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Weekly Review
February 17, 2023
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From The New York Times:
A Smarter Way to Reduce Gun Deaths
By Nicholas Kristof
Four or five years ago, Times columnist Nick Kristof made a compelling argument that by pursuing gun control, we have treated gun violence as a battle to be won and, predictably, run aground on practical, political, and emotional barriers. In this longer, updated piece, prompted sadly by the latest mass shootings, he expands his argument that we should “try a harm-reduction model familiar from public health efforts to reduce deaths from other dangerous products such as cars and cigarettes.” Pursuing gun safety in this manner will bypass the culture wars and have a greater impact in reducing gun deaths. Read this article
From Future-Ed:
An Equity Agenda for Higher Education
By Ted Mitchell
Expanding on three factors that we know promote equity in higher education—access, completion, and student success—Ted Mitchell, President of the American Council on Education, notes that these are about providing the tools necessary for all students, not just the wealthy, to thrive. These factors require reassessing what it means to complete a degree and promoting civic engagement to bring success not only to individuals but entire communities. Read this article
From The New York Review:
Tenant, Debtor, Worker, Student
By Hannah Appel
Hannah Appel, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, reflects on the recent graduate student strikes at the University of California. This article examines the UC system’s roles as not only one of the state’s largest employers but also one of its largest landlords and financial actors—a status that gives it tremendous power but, the author believes, also creates a wide range of vulnerabilities that academic labor activists can successfully exploit in future. Read this article

From The New York Times:
See Workers as Workers, Not as a College Credential
By The Editorial Board
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s recent end to the requirement of a four-year college degree for most state jobs is not only a smart response to a tight labor market but also a change that “conveys that everyone has experience and worth that employers should consider.” The Editorial Board argues that skills- and experience-based hiring that focuses on demonstrated competence rather than reducing people to a credential paper is a sound talent strategy that could also diversify the American workforce and reduce the sense of alienation of millions who see themselves shut out of an economy that does not value them. Read this article
From Nature:
Is science really getting less disruptive — and does it matter if it is?
A paper analyzing more than 60 years of data from bibliometric and patent databases has concluded that science is becoming less “disruptive,” producing fewer breakthroughs that change the course of an entire scientific field. Any number of reasons could be the cause: researchers recording incremental steps in formal research papers rather than waiting to report discoveries of greater significance, for instance, or the current sluggish productivity and economic growth in many parts of the world. Whichever the case, these findings have left many wondering what the long-term implications of this trend for science and innovation might be. Read this article
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