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April 7, 2019

Higher Ed: Ethics, Authenticity and Education – Takeaways From The College Admissions Scandal

By: Jennifer Stayton

Allegations of cheating and bribery in connection with college admissions have brought renewed scrutiny to just how that process works. In this episode of the KUT podcast “Higher Ed,” KUT’s Jennifer Stayton talks with Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger to get his response to the story and his take on maintaining integrity in the process.

Ed says the accusations made in connection with alleged cheating at some universities in the United States raise several concerns for him.

“First, there’s just an ethical question,” says Ed, “about boy, what are we teaching young people today about doing the right thing and living good lives?”

Ed says secondly, the situation sends a disturbing message about using shortcuts to get ahead.

“There’s an issue about the value of hard work,” Ed adds, “and setting goals and realizing those goals when that’s possible. And when it’s not possible, to learn from that and realize other goals.”

Ed also has a very visceral response to the allegations from the point of view of an educator.

“My emotional reaction is one of offense,” says Ed. “It’s because, how do these families who are accused of these things, of this behavior – how do they define what formal education means? By their alleged actions, they’re defining formal education as a piece of paper.”

Ed strongly believes what formal education delivers to students does not depend on the “name” of the school.

“Education should be an individualized experience,” Ed says. “Even when you look at some of these generic rankings, they have certain metrics but they’re not measuring for an individual human being. And that’s why there are so many schools out there and that’s why there are so many people at those variety of schools. It’s important to pick the best fit.”

Listen to the full episode for more on how students can discern that best fit. Also, the puzzler is back after an extended Spring Break. Who is our guest puzzle provider for the next few episodes? Listen on to find out!

This episode was recorded on April 2, 2019.


December 15, 2019

Higher Ed: Holding On Tight Is Easier Than Letting Go. Why We Need To Learn How To Do Both Well.

As Dr. Ed Burger prepares to leave Southwestern University to become President and Chief Executive Officer of St. David’s Foundation in Austin, Texas, he and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton discuss the art of letting go, as they wrap up the KUT podcast “Higher Ed.” Ed says “letting go” in the workplace starts with a pretty straightforward […]


December 8, 2019

Higher Ed: Learning From Failure (And Then Letting It Go)

In the very first episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton talked about the importance of failure to learning. Has any thinking changed about that concept in the past five years? Ed says he has greater clarity now than he had five years ago about one […]


November 24, 2019

Higher Ed: Be Grateful For The Frustration That Can Come With Learning. You’ll Learn From That, Too.

“Thank you” may not always be the words that come to mind when struggling through a difficult lesson or dealing with a mountain of homework in school. But in this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton discuss the role that gratitude can play in learning […]