Accelerated Remedial Math Programs Offer Effective Alternative

To the Editor:

I read your article on remediation reform, “As Reformers Take Aim at Remediation, Community Colleges Feel the Squeeze” (The Chronicle, September 21), and commend you for this coverage. However, it provides readers with a misleading view of Statway and Quantway.

They do not water down standards. To the contrary, they represent rigorous, standards-based, and effective alternatives to the traditional remedial classes that many students struggle to complete. In 2009 the American Math…

‘Chronicle’ Failed to Model Access in Articles on Disability

To the Editor:

Kudos for introducing disability as a viable diversity topic! I was pleased to read about a number of different situations and perspectives (Special Report: Diversity in Academe: Disability on Campus, The Chronicle, September 18).

I found it worrisome however how The Chronicle failed to model access in the very articles that talked about accessibility. Case in point: “DeafSpace by Design” should include audio description. And for the record, your iPad app still isn’t accessible …

Calling Obama a ‘Hawk’ on Higher-Ed Accountability Is Not Useful

To the Editor:

Terming President Obama a “hawk” for his stance on higher-education accountability (“Obama’s Legacy: An Unlikely Hawk on Higher Ed,The Chronicle, September 25) is neither accurate nor constructive. Since the president has not deployed the military against even the worst of the for-profit universities, I took “hawk” as largely a synonym for “conservative.” But there is nothing intrinsically conservative about a resource-intensive federal government program intended to protect the…

Essay on Extra Exam Time Perpetuates Ableist Privilege

To the Editor:

As an access coordinator, I can attest that the essay, “Extra Time on an Exam: Suitable Accommodation or Legal Cheating?” (The Chronicle, September 18), leaves out key information about the accommodation process and perpetuates ableist privilege.

While I cannot speak to the accommodation process at Boston University, I know many schools do tailor accommodations to the specific student need and individual course. I work closely with faculty to determine what the format of tests wil…

Tests With Irrelevant Time Limits Unfairly Punish Many Students

To the Editor:

Although I appreciate the concerns raised by Dr. Ari Trachtenberg in his commentary, “Extra Time on an Exam: Suitable Accommodation or Legal Cheating?” (The Chronicle, September 18), it seems as though he is missing some critical points regarding accommodations for postsecondary students with disabilities.

Most college and high stakes exams are designed to be “power” tests, and speed is really an irrelevant construct. What matters is what you know and understand, not how quick…

Government Funding Can Support Applied Research

To the Editor:

I applaud your article on the need for higher federal support of agricultural research (“Farm Scientists See Ripening Opportunity for Greater Federal Support,The Chronicle, September 13). It has languished for decades, missing key opportunities to move agriculture to a more productive and sustainable trajectory. However, your analysis neglects two public R&D opportunities that are vital to future success.

U.S. history is replete with evidence that USDA and the Land Grant system …

How One Institution Puts Focus on Diversity During Hiring Process

To the Editor:

Recent letters (“Recurring Problems in Articles on Faculty Diversity,” September 12; “Without Emphasis on Diversity, Hiring Process Is Not a Meritocracy,” September 16) have debated the issue of hiring faculty for diversity. When I became provost at a very diverse public comprehensive campus, I became concerned that we had not been very intentional about linking our hiring practices to our goals for student success. To become more intentional, with the enthusiastic support of the …

Without Emphasis on Diversity, Hiring Process Is Not a Meritocracy

To the Editor:

In the letter appearing on September 12, “Recurring Problems in Articles on Faculty Diversity,” the author challenged the pursuit of faculty diversity by indicating that such a goal constitutes “thin ice” and discrimination. What is most befuddling about the letter is the author’s erroneous assumption that without the pursuit of diversity, somehow the faculty-hiring process is based on merit. The faculty-hiring process, without any specific emphasis on diversity, is not…

Recurring Problems in Articles on Faculty Diversity

To the Editor:

In the many articles that you publish on faculty diversity, there are two recurring problems.

The first is that it is seldom acknowledged that weighing race, ethnicity, and sex in employment selection and promotion is illegal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Perhaps people assume that, because the Supreme Court has recognized a “diversity” exception to the ban on racial discrimination in student admissions, the same exception must also be available in faculty hiri…

Potential Harm From Elsevier Patent Goes Beyond Open-Access Journals

To the Editor:

Your article about Elsevier’s patent for the “waterfall” model of online peer review, “Elsevier’s New Patent for Online Peer Review Throws a Scare Into Open-Source Advocates” (The Chronicle, September 1), understates the concern with the patent.  While those who advocate for open-access publishing (sometimes misleadingly referred to as “open-source” publishing) are concerned that it might harm open-access journals, the patent could just as easily be used against publishers who cha…