Academic Tricks & Treats

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Following in the spirit of Halloween, albeit a bit belated, are several academic surprises, courtesy of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

For openers, contributions from for-profit colleges and universities tend to go more heavily towards Republican candidates than do donations from non-profits. At one of them, Capella U, employees actually give to the GOP by a 56 percent majority.

Most of the top ten give to Republicans in the 20-30 percent range, which is still proportionally higher than the gifts most university employees give to the party of he relatively right.

Another interesting revelation, courtesy of The Chronicle, is the graduation rate for scholar-athletes—79 percent, significantly higher than the 60 percent matriculation rate in the student body as a whole. Some might argue that their curriculum is less vigorous but then, is hotel management at UNLV really less scholarly than, say, women’s studies anywhere?

The ultimate treat and trick may come from Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have actually hired an expert in the literature of the Old Sod to teach at South Bend. While he seems like a jolly good fellow, there is a warning sign on his vitae: It was praised by the late Edward Said, not known to be an afficianado of Celtic Culture.

“My own work has been very much involved not just with the Irish language but also with postcolonial theory—with comparison of various modernisms in Europe with Latin America and so on,” Declan Kiberd told the Chronicle. “And these approaches are favored by many of the colleagues at Notre Dame.”

“American students—many of whom have an Irish element in their background, often mingled with some other element, too—are natural comparativists and also are often incredibly curious to find out more.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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