Extra Credit: Be afraid of University, Inc.—and what it will do to your favorite garden

Your weekend reading list

Emily Hatton's reads

Astronomy, astrology, and amplitude, oh my! A new survey from Pew Research Center gives a snapshot of what science Americans understand—and what we struggle with, such as the determining factor of a sound wave's loudness. How do you stack up against your peers? Take the quiz—but don't worry if you miss a few, only 6% of respondents got a perfect score.

College students: the next voting block? Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul is turning to students—notorious for their low turn-out rates—in an attempt to secure Iowa in the caucuses. Paul, who plans to attend the University of Iowa-Iowa State University football game Saturday, said his campaign aims to sign up at least 10,000 students in the state.

Emily's recent post:
Six campus kickoff traditions

Kristin Tyndall's reads

We should be afraid of University, Inc., says New York Times Magazine. What are the signs of University, Inc.? A research park with ugly buildings that will displace the writer's favorite garden. Large administrative staffs doing jobs the writer doesn't understand (and makes no effort to). Title IX existing and students using it to make complaints. "Our campuses are … simultaneously too safe and too dangerous," concludes the author.

He won the academic "Hunger Games"—and then walked away from it all. Oliver Lee achieved what seems nearly impossible these days: landing a tenure-track job at a large, state university at just 29 years old. But then came the office politics. And the students watching "Breaking Bad" during lectures. And then the worst—Lee lost his faith. After 20 years in academia, Lee is finally getting out. He leaves with departing thoughts about how higher education is broken and what it will take to fix it.

Dan Diamond's read

Academics are being hoodwinked into writing books no one wants to buy. A writer in the Guardian—going only by the name "anonymous academic"—says that greedy publishers are out to lure professors to write expensive books that almost no one (except libraries) end up buying or reading.

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The fastest-growing majors since the recession

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