What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

The Academic Community Fights Administrative Bloat

June 16, 2014, 8:32 PM
Chemistry

What's the Latest?

Slate is featuring today an article penned by Rebecca Schuman that highlights a protest stunt concocted by a professor at the University of Alberta. The University's president, Indira Samarasekera, is on her way out. In an act of sardonic dissent, academics from across Canada (formed into 14 groups of four) are applying to be Samarasekera's successor and split her $400,000 (in Canadian dollars) salary. After all, that $400 grand split four ways would still represent a hefty pay raise for many of them. The Alberta stunt is the latest in an array of protests against administrative bloat

What's the Big Idea?

Schuman's article provides a run-down of recent examples of what she calls "the corporatization of the university." There's the $6 million severance package given to former Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee. There's the free apartment enjoyed by the chancellor of CUNY. Meanwhile, the cost of higher education keeps rising at an alarming rate and an impending student debt crisis threatens to handcuff a generation.

In highlighting the twisted priorities of the higher education system, Schuman points our attention toward the aforementioned ex-president of Ohio State:

If Gee had selflessly capped his buyout at, say, a meager $1 million, the university could have offered $10,000 scholarships to 500 additional students (or hired 100 new faculty at $50,000 each, give or take). 

But he didn't, so they didn't. After all, who needs selflessness when you can just pass the bill to your students?

Keep reading at Slate

Photo credit: l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock

 

The Academic Community Figh...

Newsletter: Share: