College Week

Slate Goes to College

A week of articles about higher education.

Welcome to Slate’s College Week. For the next few days, we turn our eyes to the glorious existence that is college life today. The week kicks off with a look at the state of higher ed: What should every student know by the time he or she graduates? Princeton professor Stanley N. Katz recounts the vexed history of the liberal arts curriculum, and 11 prominent academics, from K. Anthony Appiah to Alan Wolfe, reveal what they’d do if they were in charge.


Is college life as debauched as Tom Wolfe thinks? Two students report from the co-ed trenches: Laurel Wamsley, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, fills us in on library nerds and sorority gals; and Said Hyder Akbar, an Afghan-American who transferred to Yale from community college, explains how his experiences in Afghanistan have shaped his time in the Ivy League.


On Wednesday, Robert S. Boynton asks whether blogging can ruin the career of an academic. Bryan Curtis assesses college newspapers, and Douglas Wolk catches up with college radio.

Plus: David Brooks, Mark Cuban, Gish Jen, Chris Matthews, and others name the book that most mesmerized them in college. (Hint: Ayn Rand makes an appearance.)


Michael Agger unearths what students reveal about their professors online—and much more.

On this page, you can find an updated list of what we’ve posted each day. And don’t forget that you can join the discussion in the Fray by clicking on the links at the bottom of each story.


America’s Top University: Does college need to be reformed?” by Stanley N. Katz. Posted Nov. 15, 2005.

Reform School: How to reinvent higher education.” Posted Nov. 15, 2005.

My First Literary Crush: The books famous people loved in college,” Posted Nov. 15, 2005.

Carolina Blue: A Day in the Life of a Tar Heel,” by Laurel Wamsley. Posted Nov. 15, 2005.

Akbar at Yale: From Kabul to the Ivy League,” by Said Hyder Akbar. Posted Nov. 15, 2005.



Carolina Blue: Is college as debauched as Tom Wolfe thinks?,” by Laurel Wamsley. Posted Nov. 16, 2005


Attack of the Career-Killing Blogs: When academics post online, do they risk their jobs?, by Robert S. Boynton. Posted Nov. 16, 2005

Reform School, Cont’d.: How to reinvent higher education.” Posted Nov. 16, 2005.

Akbar at Yale: Will Econ Help Me Protect Afghanistan From Warlords?” by Said Hyder Akbar. Posted Nov. 16, 2005.

The Profit Chase: For-profit colleges have lots of championsand lots of problems,” by Anya Kamenetz. Posted Nov. 16, 2005.

Confessions of a College Journalist: Why aspiring writers should be allowed to fail in private,” by Bryan Curtis. Posted Nov. 16. 2005.


Reform School, Cont’d.: How to reinvent higher education.” Posted Nov. 17, 2005.

Podcast: Series editor Meghan O’Rourke talks about the ideas for college reform emerging from this week’s Slatesymposium (MP3 file).

The Death of Literary Theory: Is it really a good thing?” by Stephen Metcalf. Posted Nov. 17, 2005.

The Hottest Professor on Campus: What happens when students rate their teachers online,” by Michael Agger. Posted Nov. 17, 2005.

College Radio: What’s changed—and what hasn’t,” by Douglas Wolk. Posted Nov. 17, 2005.