Today in academia: Columbia's dean resigns, for profit colleges bust, Princeton bans freshman rush and the quixotic commencement campaign for Don Draper.
- The dean of Columbia abruptly resigned right before the school year started. Michele M. Moody-Adams, who had been at the school since 2009, seems to have left because, as the Times relayed from her Saturday email, the "university had begun to 'transform the administrative structure' of the faculty of arts and sciences, compromising her authority over 'crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters.'" She originally planned to leave at the end of the year but Columbia's president said that an interim dean would be found immediately. [The New York Times]
- Princeton will ban freshman-year fraternity/sorority rush. Next year. The university, reports its student paper, will ban freshmen from rushing a fraternity or sorority starting in Fall 2012. The idea, it seems, is to get more freshmen involved in things other than frats from the get-go. The school's president Shirley M. Tilghman wrote that the decision was motivated "by a conviction that social and residential life at Princeton should continue to revolve around the residential colleges, the eating clubs, and the shared experience of essentially all undergraduates living and dining on campus." In other words, fraternity rush can wait until sophomore year. [The Daily Princetonian]
- More students are thinking that for-profit colleges aren't worth it. Places like Devry University, Corinthian Colleges and University of Phoenix are seeing a precipitous decline in enrollment. There's also been that Justice Department attention recently. As The Journal reported: "New-student enrollments have plunged—in some cases by more than 45%—in recent months, reflecting two factors: Companies have pulled back on aggressive recruiting practices amid criticism over their high student-loan default rates. And many would-be students are questioning the potential pay-off for degrees..." [The Wall Street Journal via Gawker]
- A 75-point list explaining the world to people who don't understand college freshmen. There's a Beloit college in Wisconsin that releases an annual list detailing, sometimes awkwardly, how the world looks to these young adults. For the Class of 2015, a typical example would be: "Dial-up is soooooooooo last century!" Or: "Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents." Less than half of the bullet points are amusing, but they may make you feel old anyway. [Associated Press]
- These undergrads only want to see Jon Hamm as Donald Draper. To be fair, the students who made a video plea for the Draper the character (as opposed to Hamm the actor) to speak at their graduation attend an advertising school in Atlanta. Their video went viral this week, in part because they enlisted actual ad execs to solicit Hamm to appear as Draper. It's inventive enough to merit a click. [Jezebel, Time Newsfeed]