on this article.

The Wall Street Journal has an insightful  article by Peter Cappelli in today’s WSJ web edition.

Cappelli writes, “. . . Business majors outnumber liberal-arts majors in the U.S. by two-to-one, and the trend is for even more focused programs targeted to niches in the labor market.”

He goes on to note that

“It all makes sense. Except for one thing: It probably won’t work. The trouble is that nobody can predict where the jobs will be—not the employers, not the schools, not the government officials who are making such loud calls for vocational training. The economy is simply too fickle to guess way ahead of time, and any number of other changes could roil things as well. Choosing the wrong path could make things worse, not better.”

So what’s the way forward?

Here’s what Cappelli suggests:

“If specialized education seems too limited or risky, there is another path to consider, one that often gets short shrift these days: go to college to get a well-rounded education and worry about the job market after graduation.

“It may seem impractical, given the state of the economy and the scramble for jobs that many liberal-arts graduates face. But remember that work experience is what really is important to employers—and graduates without vocational training can now get that experience from a number of programs.”

For the full article, go here: Focusing too narrowly in college could backfire – WSJ.com.