- August 23, 2013 at 9:50 am
Carleton President Steve Poskanzer was quoted in the Aug. 23 edition of the Star Tribune regarding President Barack Obama's higher education proposal. Obama's proposal would tie federal financial aid to a new college rankings system, devised by the U.S. government, would create a rating system beginning in 2015 to evaluate colleges on tuition, the percentage of low-income students, graduation rates and debt of graduates. Eventually, as an incentive for schools to make improvements in these areas, federal financial aid would be awarded based on those ratings. Poskanzer notes that the “obvious potential flaw with this proposal is that it could fail to account for the huge differences among colleges.” For example, he said, “a college that trains superb teachers and social workers isn’t going to have starting salaries for graduates that match those of a business school.”
- July 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm
The New York Times reports the passing of Marv Rotblatt, 85, who died July 16 in Evanston, Ill. The New York Times notes that, in addition to being known as one of major league baseball's shortest pitchers (Rotblatt measured in at 5 feet 6 inches tall), he was also the inspiration for Carleton College's annual "Rotblatt" softball game, cited by Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the “longest intramural event” in the nation. According to the New York Times, "Carleton students played a 100-inning, one-day, nine-hour softball game they christened Rotblatt in the spring of 1967, to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival on campus of the college’s first class. The game was an outgrowth of the intramural Marvin J. Rotblatt Memorial Softball League — named, according to college lore, by a student who had a vintage Rotblatt bubble gum trading card."
The obituary can be read in its entirety here.
Professor and author Scott Dominic Carpenter's new release, "Theory of Remainders," continues to garner praiseJuly 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm
Professor and author Scott Dominic Carpenter's new release, "Theory of Remainders, continues to garner praise. The debut novel from the acclaimed writer was recently reviewed by Twin Cities literary critic Amy Goetzman in MinnPost, calling "Theory of Remainders" "eminently readable" and saying "Carpenter does a masterful job of conjuring a complicated psychological and cultural landscape." The novel has also been named a "Bound to Please" title in Reach magazine, the alumni magazine of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.
- July 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm
Neil Lutsky, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology, spoke with the St. Paul Pioneer Press for its July 16 edition regarding the famous Milgram obedience experiment and an upcoming conference around that topic, where Lutsky will be speaking. The famous experiments by Stanly Milgram are described by reporter Richard Chin as "showing that most people apparently are willing to inflict increasingly painful and dangerous electrical shocks to a stranger if ordered to do so by an authority. In this case, a man in a lab coat saying, 'It is absolutely essential that you continue'." Lutsky said "It's a study that's resonated in culture. You see the kind of shadow that it has cast." Lutsky will argue at the conference that the experiment and the conference shouldn't be labeled "obedience to authority." "People don't want to do what they're doing," Lutsky said. "They were in a situation where they didn't know how to get out."
- July 14, 2013 at 12:01 am
The St. Paul Pioneer Press lists College archivist Eric Hillemann's book on former Carleton president and noted explorer Laurence Gould as a top nonfiction work in its July 14 edition. A Beacon So Bright: The Life of Laurence McKinley Gould, a detailed biography, tells of Gould's overseas service during World War I, his role in the Byrd expedition (where he was second in command in the Antarctica adventure) and his 30-year tenure at Carleton as professor of geology and then as its popular fourth president. The book is available at carletonbookstore.org and amazon.com, along with Gould's book, "Cold: The Record of an Antarctic Sledge Journey," which was reissued by the College in 2011.
- June 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm
Paul Thiboutot, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, spoke with Minnesota Public Radio's Alex Friedrich about the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Supreme Court ruling regarding the use of race in admissions practices and affirmative action. A ruling in a 2003 case involving the University of Michigan Law School, Grutter v. Bollinger, has shaped how colleges and universities conduct admissions decisions in regards to race. Thiboutot told Friedrich that Carleton adjusted its admissions procedures along the lines demanded by the Grutter case and has since “sought diversity along broad socioeconomic lines in the student body, and through that effort continued bringing in a racial diversity as well.” He also referred to the holistic approach, saying, “We do not isolate out any of our applicants by racial grouping since 2003.” Since 2003, he said, “we have been proceeding along lines of bolstering any arguments we can make for the value of diversity in the student body and the educational experience. … I don’t see this as a change for us.” The U.S. Supreme Court sent Fisher back to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, stating that the appeals court did not test the Texas plan under the most exacting level of judicial review.
