higher ed

Higher Ed: Resiliency Of The System Tested in 2018-2019 School Year

The 2018-2019 school year saw allegations of cheating in college admissions in the “Operation Varsity Blues” case. Rising tuition costs and student debt levels have the attention of several 2020 presidential hopefuls. In this episode of the KUT podcast “Higher Ed,” KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the state of higher education in 2019.

Ed acknowledges in many ways 2018-2019 was a difficult school year. He says cost is always a concern and has more recently called into question the viability of the higher education business model.

“Is this industry as it is currently crafted a sustainable and viable thing?” Ed asks. “We know through the news over the past year the answer is no because we have seen many schools, some of them with high profile names, that have announced that they’re not going to be taking any more students and they’re going to close up.”

Ed says that business model has always seemed like a scary investment for many families because the costs are high and the results are not immediate.

“We’re talking about future value. We’re talking about future opportunities which I can’t tell you right now,” says Ed. “If you say ‘Oh, Ed I’m going to enroll in Southwestern University. Tell me exactly what’s going to happen to me.’ I can’t.”

But Ed says despite ups and downs over time, liberal arts has just about always delivered on its promise to help students become their best selves if they make that investment.

“Most importantly, you have to trust yourself,” Ed suggests. “You have to say ‘I have the confidence to realize that I am going to evolve over time’ and to be open to that growth and to be open to that change and to be open for that evolution.”

Ed says, though, despite the scandals and concerns of the past year, he has seen some bright spots. He points to inreasing support on campuses around the country for students after the admission process once they have arrived. Ed also sees more efforts to bring equity to campus programs such as internships.

Listen to the episode for Ed’s take on the health of higher education in 2019. It is also time for a new puzzler. No math is needed for this one; it is pure story and some sleuthing.

This episode was recorded on April 23, 2019.

Texas Standard: January 15, 2019

The nation’s first execution of 2019 is set for today. But it won’t happen. The Texas court of criminal appeals orders a second look at bite mark evidence used in a murder trial, we’ll have more. Also, the political committee behind the upset victory of democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a new objective: to topple a veteran congressman from Texas who’s a fellow democrat. We’ll hear why. Plus, is the shutdown saving the government money? An expert does the math and more today on the Texas Standard:

Higher Ed: Respecting Young Learners

Students and young scholars may not have had as much time in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean their work lacks insight, value and rigor. In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the valuable contributions younger learners can make, and how society can better regard and embrace their thinking. Recent political and social movements have originated and flourished under the initiative and leadership of young people. Does society take the work and thinking of young people as seriously as it should? Ed and Jennifer discuss how society tends to treat young people, and what we may be missing by not paying more attention to their efforts. Ed argues that young people can actually bring a fresh and innovative approach to matters that should not be underestimated. Listen on for the full episode and to get the latest math teaser. It’s a “homemade” puzzler courtesy of Ed that will challenge thinkers of all ages.

This episode was recorded Feb. 28, 2018.

Texas Standard: July 11, 2017

20 items: a lot for state lawmakers to do in one month of a special session. But with days before it starts, they’re adding to their workload. We’ll have the lowdown. Plus, for many small Texas communities, Walmart’s the biggest game in town. But what happens when the big box store shutters its doors? Today, a tale of two cities. And when the Texas governor sent the guard to the border, he didn’t mean the Rio Grande. The Red River rivalry that almost became a literal war between the states. And why if you’re a Texan, we bet you haven’t heard about it. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Higher Ed: What’s Hot in Higher Ed These Days

Every once in awhile it makes sense to take a step or two back and look at the “big picture” of anything. You know: how are things going in general? What are the latest trends? What are the biggest challenges? What about the greatest joys? In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger take that big picture view of what’s happening in higher ed these days. Some issues – affordability and access, for example – seem to be on the minds of those in higher ed perpetually. Other issues – such as the utility and impact of technology – definitely change with the times.  Listen on to hear Ed and Jennifer discuss what’s hot – both the old and the new – in higher ed. You’ll also hear the latest puzzler; be ready with some math and mapping skills.

This episode was recorded on January 19, 2017.

Higher Ed: Leadership – Can It Be Taught and Learned?

This 2016 election season has a lot of people talking about leadership: what qualities do we want in a leader, and what kind of experiences can prepare someone to lead? In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about whether leadership can be taught and learned, or if someone people are just “born leaders.” Listen on for Ed and Jen’s discussion about the role education can play in preparing someone to be a leader. You’ll also get the newest puzzler. Bonus this week: it’s in 3D (but no glasses needed!).

This episode was recorded on August 10, 2016.

Higher Ed: Grade Inflation

A…..B……C…. at the end of the school year, many students are eager to see their final grades. But what is the real value of those grades? What happens when higher and higher grades are awarded for work that may not actually be that much better? In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton explore the phenomenon of grade inflation. Ed and Jennifer have talked before about what grades actually mean and measure. In this episode, they explore the implications of grade inflation and some possible alternatives to the current, traditional grading system. You’ll also get the solution to the most recent puzzler involving digits, =, and + . Hint: sometimes a digit is not just a digit.

This episode was recorded May 16, 2016.

Higher Ed: Roles and Responsibilities of Higher Ed

What are the roles and responsibilities of higher education – if any – in resolving growing inequality in the US and globally? That provocative question from a listener prompted KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger to explore the roles and responsibilities of higher ed in general for this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed. Ed and Jennifer talk about the role of higher ed in training and preparing students to tackle all manner of tough issues nationally and around the world. Should higher ed teach what to think? Or how to think? On a lighter note, pass the mangoes; listen on to find out the solution to last episode’s puzzler with ten friends, ten mangoes, and a mango to spare.

This episode was recorded on March 28, 2016.