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Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Academics extol high-minded ideals, such as serving the common good and promoting social justice. Universities aim to be centers of learning that find the best and brightest students, treat them fairly, and equip them with the knowledge they need to lead better lives.

But as Jason Brennan and Phillip Magness show in Cracks in the Ivory Tower, American universities fall far
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Tara Brabazon
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was expecting to adore this book. To cheer. To applaud. To enjoy the righteous rage.

Then I moved through the stories that commenced the book.

Oh dear.

White men trying to explain how women and scholars of colour get an easy ride, and white men are disadvantaged.

Throughout the book, a series of straw men (!!!) are assembled. Cheating. Student reviews. Tenure. Neoliberalism.

And the writers showed - shock / horror - that these situations are much more complex than explored by some scholars in
An absolute hot mess of a book. Don't waste your time.
Peter Bradley
Cracks in the Ivory Tower by Jason Brennan and Phillip Magness

Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote -

For many people, the last twenty years have exposed the incompetence of our elites. Starting in 2001, when America suffered a total intelligence breakdown to 2019, when the elites of America's elite intelligence apparatus incompetently attempted a coup against an amateur, who seemingly has handed the elites in government bureaucracy and politics
Lee Richardson
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun, academia
An interesting perspective on academia, through the lens of the incentives. The author's analyze various actors in an academic setting (professors, administrators, students, lecturers, etc.), look into the incentives these actors face, then analyze their behavior in light of these incentives.

Out of the articles I've read on the academia, this one strikes me as the most realistic. One reason for this could be that the author's have a lot of *domain knowledge* (as professors), and they couple
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this if you want to come away with a practical view of how higher education could be fixed and where it has gone wrong. It's neither "neoliberalism" nor "cultural marxism," it's simple incentives that happen to work in an especially nefarious way because they appeal to so many of our ideals about education and it's relation to achieving a better life, or even being a better person. Unfortunately, such incentives are leading young people (and their parents) to spend lots of money and go ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good one

I love it when a book aligns with my world view. I’ve had a chance to see the failures of higher ed as an employer , as an adjunct and as an advisor and board member. This book just scratches the surface. Administrative bureaucracies grow like kudzu. Students enter the workplace with little knowledge, few skills and a ton of debt. As a society, we aren’t getting our money’s worth. If someone can figure out how to fix the credentialing problem or get schools to manage their costs and stop
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
This book takes a deep look into the business ethics and the incentives that drive higher education in the United States. Definitely a dark view as you can tell from the cover. The book raises a lot of good questions for higher education worker to consider and to think if what we do is best for the students, society, and how we use our finances from taxpayers. Much change is needed and the authors paint that picture well. The book is a first step to draw attention but much more work is needed to ...more
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Jason Brennan is Assistant Professor of Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University. He is the author of The Ethics of Voting and co-author of A Brief History of Liberty. He also writes for the popular blog Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
“Professors are nerds who like to discuss nerdy things with fellow nerds.” 2 likes
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