- June 23, 2013 at 10:31 am
Dan Bruggeman, senior lecturer in art, is quoted in a June 23 Star Tribune article featuring Wet Paint: Artists’ Materials and Framing, an independent art supply store on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue. The Star Tribune writes "Her longtime support of Twin Cities artists, work with local independent business groups and leadership in the industry’s national trade group have made Wet Paint one of the most widely known and well-respected independent art supply retailers in the country." Bruggeman, a professional artist, is a longtime Wet Paint regular. “There are some fairly high-profile artists who live here or have lived here … who wouldn’t dream of buying supplies anywhere else,” Bruggeman said. “They take care of everybody.”
- June 22, 2013 at 9:01 pm
Will Docter '82, aka the "Phantom Planter," made headlines in the Washington Post when he was threatened with arrest after he planted 1,000 morning glories and other flowers in 176 barren flower boxes alongside the top stretch of the north escalators at the Dupont Circle station. The Metro transit system authority is concerned about safety, as the planter boxes are located on an incline. This isn't Docter's first foray into clandestine horticulture, as he told the Post he’s planted more an estimated 40,000 flowers in spots ranging from the Israeli Embassy and Navy Memorial in the District to faraway locales, including Argentina, Spain and Cambodia. Docter and Metro authorities are hopeful a solution can be reached to continue the plantings. You can support Docter's efforts through his online petition via letmyflowersgrow.com.
- June 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm
Asim Manizada '13 (Baku, Azerbaijan) weighed in on the merits of a liberal arts degree for the Wall Street Journal's "Real Time Economics" blog. The post talked to WSJ reporters who had graduated from Harvard University, along with 2013 graduates who the meida outlet are following as part of an ongoing project to cover this year’s college grads, asking them to respond to Harvard's report urging the Humanities division to market itself more aggressively to first and second year students, and to demonstrate the ways that a degree in the humanities can prepare students for a successful career. Manizada wrote: "However, I was very surprised by the job market. I thought that having a technical but theory-based background will still be an impediment, but I found that the employers were quick to overlook that and say that they’ll “teach any specialized skills on the job.” A number of my interviewers lamented the lack of solid writing skills in their pool of (otherwise very gifted) technical applicants; I think my liberal arts writing preparation offered me an edge in a number of positions."
- June 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Wally Weitz '70, former Board of Trustees chair, is profiled by the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) on his acumen as a stock picker and the challenges associated with running such a firm in the age of index funds. The article says "Mr. Weitz is a stock picker at a time when growing numbers of investors are losing faith in them." Last year, stock investors yanked $127 billion out of actively managed stock mutual funds, while plowing a net $70 billion into index funds and exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, which are similar to index funds but trade throughout the day instead of just at day's end. Over three years, his Weitz Value mutual fund has outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index by an average of about one percentage point a year and beat about 90% of similar stock funds. Weitz, along with his family, made the lead gift to the Weitz Center for Creativity. The Weitz family is the largest single donor in College history at $25 million, as they also gave $10 million to launch Carleton's $300 million capital campaign, successfully completed in June 2010.
- May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am
Steve Schier, Dorothy H. and Edward C. Congdon Professor of Political Science, recently commented in the May 29th edition of USA Today on the exit of Minnesota’s congresswoman, Michelle Bachmann, from the House of Representatives. Bachmann announced her departure via video this week, and Schier notes that this will be a blow to the Tea Party’s profile. “It’s very important for an insurgent movement like the Tea Party to have spokespeople in the corridors of power. They have to find someone who can rival her media skills. I think it's a problem,'' says Schier.
- April 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm
The April 14 edition of the Christian Science Monitor recently featured an article by Carleton student, Maddy Crowell ’14 (Chicago). The article describes Crowell’s experiences with the protest movements in Morocco that she witnessed during her semester abroad this fall. Two years earlier, Moroccan streets saw tens of thousands of protestors looking to challenge the power of the Moroccan king. Despite the reforms that came about as a result of the movements, activists say little has changed. As Crowell reports, protestors vow to continue to face down threats and keep up pressure for a 'real' democracy.