Where are the students? Napping in a tanning bed.

Alison Bruzek at NPR delivers the sad news thanks to research reported in JAMA Dermetology:

Half of the top 125 U.S. colleges and universities listed in US News and World Report have indoor tanning facilities either on campus or in nearby student-focused housing, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA Dermatology, a journal of the American Medical Association.

Half. So much for all of that research linking tanning to cancer.


University of Pennsylvania offers a course on wasting time on the Internet

I’m not making this up. This gigantic insult to tuition parents will be taught by Kenneth Goldsmith.

From the course description:

Students will be required to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs. To bolster our practice, we’ll explore the long history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting through critical texts about affect theory,


Unpacking the Fraud at North Carolina

Libby Nelson at Vox.Com does a great job taking apart the larger issues behind the huge scandal at the University of North Carolina. Apparently the school had plenty of no-show classes for the athletes. Here’s my favorite part:

The most striking thing from the detailed report on university wrongdoing is that Bonny Crowder is portrayed as both the mastermind of a vast and appalling fraud scheme and as a woman who genuinely believed she had students’ best interests at heart.

And I think this is true up and down the academy. Everyone thinks they’ve got the students best interests at heart when they add another climbing wall or fancy dorm or library complex. And as nice as these additions are,  they mean a huge debt on the backs of the students and the taxpayer.


Where the tuition goes: lazy river rides

This can’t be beat. Wait. Why do I say things like that? Of course the college industrial complex will find a way to spend even more on worthless extravagances. But at least we can retire the climbing walls as a goto reason for why the tuition is climbing through the roof.

Courtney Rubin at the NY Times reports on the new water parks and aquatic centers appearing at campuses around the country.

When Louisiana State University surveyed students in 2009 to find out what they most wanted in their new recreation complex, one feature beat out even massage therapy: a lazy river.

But with dozens of schools (including some of its Southeastern Conference rivals) building the water rides, the university had to do one better: When its lazy river is finished in 2016, it will spell out the letters “LSU” in the school’s signature Geaux font.

The photos are astounding! Kiss your tuition checks good bye.


Time for a break

I’m reaching a point in some difficult projects where I need to devote extra attention. So I’ll be posting rarely, if at all, for a while. Thanks to all of loyal readers for your comments and messages. The good news is that this is not a new topic anymore. Most of the press get the problem and there are others addressing it, some with the aggression it needs.