Healthcare for the lucky ones among us.

I am definitely one of the lucky ones: senior citizen with no chronic ailments and with access to Medicare and private insurance. I can choose my doctors (sort of) and usually do not have to wait a long time for appointments. Thinking about fellow citizens who are uninsured or under-insured, I took time to add …

Coronavirus: an opportunity to change course.

Daily news reports highlight areas of our society on which we should have focused well before disaster struck: HEALTH CARE: the heroic efforts of thousands of healthcare workers cannot fill the gaps we have accepted for decades: uninsured and under-insured families; the high costs of hospitalization and prescription drugs; the evident imbalance between ever more …

Reflections on missed opportunities.

From coast to coast, colleagues at different types of institutions report struggles as they adapt pedagogies, supporting materials, and communication with students to distance teaching. These reports bring back memories of the mid-1990s. In 19944-1995, a bipartisan group of governors in the Mountain West came togethet to envision the future of their respective states. They …

America and the Gun Culture.

With many friends, colleagues, and neighbors in the past couple of years I have participated in forums, marches, and vigils to honor victims of gun violence and to protest against the influence of the arms industry, and its principal lobbyist, the NRA, on our elected officials. I will probably continue to participate in such activities. …

Re-reading Julien Benda’s La trahison des clercs

What do student debt, originalist interpretations of the American Constitution, TV drug advertisements, and wars of choice have in common? Separately and in various combinations they are doing serious damage to contemporary American society. Citizens who feel the impact of these trends try to understand them, and often they ask for relief. But who will take …

On stepping out of the bubble

My husband Ben was insatiably curious about the world we live in. Before he died in 2011 he had traveled to 150 countries. I lagged far behind. At his urging, I traveled to Egypt, returning home just a few days before the revolution in Tahrir Square shut down Cairo airport. When I finally decided to …

Accreditation Blues

It took a long time to redefine the purposes of college and university accreditation, but we are doing it. The “we” are not the accreditation agencies or the major professional associations that speak for higher education. The change agents are a loose coalition of state and federal government agencies, some members of Congress, and the …

Fighting ISIS

More than twenty years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the universities, military academies, and specialized institutes of which we are so proud seem incapable of educating graduates well equipped to understand the world of the 21st century. There are striking parallels between the language our “experts” used during the Cold War and the …

On being a founding trustee

Last week I spoke with a professional writer and editor charged with ghost writing a history of Western Governors University. I became  involved with this project in 1995, at the invitation of Fife Symington III, then Governor of Arizona.  As a founding trustee of the new university from 1996 to 2006. I enjoyed an extraordinary …