Columns, Essays, and Speeches
Remarks Submitted to the Joint Committee on Higher Education’s Subcommittee on Student Loans and Debt for Its Hearing of November 18, 2013 Thank you, Senator Donoghue, Representative Paul, and the members of the subcommittee, for this opportunity to share data and perspectives on the issues that are before you. They are important ones. Access to
From the Fall 2013 Williams Magazine Fall brings each year an odd juxtaposition. It’s the season of college rankings, in the middle of which we honor members of the Williams family with Bicentennial Medals. Both say something about the value of a Williams education, or at least try to. Williams fares extremely well in the
From the Summer 2013 Williams Magazine More important than finding answers is asking the right questions. That’s true not only in the individual disciplines we teach but in how we think about the college as a whole. We’ve recently been working at imagining the future of Williams through the lens of its past. That might
We can as a community take satisfaction in the fact that, to complement the public efforts underway, we have taken as of today an important step toward addressing this communal need.
From the Spring 2013 Williams Magazine Animating the past is important, especially with a history as rich as Williams’ and particularly when passing major milestones. As readers of the magazine know, the college is experiencing the 50th anniversary of a decade of extraordinary change that, not coincidentally, occurred during the Williams presidency of John E.
From the Fall 2012 Williams Magazine Colleges are, perhaps more than anything, places of intellectual excitement. Since I last wrote in this column, my field of particle physics experienced one of its most riveting moments in the past half-century. That was when scientists at the CERN laboratory in Geneva found tangible evidence of the (until-then
Published in the Wall Street Journal (Aug. 28 online and Aug. 29 print edition) ‘Crowd-sourcing’ the grading of an essay online is no substitute for thoughtful evaluation by a trained educator. As classes resume on our nation’s campuses, amid anxiety about high tuition, student debt and other concerns, it’s worth examining what we value in
From the July 2012 Alumni Review We’ve probably all experienced how leaving home can help us to see it more clearly. That’s what happened when my travel schedule enabled me to join part of a spring break service trip, one of several around the country organized by the college. This one was to the bottom
Presented at “The Future of the Liberal Arts” Conference Lafayette College April 10, 2012 It seems that you can’t pick up a newspaper or magazine–the New York Times education section, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the EDUCAUSE Review–without encountering the passionate assertion that information technology has changed everything about our students and how we must
From the March 2012 Alumni Review Here’s a quiz. If, walking down a corridor, you pass two Williams faculty members in conversation, they’re mostly likely to be discussing: A. Their most recent grant proposals B. The U.S. presidential race C. The state of parking on campus D. Teaching Believe me, the answer at some places