Rank #1: Higher Ed: A Waste of Money and Time?
The dismal science has more bad news for American higher education. Economist Bryan Caplan’s new book, The Case Against Education, finds that a college degree is valuable not because college imparts knowledge, but because it signals certain qualities to future employers. But it doesn't have to be this way. If policymakers and trustees want to make higher education worth the investment, they’ll have to make reforms that increase graduation rates, reduce the opportunity cost of attending college, and ensure that students are graduating with real knowledge and valuable skills. Tune in to hear more about the ways that colleges are failing to deliver a quality education at an affordable price.
Feb 26 2018
Rank #2: Phil Magness and Jason Brennan: Cracks in Higher Ed's Ivory Tower
ACTA's Erik Gross serves up a conversation with Jason Brennan and Phillip Magness, the authors of "Cracks In the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education." Their microeconomic approach to analyzing the adversities plaguing today's colleges and universities lays out a gripping narrative that is sure to challenge orthodoxies in the Academy.
Sep 03 2019
Rank #3: A Budget Balance for Trustees and Policymakers
Dec 07 2017
Rank #4: Culture, Confidence, and Consumerism in Higher Ed
Financial pressures and technological innovations all contribute to an unpredictable higher education landscape, but these obstacles can also present opportunities to make a college degree more affordable and accessible. How can should trustees balance the bottom line while keeping their institutions true to their educational missions? The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Senior Reporter and Editor Goldie Blumenstyk shares three decades of journalistic insight on the business of higher education in this episode of Higher Ed Now. From MOOCs to competency-based instruction, Goldie explores the trends shaping the future of colleges across the country.
Nov 01 2017
Rank #5: Academic Freedom Under Attack: A Conversation with Amy Wax
Even after more than a year of weathering intense criticism and professional censure for airing her controversial views in public, University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Amy Wax remains as engaging, outspoken, and unapologetic as ever. Whether you agree or disagree with her viewpoints, her wit and sharp intellect fuel a provocative dialogue on academic freedom that will endure for years to come.
Jun 05 2019
Rank #6: Robert Kelchen: Exploring Higher Ed Accountability
Seton Hall University Professor Robert Kelchen explores higher ed accountability, and explains how accreditation practices, private-sector interests, and internal requirements have become so important to institutional success and survival.
Feb 11 2019
Rank #7: Getting Philanthropic Returns
What do philanthropists and investors have in common? A lot more than you’d think. A new generation of “venture philanthropists” are looking for real results when it comes to supporting American higher education. To consider both sides of the investor/philanthropist mindset, Mark Grovic of New Markets Venture Partners and Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill, executive director of the Fund for Academic Renewal, discuss how to consider specific issues in higher education that are ripe for innovative philanthropists to target for giving.
Jun 05 2018
Rank #8: Kyler Gray: A Student's Impact on Higher Ed Governance
Kyler Gray, a rising senior at the University of Central Florida, is an emerging higher education leader. On top of full time studies, he serves as the president of the UCF student body, CEO of the Student Government Association, *and* as the sole student member of the university's Board of Trustees -- representing 68,000 students in the UCF community. We sat down with Kyler to explore his passion, vision, and experiences in governance on the ground at a major public institution.
Aug 22 2019
Rank #9: Samuel Abrams and Paul Levy: Academic Freedom Under Attack
When Professor Samuel Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times in October 2018, he didn't expect a stunning backlash from students, faculty and administrators. The episode has become one of the hottest touchpoints in the national conversation on academic freedom and viewpoint diversity. In this podcast, Abrams joins former University of Pennsylvania trustee Paul Levy and ACTA president Michael Poliakoff for a penetrating discussion on the threats that campus monocultures pose to freedom of expression, reasonable debate and dialogue in higher education.
Apr 15 2019
Rank #10: Jonathan Zimmerman: Liberating the Liberal Arts
Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of History of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools, joins ACTA’s Erik Gross to discuss the decline of civic education, the history and purpose of higher education, college costs, and more.
