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"...but we have made a collective commitment to it because we don't think we can provide the quality of teaching we aspire to unless we are all deeply engaged in the production of knowledge through the scholarly process."

This is what I couldn't manage to accomplish during my six-year stint as head of our small department over here. My faculty did not want to make that kind of commitment. Period.

It is still a multi-pronged source of collegial aggravation, professional shame, and personal pain for me.

Dr. Horwitz,

I noticed that for the Fall 2008 semester you are scheduled to teach two courses called "two great books." Just curious, what two books will they be?



The Affluent Society and The Constitution of Liberty.

We am looking for a good liberal arts school for my high school age son. However, we are looking for one that does not have gender and sexuality studies. What the hell is that, anyway??

Sounds very nice, but this is intimidating:
Comprehensive fee (tuition, room and board) $44,650 for 2007-2008.

Dear JTM,

It takes a certain temperment on the part of the kid, but I really think that Grove City College offers an amazing education for the price. The college changed my life and I think the institution has only gotten stronger since I was a student.

Next I would look at Hillsdale College in Michigan, Hampden Sydney in Virginia, and Loyola College in New Orleans. Beloit would also be a great school to look at Wisc., and I have a very favorable impression of U of Dallas.

Beloit like St Lawrence will have gender studies, Grove City will not (or at least not the same sort of gender studies). I really love GCC.

My general advice on college to parents who ask is -- go to a small liberal arts college for undergraduate and then a large named university for graduate school (where they pay you to go). So Williams for your BA, and Harvard for your PhD.

Of course, my oldest son is focused primarily on music and the arts so he goes to VCU in Richmond. My rising HS senior is more focused on sports and the opposite sex at the moment so we are having a difficulty finding the right place for him (or at least the right place that he wants to go). I am also a big believer in that kids have to find their place for themselves, not their parents and thus transfering is perfectly fine, bouncing around majors is perfectly fine --- though such self-exploration is now more expensive than when I was a student and took 5 years to get a 4 year degree.

Good luck with your search ... since I am in the process myself I know both the pain and the excitement. Today I have to go to Richmond to help son #1 move from one crappy house to another --- and unfortunately he is a drummer!


JTM: Almost every liberal arts college will have a gender studies program of some sort (and what it is, is the study of masculinity and femininity as social phenomena - my "Economics of Gender and the Family" course is cross-listed with our Gender Studies program). The exceptions would be either religious places or something like Hillsdale. The big questions are:

1. Is such a course required?
2. If so, what does the syllabus look like?

Frankly, I think it's good for kids to take a course like that, even if they imagine that they will disagree with some of the content. Exposing yourself to ideas you disagree with is the best way to sharpen your own.

And I actually happen to believe there's positive value in such courses, aside from "learning the other side." Having worked with several colleagues who use feminist perspectives in their work, it has informed my own scholarship on the family in valuable ways.

Unit: Ever heard of price discrimination? :) Only about 20% of our students pay the full ride. The rest are on a variety of forms of financial aid. The average household income of the SLU student body is now less than the mean of our 25 school liberal arts comparison group. We have a surprising number of students on Pell Grants. One of the goals of our current president has been to diversify our SES profile, which he has largely succeeded at, though it doesn't come cheap.

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