Now that the revelry is dying down, and the harsh reality of ongoing unemployment and the impending “fiscal cliff” re-emerges, President Obama and the Republican leadership need to commit themselves to bridging the partisan divide which has thwarted any major progress over the last four years.
During the final presidential debate this past Monday, President Obama stated that “…if we are not making investments in education and basic research …then we will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology.” Indeed, I think it is fair to say that both parties have passed platforms which reflect a belief in the importance of scientific research.
On Tuesday of this week, Jerry Sandusky received a de facto life sentence of 30-60 years for raping, abusing and assaulting some ten young boys. To this day, Mr. Sandusky denies his guilt and places the blame for his conviction on what he feels is the false testimony of his many victims. As The New York Times stated in an editorial following the sentencing, “The case of Jerry Sandusky for the serial raping of young boys while a coach in Penn State’s football program ended Tuesday as it began: in denial and delusion.”
In my last commentary I reviewed the major elements of the Republican education platform. Since then, the Democratic Platform has been passed, a platform which addresses a number of policy areas dealing with both K-12 and higher education, and not surprisingly, reflects a number of programs begun during President Obama’s first term in office.
Election 2012 is now in full swing. The rhetoric is escalating across many different policy areas -- from the economy, to international relations and defense, to healthcare, to immigration, to such social issues as abortion rights and same sex marriage. In my commentary today, I will focus on the education components of the just – released Republican platform. Subsequent commentaries will address the Democratic education platform and discuss how the public policy proposals of each party differ and could impact K-12 and higher education.
Horrific criminal acts against innocent young boys at Penn State; the multiple deaths and injuries resulting from the tragic shootings by a student on the campus of Virginia Tech; the murder-suicide of a University of Idaho professor and his graduate student; and now, the incomprehensible acts of violence in Aurora, Colorado by a former student from the Anshutz Medical Campus of The University of Colorado-Denver…all of these tragic events share one thing in common: they involved acts by individuals who were members of a university at the time of the incidents, or immediately prior to them.
The scandal which has engulfed Pennsylvania State University since last November most likely reflects the consequences of an institution trying to protect the reputation of its lucrative and immensely successful football program above all other considerations – even the safety of innocent young boys. Mr.
Let me start today’s commentary on innovation in higher education with a brief scenario. A college professor, along with a group of teaching assistants and upper-level undergraduate students, organized his freshman physics section of some 200 students into multiple small groups to discuss the lecture they all had already heard on-line by a Nobel Laureate who was not only an exceptional physicist, but also an exceptionally engaging teacher . The two-hour class flew by as each small group discussed the concepts presented by the Nobel Laureate, and developed experiments to demonstrate thei
This past weekend I, along with many other extremely fortunate citizens of the Capital Region, experienced a truly memorable event at RPI’s stunning Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center – or EMPAC. Entitled John Brown’s Body, the event commemorated the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and was a partnership of the Albany Pro Musica and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust. The music was sometimes haunting, sometimes a call-to-arms, sometimes ethereal, sometimes dirge-like, sometimes jubilant and, at all times, exquisitely beautiful.
Over the last several months, concerns regarding our nation’s system of higher education have continued to escalate…concerns regarding cost, quality, rigor and, yes, even long-term value. And, as we all know, the employment opportunities for recent graduates of our institutions of higher education, particularly those who have earned a baccalaureate degree, have decreased substantially, despite the fact that members of the nation’s high technology sector have stated that there are not sufficient numbers of U.S.