Historical Perspective on Confederate Monuments

You know I love to take a historical perspective on issues. Here is some from the Southern Poverty Law center, showing when monuments were erected (click to zoom).


And here is a video to explain that most of the rewriting of history occurred about a century ago and that the only issue is that it took us so long to begin correcting history as depicted in our public spaces. Besides that it is an excellent example of how essential historical thinking is to resolving present-day debates (for a longer example, see this book).

Lessons for LSU from UK Higher Ed

A great essay in The Guardian by Jonathan Wolff makes a point Louisianians need to pay attention to. A link to the essay appears below, but to translate the British jargon into ours, universities now derive so much of their revenue from tuition and fees in contrast to direct appropriation by their state governments that their ability to plan on the basis of financial stability has never been lower. In the UK:

A university that misses its recruitment target by 100 students finds itself almost £1m down for each of the next three years. It has, therefore, seemed prudent for universities to drive up their operating surplus, to create a greater contingency against falling income. But how is that to be done? Only through financial discipline and tight management.

We have drifted into a system in which universities have to mimic tough business practices simply in order to survive. Luckily, most universities are held together by a core of academics and support staff who preserve the authentic values of teaching and research. But goodwill has limits.

Read the rest via Everything must be measured: how mimicking business taints universities | Jonathan Wolff | Education | The Guardian.

State Rankings

According to Gallup, which divided states into five tiers on the basis of quality of life, I’ve lived in states across the gamut: a top tier, a third tier, and (currently) a bottom tier. So far, anyway.

Happy Mardi Gras 2017!

Here are some photos from the Krew of Orpheus last night, Lundi Gras, including one of Harry Connick Jr. throwing my girls some beads.


Results of Louisiana Professor Survey

Sorry that I’ve been too busy to post much since going on sabbatical last semester, but the release of results of the survey of Louisiana Profs at the last Faculty Senate meeting spurs me to action and perhaps will get me back in the blogging habit.

Here is the disturbing news that prompts this post. A large number of profs responded to the survey, something like 575. So now we know that 72%  are actively looking to leave their current position, 71% would not encourage anyone else to accept a position at a Louisiana university, and 61% would leave the state for a position that paid less/lower rank if it included the prospect of raises.