FutureU, Ep. 111: NYU Prof, ACT Scores, Senate vs. College

FutureU hosts Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn recap a series of highlights from the past several weeks that include the firing off an NYU professor, the coverage of declining ACT scores, and whether it’s better to serve in the U.S. Senate or as a university president.

The discussion touched on grade inflation and student expectations in the wake of NYU’s firing of organic chemistry professor  Maitland Jones Jr. after students circulated a petition about his tough grading standards. In a critique of coverage about declining ACT scores, Selingo noted that most stories failed to mention that the number of students taking the college entrance test remains well below pre-pandemic levels and that many universities still give students the option of skipping the ACT and SAT.

Pointing to Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, who is resigning his seat to become president of the University of Florida, Selingo commented on the difficulties that universities have in finding the right match for the job. “If perfection is our goal, we are likely to find only pretty uninspiring presidents with little tolerance to take risks when our institutions kind of need transformational leadership right now with people who are willing to experiment with innovative ideas, many of which will
never succeed,” he said.

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