Higher Education Reform

Blog posts and resources relating to reform in higher education. To start a new discussion on HE reform issues, visit the forum via the above link.

Why It’s So Hard to Reform Peer Review

Robert J. Marks, the director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, argues that academic reformers are battling numerical laws that govern how incentives work. His counsel? Know your enemy!

1 year ago
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Writing Social Science Fiction in the Age of the Metrix

Burned out by the hamster-wheel of academe and the regime of metrics, John Postill decided the tonic would be to write a spoof spy thriller about a Spanish nerd with a silly name who moves to London in 1994 and accidentally foils a terrorist plot by an evil anthropologist.

1 year ago
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HEPI Offers Clarion Call to Protect Free Speech on Campus

Concerns that free speech is being on university campuses, at least in the United Kingdom, are overblown, with the biggest threat originating not on campuses but from the government and its Prevent program. That’s a key takeaway in a new paper from Britain’s Higher Education Policy Institute, Free Speech and Censorship on Campus.

1 year ago
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Sociology for Sale

In recent years, sociology has begun a twin global and decolonial turn, marked by a series of high-profile publications that have sought to engage with sociology’s roots outside the Global Northwest. So how effective have these efforts been?

1 year ago
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Software Is Not the Silver Bullet to Defeat Plagiarism

Turnitin and similar programs don’t deal with the causes of plagiarism. Rather, argue Amanda Mphahlele and Sioux McKenna, they allow institutions to claim they’re doing something without really tackling the issues that lead students to plagiarize.

2 years ago
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WeChat branding guide

Fast Professor: WeChat and Future Academe

Daniel Nehring describes China’s social networking platform WeChat as ‘Facebook on steroids,’ and notes it has long surpassed e-mail as the main tool of mediating communication at Chinese universities while obliterating boundaries between work and home. Is this a cautionary tale for academe outside of China?

2 years ago
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Whatever Happened to Conservative Social Thought?

In the wake of Brexit, Robert Dingwall asks a series of probing questions about the eclipse of Conservative Social Thought at universities, such as when did the social sciences last have a serious engagement with the institutions of the bourgeoisie, even though by income and status many of us would belong to that class?

2 years ago
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Looking at Plan S From Down Under

Plan S focuses on making all publicly funded research immediately fully and freely available by open access publication. If Australia does not adopt Plan S, the authors argue, it could potentially restrict collaboration, publishing, and funding opportunities with research bodies who subscribe to this ambitious movement.

2 years ago
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DARPA Aims to Score Social and Behavioral Research

The U.S. military’s innovation incubator, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has signed the Center for Open Science to create a research claims database as DARPA’s first step to assign a ‘credibility score’ to social and behavioral science research.

2 years ago
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‘Detoxing from Academia’: One Black Scholar’s Journey

JeffriAnne Wilder, a sociologist and leading scholar specializing in diversity, race relations and women’s empowerment, has almost two decades of experience in higher education. In this interview, she details who influenced — from her mom to bell hooks — and why she left her tenured professorship to work for a non-profit.

2 years ago
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David Hume and Adam Smith

Why is Social Theory So Boring?

The roots of sociology lie among a group of engaged, engaging and vibrant people who often risked their well-being, or even their lives, to advance their ideas. So what happened to suck much of the life out of the discipline?

2 years ago
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