November 23, 2016

The Chronicle Interviews

Brian Taylor
Conversations about higher education

The corporate outsider as college president has become a faculty boogeyman, but Scott Beardsley, dean of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, can defend him (yes, usually him).

Moises Serrano tells the story of his unlikely journey to college in a new documentary film, "Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America."

Before Daniel Weiss ran the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he was a college president. What does he know now that he wished he knew then?

Newly retired as Purdue University’s enrollment chief, Pamela Horne reflects on the importance of explaining all that data — and the value of college.

In a new book, the astrophysicist Mario Livio explores the nature of curiosity and its “irresistible appeal.”

After befriending a janitor at Georgetown University, Febin Bellamy engaged the help of his classmates to recognize and humanize the “Unsung Heroes” who keep colleges running.

A sociologist at the University of Louisville describes what colleges need to do to graduate more black males.

In the wake of yet another hazing death, a woman whose son died nine years ago in a similar ordeal reflects on what has and has not changed since she became an activist.

Nancy Zimpher, who steps down in June as chancellor of the State University of New York, says that rather than focusing on the lack of state funding, public-college officials should be talking about how higher education can do a better job.

An academic who wrote a book on single mothers in college describes the struggles such women face and recalls her own experience getting a Ph.D. as an unmarried mom.

A co-founder of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy warns artificial-intelligence luminaries that if technological-unemployment trends continue, "the people will rise up before the machines do."

Zachary Wood wants to ensure that conservative voices are heard along with progressive ones at Williams College. His classmates don’t always agree.

A $250,000 prize highlights how positive disobedience encourages creativity and change.

Hungary’s bid to shut down the institution is part of a larger battle that pits the cosmopolitan values of liberal democracy against an ascendant wave of nationalist authoritarianism in Europe and elsewhere.

The first woman to lead one of the nation’s elite military institutions says the way to improve campus climate is to "be open to being uncomfortable."

Eugenia Cheng, an accomplished pianist, mathematician, and YouTube personality, proposes that learning advanced math has value beyond calculating your mortgage.

Carol Swain, a political scientist and a Christian conservative, is retiring early from teaching a year after Vanderbilt students called her a bigot and petitioned for her suspension.

A higher-education researcher knows that determination is just one of the ingredients low-income students need to have a shot at succeeding in college.

The author of a recent book on transgender college students worries about Trump's rollback of Obama-era protections and advocates moving beyond "best practices" for inclusion.

The author of a new book on for-profit higher education says the industry takes advantage of the slack in the labor market.

Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington, faced criticism after declining to block Milo Yiannopoulos from her campus. She talks to The Chronicle about free speech, tolerance, and student safety.

When the 130-year-old Virginia Intermont College had to shut its doors, an executive business consultant stepped in to settle its affairs.

Michael Mann has been fighting climate-change deniers since the late 1990s. Now he’s telling his fellow scientists to warm up for a new round of attacks.

Would the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee consider trading his teaching gigs for one more political run? Not a chance.

A campus activist reflects on how sexual-assault survivors organized to change the discussion under the Obama administration and how they plan to meet the challenges under President Trump.

George Ciccariello-Maher, the Drexel University professor who caused a furor by tweeting "All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide," says academe must brace for the fight of its life.

After going a few rounds in the political arena, Penn’s Zeke Emanuel wants to turn academics loose on crucial international issues.

Rage over racial, gender, and sexual identity has no sense of proportion and creates a damaging spectacle, says Mark Lilla, a professor of humanities at Columbia University.

The cultural challenges of first-generation students, says M. Sonja Ardoin, aren’t easily resolved — even years later, when as faculty members they’re asked, "What wine will you have?"

The white supremacist Richard Spencer sees college campuses as an important recruiting ground and hopes to visit "all the major ones."

Charles C. Camosy, an associate professor of theology at Fordham University, talks about why academics are out of touch and what they should do about it.

Anna Deavere Smith, master of documentary theater, talks about personal narrative, empathy, and colleges’ potential to reach vulnerable students and to disrupt cliques.

A University of California professor who just wrote a book about public higher education in shambles talks about restoring support, kludging administrators, and California noir.

Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College, reflects on student demands, inauthentic bánh mì, and the tumultuous final years of his decade-long term.