However desirable or necessary, marketing the humanities is, at best, difficult. We live in a culture increasingly bent on individual economic survival and seeking “practical” education or training as a means to that end. Moreover, the culture suffers the consequences of unethical business practice and increasingly demagogic public debate (witness the timely success of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). As college students become older (average age of undergraduate students in the U.S. is 26) and as they seek certification of skills to improve their career and employment prospects, of what use are the humanities? Many students and employment hiring officers regard study of the humanities as a waste of time and money, as a luxury that only the few can afford. And some institutions agree with them! Those who believe, as I do, that Continue reading
Monthly Archives: September 2010
The humanities are in trouble, big trouble. For a long time, student demand for upper-level courses in literature, philosophy/religious studies, history, and fine arts has dwindled. Humanities department budgets have withered, and full-time faculty appointments have dried up. As Frank Donoghue has pointed out in The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities (Fordham, 2008), this decline has occurred over the last 100 years, accelerating during the last 30 years or so with the rise of the corporate model of higher education. More recently, he answers the question, “Can the Humanities Survive the 21st Century?” with “Who cares?” Continue reading
Have you ever wondered why so many college web pages are so boring? Many college websites contain pages that largely reproduce their catalog copy. And catalog copy—understandably, given its purpose—is dreadfully boring. I know. I used to fall asleep editing my college’s catalog. Continue reading
In response to a wave of negative reaction from students, faculty, alumni/ae and others, Drake University has pulled its “D+” in favor of what it hopes is a higher grade. The online campaign, Drake Advantage, now features an animated “Drake” followed on another screen by the “+” sign and other images. The content of the campaign remains essentially the same. In an email message to the Drake community, President David Maxwell acknowledged the negative reaction and explained his decision to revise the campaign. Does this mean that already printed and distributed copies of the “D+” logo now become collectors’ items?
on-campus and off. After encountering a storm of criticism and joking on the internet, Drake officials stoutly defend the campaign, including their use of the controversial logo. From a marketing execution standpoint, however, the grade of “D+” is well earned. Continue readingUniversity recently trotted out a new student recruitment campaign, “The Drake Advantage,” with a “D+” logo that has attracted a lot of attention, both