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AKA Review
February 16, 2024
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 Chronicle of Higher Education
By  Jeffrey J. Selingo
For decades colleges competed for students with flashy living, dining, and recreational amenities. Now, facing a likely looming enrollment cliff, institutions are turning to such new technologies as virtual reality and AI to drive academic innovation. Their hope is that campus technology will be the differentiator that helps them attract students eager for high-quality classroom engagement, skills to enter a technology-ready work force, and credentials with high currency in the job market. Read this article
From The New York Times
By Kate Zernike
The college presidents called to testify in Congress about perceived campus antisemitism were all women and all too new in their roles to have shaped campus culture. Not summoned were the male presidents of Yale and Chicago, campuses that also faced aggressive pro-Palestinian protests. "Would a man have been treated the same way?" Interviews with women higher-education leaders highlight the pernicious disparities and unfair expectations they face despite the increase in female presidents in recent years. Read this article
From The New Yorker
By Jeannie Suk Gersen
This Harvard Law professor wades into the "speech/safety" debate by examining a trend she describes as students speaking of feeling unsafe when they hear things that offend them. Using vivid examples, she argues that the principles of D.E.I. and academic freedom are not in opposition. Rather universities must do three things: "acknowledge that [they] have allowed a culture of censoriousness to develop, recommit to academic freedom and free speech, and rethink D.E.I. in a way that prizes the diversity of viewpoints." Read this article
From Education Next
By Michael J. Petrilli
"Suitcase words" are seemingly simple phrases that land very differently with those on the left versus the right. They can be "unpacked," this writer argues, to understand these differences and find where the parties’ views do overlap. To illustrate, he unpacks the phrase "educational equity" to identify policies that garner broad support across the ideological spectrum and benefit the greatest number of students—and suggests three rules to apply to controversial education issues from school funding to grading reform. Read this article
From The New York Times
By A.O. Scott
"Academia is a serious place, and it takes itself seriously. But it is also, like Hollywood or Washington, profoundly ridiculous" asserts this cultural critic. It is best understood through satire, which fortunately we have in abundance in the literary subgenre of "the campus novel." Scott looks closely at Mary McCarthy’s "The Groves of Academe" and other favorite campus novels before landing his punch: that their humor arises from the "entwined forces of narcissism and idealism" that run amok on college campuses. Read this article
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