At long last, it’s officially spring—even if it’s supposed to snow today! While much of the country is stricken with March Madness, I’ve personally never been into it. However, for the record, the one time I did fill out a bracket in college (loosely based on which mascots would be triumphant in a battle to the death), I won the pool. And for a brief, shining moment, Holy Cross was even on its way to victory—the team ultimately lost, but only by ten points so it still felt like a win.
If you haven’t called in sick with March Madness, scroll through the updates from our corner of the higher ed world this week.
What’s new this week:
NASPA President Kevin Kruger authored a piece for Times Higher Education on why U.S. colleges and universities should be promoting soft skills.
The Chronicle looked at women’s leadership in higher education and highlighted California State University San Marcos President Karen Haynes.
Drake University’s Vice President for Admission and Student Financial Planning Tom Delahunt was quoted in a Mainstreet article on deciphering confusing financial aid award letters.
What we’ve been talking about:
Kristine Maloney offered advice on what pitfalls to avoid when using Twitter as a pitching tool.
What we’ve been reading:
Teresa Valerio Parrot
Read this on my airplane ride to Washington, DC for the ACE annual meeting and it made me wonder about the implications for colleges and universities now and in the future. An interesting read to say the least.
And it’s interesting to see conversations on banning campus speakers, and discussions of free speech and academic freedom being debated in other countries, too. 
Kristine Maloney
I’m a huge public radio fanatic, so this week I’m veering slightly off of the ‘what I’m reading’ theme by sharing an impactful “listening” piece from This American Life that captivated me over the weekend. One of my favorite reporters, Chana Joffe-Walt, shares what happens when students from the country’s poorest Congressional district visit an elite private school just three miles away. The piece is an infuriating and heartbreaking look at the disparities in educational opportunities in this country and their long-term effects, told by the public school students who took that three-mile field trip and saw what they were missing.
And in the “what I’m watching” this week category is Monday’s episode of Jon Oliver’s Last Week Tonight which centered around March Madness and some of the unflattering realities of college sports. In his hypothetical way, he highlights some major shortcomings of big time college athletic programs and made me feel a little guilty about my bracket obsession.
Erin Hennessy
Here’s my contribution to your March Madness reading and watching list: Mental Floss explains the 68 mascots we’ll see on the sidelines during the tournament. Oh, and GO NOVA!
Ali Lincoln
I was drawn in by the headline of this piece, “A Yelp for Teachers,” and it was a pretty interesting read. Any Yelp review should be read with a grain of salt—there’s always going to be someone who had a terrible experience and wants to complain publicly about it.
I was also fascinating by this article about social media’s role in policy debate, specifically with the Common Core.
Kyle Gunnels
In the late 90s, I was a combination of too young and not interested to follow anything that happened during the Lewinsky scandal. The only thing I actually remember is seeing President Clinton on TV telling me he didn’t have sex with someone. I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been to be Monica Lewinsky through the whole ordeal, and I am fascinated about issues related to how the media portrays (and how the public reacts) to those involved in big news stories. This piece in the NYT is a great (re)introduction to Lewinsky and how she is telling her own story, including via a recent TED talk.
Also, the NPR Ed team had a great recap of what they learned at SXSUedu last week.
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