Article Wrongfully Asserts That Brookings Survey Was Contradicted

To the Editor:

I would like to provide some more context to your recent article, “Only 1 Percent of Students Would Consider Disrupting Speakers Violently, Survey Finds” (The Chronicle, October 11), which discussed the results from a recent survey from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The Chronicle article asserted that the finding “contradicts” the results of a survey I published through the Brookings Institution in which 19 percent of respondents stated that they agreed…

Essay on Accessibility Inequalities Resonates With Others

To the Editor:

Bravo to Ashley Shew for her effective actions and her essay, “The Long Way Around” (The Chronicle, September 17). Her experiences resonate with the rest of us who struggle to walk all the way around buildings to get inside, hoping that the blue button for the automatic door opener is working today, all the while knowing that then one must re-traverse the building’s entire length to get to the elevator at the far end, and if that is working then the many steps to an office or a re…

Local Authorities, Not Colleges, Should Handle Sexual-Misconduct Cases

To the Editor:

Colleges and universities are ill-equipped to handle sexual misconduct. The moral compass swings wildly from extreme to extreme in the classroom and scholarly readings. No wonder the students are confused and the process is viewed as unfair.

Judicial proceedings should be turned over to local public authorities. There the students will find a predictable moral standard crafted over many years and expressed clearly in the legal statutes. They will receive the same “due process” tha…

Colleges Should Do More to Recruit and Encourage Older Students

To the Editor:

Last May at age 48, with little prior knowledge of science, I earned an M.S. in biology. Your issue on age in the academy, especially Susan Sarver’s “Tapping into the Wisdom of the Ages” (The Chronicle, September 17), evoked many issues that I faced as an older student.

When I began this M.S., I already held other advanced degrees. In 2003 I had earned a Ph.D., and briefly taught in the field of musicology. Yet I had long wished to more directly pursue my interest in environmental…

Millennials Offer More to Academic Workplace Than Digital Expertise

To the Editor:

I read your article, ”How Generations X, Y and Z May Change the Academic Workplace” (The Chronicle, September 17), and found that it misrepresented the effects millennials and generation Z have on the academic workplace. Is it a common trope to focus primarily on social media and the smart phone when talking about the younger generations, but these alone are no more likely to change the academic workplace than overhead projectors, early computers, and the telephone were. As citati…

Essay Misstated Supreme Court’s Definition of Sexual Harassment

To the Editor:

Recently in your publication, a lawyer misstated the Supreme Court’s test for what constitutes sexual harassment under Title IX (“What DeVos Got Wrong in Her Speech on the ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter,The Chronicle, September 11).

Scott Schneider claimed the Supreme Court defined sexual harassment as “conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the education program, or to create a…

On Race and Russia

To the Editor:

As a 21-year-old black woman who is majoring in Russian Studies and has been studying Russian for five years, I was so happy to see Sarah Valentine’s “Russian Studies’ Alt-Right Problem” (The Chronicle Review, September 17). When I got a scholarship to study in Russia in 2012, I was not allowed to visit St. Petersburg. It wasn’t explained to me until later that this was for fear of neo-Nazi violence. When I applied to study abroad through my college last year, I went to the Russia…

What Speech Is Really ‘Worthy’?

To the Editor:

Jason N. Blum (“Don’t Bow to Blowhards,” The Chronicle Review, September 3) argues that although colleges and universities should embrace freedom of speech, they should work in particular to foster and protect “worthy speech” — that is, speech that meets basic standards of rationality, evidential support, and civility. They should not offer a platform to those who routinely flout such standards, and thus they may justifiably exclude demagogues and abusive provocateurs.

As a set of…

Make the Most of Best Teacher Awards

To the Editor:

I appreciate Jacques Berlinerblau’s recent article “Best Teacher Awards are Bunk” (The Chronicle Review, August 21st). Along with graduate schools’ failure to provide pedagogical training and university tenure review processes that “render undergraduates an afterthought,” Berlinerblau includes Best Teacher awards among the obstacles to good teaching in higher education. His criticisms include: celebrating individual heroics rather than collaborative efforts; perpetuating “…

Tips for Using Smartphones in the Classroom and Reducing Social Loafing

To the Editor:

Your article, “Training Graduate Students to Be Effective Teachers” (The Chronicle, July 30), is excellent. The following suggestions regarding smartphones in the classroom and social loafing augment this article and may help new faculty members.

Smartphones in the Classroom

Some faculty members become frustrated with students surreptitiously using smartphones during class time. The best discipline today is the same as it was 37 years ago — namely, a good lesson plan. Faculty me…