UV Letters

Risky Business

Feb 10, 2017
My favorite course in law school wasn't with a typical law professor. Food and Drug Law was taught by the former General Counsel of the FDA. He had a volcanic temper that we assumed was the byproduct of years of dealing with bureaucrats. In class, he abided neither tardiness nor squeamishness; the first topic was food sanitation and its flip...
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To Make America First In Higher Education, Open The Door

Jan 27, 2017
My 6-year-old son Zev is obsessed with Russia. Not because of the interference in our recent Presidential election, but simply because it looms so large on the world map that hangs in his bedroom. His kindergarten teacher tells us he won't stop talking about Russia, and his favorite YouTube video is...
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What We All Agree On

Jan 20, 2017
Last Monday an organization we hold in high regard, the New America Foundation, posted a piece comparing Republicans who defend for-profit colleges to climate change deniers.
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Community Colleges Should Become Placement Colleges

Jan 13, 2017
I love community colleges. My mother spent her career as a faculty member at Toronto's George Brown College where she taught sociology and courses to nursing students on dealing with death and dying, which led to many grim but memorable conversations around the house. But we all recognized that community college paid for our hockey skates and microwave...
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Are You Experienced?

Dec 30, 2016
Two weeks ago, President-elect Trump named his selection as Ambassador to Israel: David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer from Long Island who has done legal work for Trump for the past 15 years. David Friedman's qualifications arise primarily from his support for Israeli settlers in the West Bank, which...
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Accountability And Irresponsibility: Two Faces Of Obama's Higher Education...

Dec 16, 2016
In her new book, The Nine Of Us: Growing Up Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of John, Robert and Teddy Kennedy, tells a great story. One day Jean stole a cookie and her mother Rose locked her in a closet as a consequence. Jean recalls being in the closet for an abnormally long...
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In Search Of A College MVP

Dec 2, 2016
Some of my fondest college memories are of debates held by the Progressive Party of the Yale Political Union. Ostensibly a debate about a topic ("Social Change Demands Violence," "One Person Can Change The World"), it didn't really matter what the topic was. It was essentially arguing for the sake of learning to argue. One time we debated...
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Founding Father Football?

Nov 18, 2016
As a Canadian, I've always been jealous of America and its super-cool cast of founding fathers - a unique constellation of political geniuses who inspire patriotism, gratitude, devotion, and now groundbreaking Broadway rap musicals. It's hard to imagine a musical about Canada's founding father.
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Shhhh... This Employee Benefit Is Secret

Nov 4, 2016
I've never understood why some people insist on keeping their ideas secret. I always assume if I have an idea, dozens of others have had the same one. It's not ideas that determine success, it's execution. Which is why, from the beginning, I've always been happy to freely share my many amazing...
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Stop Marketing Your College Like A Timeshare

Oct 21, 2016
Every time I read an article about campus dining, I think about this segment of the old Yale promo video. In fact, this quarter-century-old loopy video has proven to be a prism through which my former roommates and I view college...
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Bootcamps Kicking Us Towards Disruptive Credentials

Oct 7, 2016
While I travel a lot, I'm fairly indiscriminate when it comes to selecting airlines. I always select the lowest fare as I have frequent flier programs everywhere. Or so I thought. Last week I flew from Minneapolis to L.A. on an unfamiliar airline: Sun Country. The experience was equally unfamiliar. For the first time in months I stretched out in an empty...
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Get Off My Lawn!

Sep 23, 2016
In college, my roommates and I did many things for which we had little interest in taking responsibility. Top of mind: Leaving a hulking old refrigerator in the middle of Old Campus, trying to get the School of Organization and Management to...
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Out Of Fashion: How Bad Colleges Help The Ivies, And How Ivies Sustain Bad...

Sep 9, 2016
One of the more colorful characters from my college days was a student from Japan named Shohei who preferred to be known as Speed. Among his most famous exploits: projecting the Bat Signal onto Harkness Tower; and - previously - betting and losing his high school...
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Hacking Competency-based Education

Aug 26, 2016
My college roommate Chris was notorious for a few things. Chris looked vaguely Nordic and enjoyed putting on a Viking helmet, taking off all his clothes, and venturing out to Cross Campus Lawn to ask unwitting pedestrians if they knew where the German Club was meeting. He was also renowned for going to great...
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Retraining and Reskilling to Avoid Dystopia

Aug 12, 2016
I was 15 when I first understood the importance of training. I'd been hired at a Toronto Baskin Robbins and after a few weeks was deemed a sufficiently reliable scooper that franchise owner Mr. Pirani gladly accepted my offer to refer two of my younger brothers for employment.
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