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Higher Education Hypocrisy and The Unhappy Marriage of Political Control and Academic Freedom

Derrick Z. Jackson; Harry Targ
Universities giant and small, public and private, bring African-American men to campus at grotesque levels to earn the school millions in football and basketball revenues. Stories about academic freedom and free speech have been appearing in newspapers more frequently over the last few weeks. And curiously enough political actors on and off campus who traditionally have been least likely to be concerned about these subjects are becoming its major advocates.

Charles Koch Gave $90 Million to Influence Higher Ed in the South

Alex Kotch Facing South
The proposed center at WCU is part of a long campaign by Koch to influence higher education. The Charles Koch Foundation along with three other groups led by Koch gave nearly $108 million to 366 colleges and universities from 2005 to 2014, finds an Institute for Southern Studies investigation, building on research by Greenpeace.

Million Student March Expands to 100 Campuses

Amanda Girard US Uncut
On November 12, thousands of college students in nearly 100 cities are walking out of class to demand tuition-free public college, a cancellation of all student debt, and a $15/hour minimum wage for campus workers across the US. The protest has been dubbed the “Million Student March.”

Jerry Brown's University of California Perma-Temp Problem

Danny Feingold Capital and Main
The controversy over UC’s use of thousands of contract workers who earn low wages with few, if any, benefits has taken center stage in Sacramento, where legislation that would end such practices cleared the Legislature earlier this month.

The Politics of the NCAA Sweet Sixteen

David Morris Common Dreams
For the next week, we can concentrate on basketball and marvel at the remarkable athletes playing their hearts out and set politics aside. But perhaps, maybe during the commercials, we can reflect on the fact that the vast majority of these games are being played by teams from public universities in states whose governments are hostile to public universities and whose policies increase the already considerable financial burden on the students at these universities.

College Athletes of the World, Unite

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jacobin
Life for student-athletes is no longer the quaint Americana fantasy of the homecoming bonfire and a celebration at the malt shop. It’s big business in which everyone is making money — everyone except the eighteen to twenty-one-year-old kids who every game risk permanent career-ending injuries.

The Salaita Case and the Big Money Takeover of State Universities

By Michael Hiltzik Los Angeles Times
"As we all know, there are no free lunches...We are not going to be able to hire anyone...if we do not work out an acceptable arrangement with Koch and its funding partners." - A Florida State University department head, explaining the strings attached to a 2007 Koch donation

Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic

Peter Dreier and Richard D. Kahlenberg The New York Times
Colleges and universities, which receive enormous tax benefits to serve the public interest, should be held to a minimum level of effort to enroll and graduate low-income and working-class students eligible for Pell grants. Governments could also provide financial rewards targeted to universities that commit to increasing socioeconomic diversity and that shift their funds from non-need merit grants to students in actual need.

Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League

By William Deresiewicz The New Republic
We recognize that free, quality K–12 education is a right of citizenship. We also need to recognize—as we once did and as many countries still do—that the same is true of higher education.
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