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William G. Tierney

Jun 21, 2021

Get Real

49 Challenges Confronting Higher Education

SUNY Press 2020

Listen to this interview of William Tierney, University Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. We talk about his book Get Real: 49 Challenges Confronting Higher Education (SUNY, 2020), about what people really believe when it comes to higher education, and also about what people need to do when it comes to higher education.

William Tierney : "Oftentimes the board and the administration and the faculty are in cahoots with one another, in the sense that the marker is only how to improve in the rankings. And you can see this when a teaching college becomes a state university, and then it will try to move away from teaching and move towards research. And a board member will feel good about that: 'Boy, I came in, and my institution was ranked 250th, and now it's a 100. We the board are doing a great job.' And what the administration will say is: 'I transformed the institution. We were 250, and now we're 100.' And the faculty will say, 'Yup, the students are better.' And all this impacts on writing centers like this: Writing centers are often seen as problems–––you know, that kids go to the writing center because they have a problem. Well, then, if we don't have writing centers, then we don't have students who have problems–––which is, of course, the exact wrong way to think about an essential skill that we need for the twenty-first century."

Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.

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