(Higher Ed) Mic Check. 1-2-3

April 10th, 2013


Last week I had a chance to take it to the stage. As part of an open mic night I got a few minutes to stand in front of bunch of folks being wonky and geekin’ out about the future of higher education in the States. Instead of a speech, I dropped a little Nina Simone and Digable Planets as background and asked a few questions:

Yo-Yo Ma was an English major?

Can higher education continue to support the annual, massively-televised-over-several-weeks March blacksploitation event? Or, is the madness in March simply the athletic department for the un-college movement?

Face-to-face: can a true higher education exist without it?

Why make the distinctions? Can community college students really not think beyond the boxes they’re supposed to check? And, do they really not need inspiration?

Can folks working in higher education be witness for the proposition that all children should share rooms?

Is socioeconomic status the new diversity? International?

Universal instructional design: can we really expect faculty to change course and change courses?

It’s a STEM and big data world. Time to do away with the liberal arts and their science¬† brethren?

Is mentorship over-rated?

What will cause higher education to go the way of the car industry? Are we there already?

Yo-Yo Ma was an English major, yo?!

Time to have single-payer universal gap years?

Change the drinking age?

What have you changed your mind about? What questions are you asking your self?

What’s the useless activity of higher education we must continue to pursue? Who should run universities? Are there too many of us? Is the idea of assessment just so out of date?


Could Martin Luther King and his folks have started a revolutionary movement in our time? How many followers? How many likes? How many posts? What kind of comments?

How does Bill T. Jones get you to move and think that way? Why does Toni Morrison make me look at my fears? How does Slick Rick make me catch that groove? Why is my mobile so cool. Why do I feel a kinship to beauty when I hear Johnny Hartman and Trane?

I know I can play, but can I play?

Would we have a message “for college” compelling enough for a young Malcolm Little, Angela Davis, Caesar Chavez, Lech Walesa, or Mandela.

Given today’s tools, could an activist Spring have grown up in Soweto, Beijing, Czechoslovakia, or Birmingham.

Yo-Yo Ma was an English major?

What’s your question?



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