Week in Review: Show Me the Money

What are you reading, watching, thinking about this week? As usual, here’s a few which have been on our mind. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. If you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.

1. Who pays for higher education, in the U.S. and around the world? Scott Jaschik interviews (by email) the authors of Financing Higher Education Worldwide (D. Bruce Johnstone & Pamela N. Marcucci. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) in Financing Higher Education Worldwide (Inside Higher Ed. 6/24/2010).

2. Who pays for continuing education in the medical community? The question being explored in this article extends beyond the medical community and various related research fields. What does it mean to be truly free from [industry] bias? How does someone in a field which involves the application of research in real world contexts avoid flirting with becoming a mouthpiece of industry? Do you agree with Dr. Francis S. Collins, N.I.H director,” who criticized the move as a “breathtaking sweep to squash something that is really important to us, which is the science that’s going on in the private sector.”

Dr. James O. Woolliscroft, dean of Michigan’s medical school, said leading faculty members “wanted education to be free from bias, to be based on the best evidence and a balanced view of the topic under discussion.”

While the financing in question amounts to as much as $1 million a year at Michigan, commercial payments for industry speakers and courses nationwide come to about $1 billion, nearly half the total expenditure for such courses.

The debate over whether the medical profession should develop an industry-free model of postgraduate education is a delicate one. A conference at Georgetown University on Friday, called “Prescription for Conflict,” will highlight the arguments on both sides through presentations by federal health officials, professors from leading medical schools, hospital executives and a Senate investigator. — Natasha Singer & Duff Wilson. Debate Over Industry Role in Educating Doctors. NY Times. 6/23/2010.

3. What is the cost of For-Profit Education? New Grilling of For-Profits Could Turn Up the Heat for All of Higher Education (Paul Basken. Chronicle of Higher Education. 6/22/2010). Interesting case. Worth following the discussion Washington, D.C. How do Emerging Scholars intersect with the changing field of higher education?

Click “Read more” to read about Wendell Berry, social media, and UK basketball. 

4. How much does it cost to house college basketball players? Well, it will cost the University of Kentucky the archives of one of the state’s best writers. The same week that a record 5 UK basketball players were taken in the first round of the NBA draft, it was revealed that Wendell Berry is pulling his personal papers from UK’s archives. He’s doing this to protest some recent actions by UK:

“The University’s president and board have solemnized an alliance with the coal industry, in return for a large monetary ‘gift,’ granting to the benefactors, in effect, a co-sponsorship of the University’s basketball team,” Berry wrote in the typewritten letter. “That — added to the ‘Top 20’ project and the president’s exclusive ‘focus’ on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — puts an end to my willingness to be associated in any way officially with the University.”

Why is Berry opposed to STEM? Check out his 2007 commencement address at Bellarmine University (a Catholic liberal arts colleges in Louisville, KY). A short snippet:

Now, according to those institutions of the “cutting edge,” the purpose of education is unabashedly utilitarian. Their interest is almost exclusively centered in the technical courses called, with typical ostentation of corporate jargon, STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The American civilization so ardently promoted by these institutions is to be a civilization entirely determined by technology, and not encumbered by any thought of what is good or worthy or neighborly or humane.

Regarding coal, just see here.

For additional reaction, see Blog U’s Burying Berry and Rod Dreher’s cogent summary.

5. What’s the cost of our time and attention? Presbyterian pastor and author Henry G. Brinton asks, “Are social media changing religion?” in USA Today. [Mike: I suppose that “media are” is grammatically correct, but I don’t ever recall seeing “social media” treated as a plural before.] Brinton quotes IVP author Adam McHugh on the loss of silence:

My Presbyterian colleague Adam McHugh, author of the book Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in An Extroverted Culture, describes the experience of walking into an average evangelical church as “walking into a non-alcoholic cocktail party.” Quiet reverence is gone, and in its place is a chatty, mingling informality, “where words flow like wine.”

Enough from us: do you have any articles or links to share?

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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