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Higher education has become dominated by a number of troubling trends over time, and students come to college with little sense of why they are there, Columbia University’s American Studies program director Andrew Delbanco argued in a conversation on Tuesday afternoon.
In the course of the lecture, Delbanco and Wilson School professor Stanley Katz touched on a number of subjects about the state of education in the United States, from pre-kindergarten programs to higher education.
Delbanco said that Americans increasingly see colleges as lavish institutions that fail to teach students effectively.
“They’re wasteful, they’re inefficient, they’re not doing their job, and we have a problem,” he said of ordinary people's view of colleges.
This attitude is reinforced by rising tuition fees, which are caused in turn by the increasing privatization of higher education, Delbanco explained.
“Our public universities have been gutted,” he said, noting that public funds make up only 6 percent of the University of Virginia’s budget.
Katz warned against public universities’ efforts to raise funds in the face of budget shortfalls, either through tuition increases or the admission of more out-of-state students. These strategies undercut the democratic purpose of public education in America, he said.
Higher education has developed a “pernicious and perverse obsession with rankings,” Delbanco said.
Expanding the University's course offeringsin entrepreneurship will be a priority initiative for new provost David Lee GS '99, University President Christopher Eisgruber '83told the 'Prince' in September.
Lee's initiative comes amid a climate for entrepreneurship on campus that has evolved significantly in recent years.
“How are we going to disseminate knowledge in the future? If we can disseminate knowledge for free, isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing?
In the course of writing his junior paper, astrophysics major Tomer Yavetz ’14 developed a novel theoretical framework for why satellites stay in orbit around the Earth.
Under the guidance of three instructors, five undergraduate students in HIS 402: Princeton and Slavery are working closely with historical documents in Mudd Library to attempt to understand how slavery influenced the early development of the University.
Following the 2003 appointment of theSteering Committee on Slavery and Justiceat Brown by president Ruth Simmons, Princeton is among a number of other universities that are now researching how slavery shaped their own educational institutions.
History professor Martha Sandweiss teaches the class alongside University archivist Daniel Linke and postdoctoral fellow Craig Hollander.
Seniors are being assigned new lockers in Firestone Library starting this week, according to an email sent to a portion of the senior class Tuesday morning with instructions to pick up their locker assignments.
The email instructed seniors to stop by the library’s Privileges Office for their assignments by Nov.
Former University President William G. Bowen GS ’58argued that “online education is here to stay”in a lecture in McCosh 50 on Monday night,saying that universities must work to find solutions to the challenges posed by technological advances.
The national discourse surrounding the growing prevalence of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, has become increasingly relevant to the University in recent years, where several professors have adopted Coursera, a massive online education platform that allows professors to offer online courses to students off-campus.
University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, who has indicated his support for a greater role for online education in the past, acknowledged the cost considerations driving the popularity of MOOCs in a May lecture.
The threat posed to humanity by climate change is questionable, University physics professor William Happer GS '64 said in a talk Thursday at the physics department's monthly colloquium.
Happer's comments came in response to anannual report on the state of climate changereleased by theUnited Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September, with whose findings he disagreed.Two weeks earlier, Happer had shared the same views at atalk celebrating Institute for Advanced Study physicist Freeman Dyson’s 90th birthday.
Happer’s criticism of the link between greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide contributing to global warming has been a point of contention among the academic community, including his peers at the University.
In his Thursday discussion, titled “Why Has Global Warming Paused?”, Happer directly challenged the IPCC report that supported the link between human greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.Contrary to the report, Happer said that increased carbon dioxide emissions would not pose a problem for humanity.
Over the past 15 years, temperatures have not risen as high as scientists, including himself, have predicted, Happer pointed out.
Princeton senior theses are now joining the world of digital documents.On Tuesday Oct.
Pending the end of the government shutdown, University neuroscientists may play a crucial role in pioneering new neurotechnologies through President Obama’s recent $100 million Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative.
Changes could be coming to the University’s final examinations period.USG Academics Committee chair Dillon Sharp ’14 presented a series of recommendations for the final examinations period to the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing on Friday.
First-come, first-served precept and lab sign-ups were available through the Student Course Online Registration Engine for 150 courses this fall, as part of a University pilot program to centralize the course enrollment system and move away from the use of Blackboard for section enrollments.
This initiative, which was started last spring with 50 courses, has been in the works for two years, University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua said.
The University’s high standings on rankings such as U.S. News and World Report does not mean Princeton should not pursue experimental teaching methods, former University President Harold Shapiro explained in a Sunday afternoon discussion onthe challenges facing higher education.
Four current and former college presidents, including Shapiro and former University president Shirley Tilghman, discussed the expansion of online courses, financial difficulties and inadequate rating systems.
Omar Wasow became an assistant professor of politics this fall to teach students on race and identity.
Concentrators in the operations research and financial engineering department jumped by more than a third with this year’s sophomore class, according to the University directory.
A team of University physicists and engineers met with collaborators in Palestine, Texas this summer to assemble and test a telescope complex, known as SPIDER, that when launched will help scientists understand the fundamental physics of a period during the early universe.Currently, most of SPIDER has been disassembled and is on its way by boat to Antarctica.
Construction of the University’s new neuroscience and psychology complex, Peretsman-Scully Hall, is slated to be completed by Nov.
After switching to a nonselective admission process last year, the Woodrow Wilson School admitted a record 163 students from the Class of 2015 and has introduced a number of changes to the school’s curriculum, among them the addition of nine new skills-based research seminars that will replace one of the two previously mandatory task forces.
Previously, all juniors in the Wilson School were required to participate in a policy task force each semester and wrote their junior papers in tandem with the task force.
Following the adoption of a no-pass/D/fail policy for COS 126, 217 and 226 last spring, the computer science department has now reinstated the P/D/F option for COS 126: General Computer Science.
In May, a couple months after the policy was announced, Dean of the College Valerie Smith and Dean of the Faculty David Dobkinapproached Andrew Appel '81, computer science department chair, and requested that the department reconsider its implementation of a no-P/D/F policy for COS 126, Appel said.
Smith and Dobkin “requested that we reconsider and offered to help in various resource constraints we were running up against,” Appel explained.
Less than a year and a half after the the University first began offering online courses through the massive online education platform Coursera, one of its first and most popular courses will be discontinued.Sociology professor Mitchell Duneier was an early champion of Cousera.