Shape of the Earth

College’s Identity Crisis, Frank Bruni’s October 2013 essay in the New York Times, is a perfect example of not what is wrong with college, but what is wrong with the way people think about college. Bruni’s essay is one more exhibit in what Kevin R. McClure correctly pegs as Higher Education’s Reform-Industrial Complex:

Dominating the higher-education-reform conversation are those whose livelihoods are tied to the idea that the system is failing or in need of some “innovative” solution. Take, for example, the myriad policy centers and think tanks that have popped up recently to give opinions on higher education’s future. It is the job of these organizations to write papers and convene meetings about the problems colleges and universities face, meaning there is work (and employment) only so long as problems can be identified.

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Oyaron Fictions – Implications of Mythological Mistakes

Retractions are painful, but it appears that in my faithful re-copying of documents about Oyaron and Hartwick College, I have participated in perpetuating an account that is almost entirely fictional.

My thanks to Professor Robert R. Bensen for pointing to the research of the late Professor Richard L. Haan, and for putting me in contact with William A. Starna, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at SUNY Oneonta and who will be NEH visiting professor in history for 2014-2015 at Hartwick.

Here’s Professor Starna on the matter:

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Anthropology on Noble Savages, Napoleon Chagnon

Napoleon Chagnon - Noble Savages

Within weeks of Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday Napoleon Chagnon splashed in with Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — the Yanomamo and the Anthropologists. This page offers a selection of anthropology-oriented reviews and responses. Crucial point is one lesson anthropology has learned: contemporary peoples are not pristine windows onto a primitive … Read more


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