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A new series of occasional papers sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences are now available online in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. The two paper topics are "Evaluation and the Academy: Are We Doing the Right Thing? Grade Inflation and Letters of Recommendation" (also provided are links to other articles relating to this topic), and "Trends in American and German Higher Education." Authored by Henry Rosovsky, former dean of Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Matthew Hartley, lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, "Evaluation and the Academy" suggests that changing the current system will be difficult but asserts that the "academic world has the obligation to make education improvements when needed and when possible." Simply accepting the status quo "is not acceptable professional conduct." Furthermore, "Trends in American and German Higher Education," edited by Robert McC. Adams of the University of California, San Diego, examines the current conditions of the research university systems in the US and Germany. On the whole, both papers provide valuable information for educators, researchers, students, administrators, and those interested in the enterprise of higher education. Forthcoming is a paper entitled "Making the Humanities Count: The Importance of Data."
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