UV Letters

Beyond Process and Bubblegum: The Future of Accreditation

Aug 14, 2015
The wide wide world of sports lost a great man this summer. Roderick Toombs of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan died of a heart attack at the age of 61. Better known as Rowdy Roddy Piper because he played bagpipes and wore a kilt, Rowdy Roddy was my favorite professional wrestler for...
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E-Portfolios: Competency Marketplaces For Colleges

Jul 31, 2015
I have three young boys. Zev, age 4, is the youngest, and he's constantly straining to be heard above the din. If survival of the fittest is playing out at home, Zev's survival skill is volume. He is loud. When he asks for water, he yells. When he announces he's going to the bathroom, he yells. And when he wants...
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You Say You Want a Revolution? "Just-In-Time!"

Jul 17, 2015
The trope of overlooking the hero based on appearances goes back as long as stories have been told. In the Bible, King David, the youngest and least impressive of his 7 brothers, was relegated to the fields to look after goats and sheep. Samuel thought David's brother was the impressive...
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College Completion: Just Add Structure

Jul 3, 2015
I met my wife the first day of college. According to our wedding announcement in the New York Times, she remembered "going to her first class... without doing her homework. She was not alone. 'We were supposed to have started reading Homer's Iliad over the summer, but none of us had,' she said. Then Mr. Craig walked in, carrying three translations of...
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College Rankings No Longer Rank

Jun 19, 2015
At the request (i.e., demand) of my parents, I recently visited their attic to clear out my old stuff. The biggest culprit was my vast collection of cassette tapes. While it was easy enough to part with Madonna and New Kids on the Block, I grew nostalgic about the recordings I made on my snazzy Casio two-cassette boombox, most of which were of the weekly radio show...
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Who Owns The Competency?

Jun 5, 2015
Freshman year marked my first experience with the issue of privacy in higher education. It wasn't the typical "roommate hangs sign on door to warn...
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Leapfrogging to the 4G University

May 22, 2015
As East Africa is the world's fastest growing market for higher education, I find myself there frequently. On one of my recent trips to Kampala, the capital of Uganda, I met with the founder and CEO of a start-up university. Having invested tens of millions of dollars to launch the new institution, he calls the university a "gift to his country" - albeit one that appears likely to add substantially to...
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Distance Traveled

May 8, 2015
Prior to University Ventures, I created Wellspring, which ran scientifically-based weight loss summer camps and boarding schools - the first of their kind, and pejoratively called "fat schools" by the media. Working with children and their families over 5+ years, we changed...
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Double Myopia

Apr 24, 2015
As we walk around our neighborhood, my youngest son (4 years old) invariably asks the same question. He points at an electrical line and asks: "Is that a zip line?" My eldest son laughs and tries to explain to his brother that it's an electrical...
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A Snowball's Chance in Hell

Apr 10, 2015
In college, my roommates and I inherited a GE fridge that was 30 years old and built like a Sherman tank; it seemed like it weighed as much as one - so says my muscle memory from room-storage-room moves each year. It was so cumbersome that when it came time to finally dispose of it, our...
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