Skip Navigation

School of Humanities and Social Sciences News

James M. Lang discusses the importance of "smartness" in a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher EducationBuilding on Alexander W. Astin's 2016 book Are you Smart Enough? How Colleges’ Obsession With Smartness Shortchanges Students, Lang considers why colleges and universities focus on the achievements of the incoming class over those of the graduating class.  Such a focus, he suggests, is akin to hospitals measuring success by the health of a patient when he/she enters the hospital instead of the health of the patient as she/he leaves. Moreover, attention to traditional measures of smartness for incoming students (grades, SAT scores, etc.) often works directly against initiatives to diversify the student body.  If higher education's mission is to improve the lives and prospects of our students, perhaps we should focus less on their smartness at the point of admission and more on how we can help them get to someplace great by the time they leave.

How were books printed before typewriters or word processors? Students in Dr. Amanda Licastro's class English 256: Introduction to Digital Publishing, had the opportunity to experience this first hand by working on a letterpress with School of Design visiting artist Ursula Minervini.  Students learned about how the letterpress worked by setting type and printing their own broadsides, many of which are now on display in the Dawson Center. 

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 American Council on Education Conference.  Focusing on "leadership in a changing world," the conference included big-picture conversations on the intersections between higher education and issues such as economics, politics, and technology.  The plenary speakers were particularly interesting and engaging, and video of their talks is currently available on the ACE website.  They raise provocative questions about the role of higher education in our world today and how to best prepare for the future.  Check it out!

Request Info Visit Apply