Extra Credit: What critics of the liberal arts don't understand about the liberal arts

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Kristin Tyndall's read

Critics of the liberal arts often misunderstand a lot about the discipline, Cecilia Gaposchkin argues in The Conversation. In this robust and holistic defense of the liberal arts, Gaposchkin clears up common misunderstandings about the approach. She reminds readers that a case can be made for studying the humanities not only for their personal and intellectual value, but also for their practical and economic value. Whole industries—and those "tech" jobs of the future—rely on people with humanist skills, Gaposchkin points out. As someone with both an advanced humanities degree and a career, this article had me cheering by the end.

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Universities on the brink of crisis could end the Illinois budget gridlock

Emily Hatton's reads

Student-athletes are getting work done on the field and in the classroom. More Division 1 athletes are graduating than ever before, 86% to be exact. The NCAA released its Graduation Success Rate—which takes into account transfer students—this week, noting the two percentage point climb over last year's. While 90% of white student-athletes graduate (a one point increase from last year), African-American student-athletes' rate grew three percentage points to 73%.

Northwestern University's frozen campus served as inspiration for the Wall in "Game of Thrones," author George R.R. Martin said at a recent visit to the school.  His freshman year he survived Chicago's infamous 1967 blizzard—when 23 inches of snow fell within 48 hours. As people shoveled paths around campus, 10-foot-high snow walls began to tower over pedestrians and freeze into solid ice. "I remember walking through the trenches and the tunnels of ice, the wind blowing so you couldn't even see. It's an experience that never left me," he said. Having spent five winters in the area, I can tell you Castle Black's climate isn't too far off.  


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