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Campus Confidential

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A tenured prof. breaks ranks to reveal what's wrong with American higher education and how it affects you.

Professors can be underpaid. Marginalized. Over-reviewed. But one fact remains: The success of your education depends on them. Part industry expose and part call for a return to engaged teaching, Campus Confidential shows how the noble project of higher education fell
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Melville House Publishing
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Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Timely read for me, with my first kiddo going away to school this autumn and no personal experience with 4-year schools. I enjoyed the inside look at and observations of the typical college professor's education and career track. There were some definite learning points sprinkled with entertaining observations, which made this book a much more enjoyable read than I thought it would be to begin with. ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A few months back my son and I toured Rice University. He had been impressed by the pitch they had made at a college fair and wanted to learn more. The introduction session that kicked off the tour was nothing if not well-polished; the presenter was dressed in a sharp business suit, he spoke in a crisp mid-Atlantic English without a hint of twang, and numbers leaped from his tongue faster than the mind could process them. We might have been in New Haven or Palo Alto. But we left that presentatio ...more
Mark Miano
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure 1: I know Jacques Berlinerblau- our kids go to the same school.

Full disclosure 2: Jacques is coming for dinner on Sunday night. I can hardly wait to great him as “the Manfreds of Bavaria guy.”

This is an awesome read: part autobiography about Jacques’ path to becoming one of the most popular professors at Georgetown University; part translation of all the college gobbledegook (read: utter bullshit) about why one college is better than any other; and part polemic about all that is
Mugren Ohaly
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I highly recommend this book for anyone who has gone to college, plans on going to college, plans on their kids going to college, or plans on teaching in a college.
Dan Graser
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the interest of full-disclosure, I am a tenure-track faculty member of a University Music Department with a Doctorate from an elite school, and as such, many of my opinions of this work are colored by this experience.

Where Berlinerblau succeeds is in stressing the need for much better teachers among the faculty of departments in the humanities across the country. This is amusingly introduced in his opening chapter which is more of an actual campus novelette than non-fiction. Despite having gr
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book by and large insightful and readable, but I was struck by the review from another reader who said he could not figure out who its audience might be. It may be a bit helpful to families dealing with the college admissions process, but the ways in which that is true could have been covered in a relatively brief article. That would have made Berlinerblau's points more powerfully.
It's a pretty good book for people like me, but there are not many of us; I am an independent college c
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
pretty good, sometimes funny, snarky analysis of some odd and dysfunctional features of higher education and the professoriate in particular. I'm a tenured professor and department chair and have to hire adjuncts and occasionally "contingent" full-timers ["term faculty" at my school], so I am quite familiar with the issues described here. I can't entirely tell whether someone who works in a different setting would find this more informative/novel than i did, or just more confusing.

in any case, h
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This took me a couple of tries to get into - the first part of the book is written in a style that I found somewhat offputting (lots of "I'll explain this later in Chapter X", lots of odd anecdotes), but the second half of the book flows much better and shares some telling issues with undergraduate education (essentially, professors and scholars are not incentivized to teach undergrads), alongside some suggestions for improving the structure. Something of a companion piece to Dalton Jackson's ex ...more
Timothy Hoffman
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting read. This is useful if you wish to understand about how the higher education environment works for parents and students, also for faculty. It brings up some of the issues in Higher Ed and offers some solutions from the perspective of someone actually working there. The origins of some of the issues are explained in a way that makes it clear how they arose and also what various people in and outside of the environment can do about it.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A entertaining and insightful read about the inner workings and expectations of college faculty. I now am reflecting on my past college experiences and am able to understand more on what the professors I had were going through as they were either tracking towards tenure or being ground under the wheel of mass instruction duties. Timely read for me with a high school student who is preparing for college.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A straight-forward, honest look at the contemporary undergraduate experience. Berlinerblau delivers rich insight into what's working and what's not on American college campuses. Detailed and timely, this book is a mustread for scholars, practitioners, parents, and students. ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, college
Some interesting passages but ultimately disappointing.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a great read about College teaching and how you probably do not wan to go to Harvard. He was a little too repetitive, so he did not get the rare 5 star rating.
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JACQUES BERLINERBLAU, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, is the author of four books. He has appeared on radio, television, and print, including NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post. He is the host of the webcast "Faith Complex," which appears on The Huffington Post and elsew ...more

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