Privacy Today

Both Hillary Clinton and former University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise have been criticized for using personal email accounts for public business, which raises some intriguing issues about twenty-first century privacy.

Although Clinton’s intentions are perhaps less explicit, Wise’s seem to have included a desire to maintain confidentiality even though the official university position had been that personal accounts, when used for university business, are still subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. These regulations in Illinois have nothing explicit about personal email accounts, but a 2012 state appellate ruling upheld an attorney general opinion that FOIA does apply to personal devices and machines in instances of official business.  Continue reading “Privacy Today”

Run Donald Run

After listening to arguments about gender equity and economic elitism at the university, I returned late to find my teens watching a recorded version of the first Republican debate. As I unpacked my bag, I overheard these aspiring leaders advocate closing our borders, for instance, sanctioning certain marriages, and defunding Planned Parenthood. Although I nodded in the background when some criticized the amount of personal data collected by the government, I wonder, despite a desire to understand other perspectives and find common ground, how to imagine unity across such diversity.

Commencing College

Commencement speakers seem to offer variations on the same themes, at least at all the graduations I’ve attended, and then comes an interminable march of graduates across a stage where they shake hands with administrators and teachers. That is a perfect time to consider why they’re, and we’re, there anyway.

Almost everyone (96%) believes, according to a recent Gallup-Lumina poll, that a postsecondary education is important. At the same time, many believe that it is unaffordable for everyone who needs one (79%) and that it needs to change to meet students’ needs better (80%). Continue reading “Commencing College”

Illiberal Ideas

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, by proposing a reduction in public university support and level community college funding, joins other politicians, including President Obama, who endorse a function for post-secondary education as technical training.

Community colleges certainly can provide useful technical training, and these opportunities should be available to, and accessed by, more people. At the same time, these institutions do not provide the same educational experiences that universities provide. Continue reading “Illiberal Ideas”

Cheating, Integrity, and Adults

Local reactions to the loss of the Little League national title by the Jackie Robinson West team have ranged from the reasonable to the regrettable or worse, but local leaders have made the situation worse.

A Little League investigation, as has been widely reported, determined that the team had falsified its boundaries to add players, used this map for the 2014 tournament, and conspired with surrounding leagues in support of this effort. As a result, it suspended the team manager, removed league officials, and gave the title to a Las Vegas team.

Some have suggested that racism motivated the investigation of this team, which was the first all African American team to win the national championship.

Saint Sabina pastor Michael Pfleger called it a “witch hunt,” and he and others, such as Rainbow Push Coalition Founder and President Jesse Jackson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, and Illinois State Representative Monique Davis have called for the return of the title and even threatened lawsuits. Continue reading “Cheating, Integrity, and Adults”