Archive for January, 2016

Harvard Leveling the Playing Field

January 25, 2016

The New York Times, January 15, 2016

How Some Would Level the Playing Field:  Free Harvard Degrees, by Stephanie Saul

“Should Harvard be free?

That is the provocative question posed by a slate of candidates running for the Board of Overseers at Harvard, which helps set strategy for the university.  They say Harvard makes so much money from its $37.6 billion endowment that it should stop charging tuition to undergraduates…”

Another provocative question: Does Harvard short change Asian-Americans in admissions?

“Their argument is that if Harvard were free, more highly qualified students from all backgrounds would apply, and the university would no longer have trouble balancing its class for racial or ethnic diversity–making sure that Asian-Americans do not lose out.”

A playing field that is tilted, not level, is not fair to the players.  Harvard is trying to balance its classes for racial or ethnic diversity.

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U.S. Iran Deals, Higher Hurdle Awaits: Syria

January 22, 2016

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, January 19, 2016

After U.S., Iran Strike Deals, Higher Hurdle Awaits: Syria, by Carol E. Lee

“The prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Iran, coinciding with the completion of the nuclear deal, marked milestones in President Barack Obama’s policy of engagement, but ones that will be difficult to repeat as he turns to the next challenge: resolving the conflict in Syria.

With the clock winding down on the Obama administration, election-year politics in Washington and Tehran make prospects for additional cooperation deeply uncertain…

But any further advancement in Mr. Obama’s engagement policy, including on Syria, faces significant hurdles.”

At track meets, hurdles for runners and high jumpers are set at heights to test the abilities of the runner.   Higher hurdles are more difficult as implied in the headline above;  a higher hurdle awaits Syria diplomacy.