Jan 16 2019
Rank #11: Demystifying Accreditation with Third Way
Many people have expressed dissatisfaction with American higher education. But students and taxpayers don’t know about the oblique system responsible for ensuring quality at colleges across the country. Accreditation is the key to understanding the problems ensnaring higher ed. Third Way’s Higher Education Senior Policy Advisor Michael Itzkowitz joins ACTA President Michael Poliakoff to demystify this strange regulator that influences so many of the problems within American universities.
Jan 30 2018
Rank #12: Meaningful Professions, Meaningful Lives: Dr. Fred Beuttler and the Liberal Arts
Is there really a disjunct between the world of the practical and the world of the liberal arts? Dr. Fred Beuttler, guiding light of the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies of the University of Chicago, certainly doesn't think so. In this episode he returns to ACTA for an illuminating conversation with Michael Poliakoff.
Aug 02 2019
Rank #13: Manu Meel: Students Bridging the Political Divide
Manu Meel, a rising senior at the University of California Berkeley who serves as the CEO for Bridges USA, discusses how students can reform our political culture by bringing constructive discourse back to our college campuses.
Jun 20 2019
Rank #14: CollegePoint: A Launchpad for Student Success
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the innovative CollegePoint program is giving thousands of high-achieving, low- and moderate-income high school students the individualized support they need to navigate the college application and financial aid process. We sat down with Jenny Sharfstein Kane of Bloomberg Philanthropies to explore how it works.
Sep 22 2019
Rank #15: What Will They Learn? Preparing Students for the 21st Century Marketplace
Now in its 10th year, What Will They Learn is one of ACTA’s most courageous and groundbreaking initiatives. It takes a penetrating look at more than 1,100 colleges and universities, grading how effective they are in delivering a comprehensive liberal arts education that equips students to succeed in the global marketplace and civic life. Listen in as Elliott Cole engages program leaders Megan Riethmiller and Nathaniel Urban, along with ACTA's president Michael Poliakoff, to examine how What Will They Learn cuts through the dense verbiage of course catalogs and boldly shows what really matters in higher education.
Dec 04 2018
Rank #16: Finance and Affordability: The Economic Drivers in Higher Ed
Why is college so expensive? This deceptively simple question troubles students, parents, and policymakers alike. Barring large changes to the educational landscape, what can trustees do lead their institutions to embrace technological innovations and financial reforms that will make college more affordable and transparent for those pursuing the American Dream? American Enterprise Institute scholars Jason Delisle and Preston Cooper join Higher Ed Now to offer a few takes on what drives rising tuition costs and burdensome student loan balances. Can the market provide financial mechanisms that will make educational quality more transparent? Should the government utilize performance-based funding while also incentivizing open access admission policies? Jason and Preston’s creative solutions and surprising research will have listeners asking big-picture questions about higher education policy and where it’s headed.
Nov 29 2017
Rank #17: Sean Decatur, Kenyon College President
Sean Decatur, President of Kenyon College, sat down for a skype interview with ACTA's Erik Gross (a Kenyon alumnus) to talk about the virtues and benefits of a liberal arts education, and how his experience as a scientist influences his leadership of a liberal arts institution.
Feb 21 2019
Rank #18: David Corey: Reinvigorating Liberal Education
David Corey, Professor of Political Science at Baylor University, drives a dialogue with ACTA's Michael Poliakoff and Erik Gross about the vital qualities of liberal education, the lessons offered by the classics, and how to teach and model rational discourse for students.
Jul 01 2019
Rank #19: Kai Fox: Igniting Change on Campus With Students for Free Expression
Kai Fox, a rising junior at American University who serves as CEO for Students for Free Expression, outlines his group's mission to build a student-led community to drive a culture of free speech and viewpoint diversity on college campuses across the U.S.
May 09 2019
Rank #20: Abigail & John: American History Profoundly Portrayed in a Children's Book
The loving partnership of Abigail and John Adams played a remarkable role in shaping America's founding and history. ACTA joins the Grateful American Foundation and the Supreme Court Historical Society to celebrate the release of a new children's book exploring the narrative of our nation's most influential early couple.
Oct 08 2019